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Behind Warnings to Damascus: Reassessment of Younger Assad

By Marc Perelman, With Reporting By Ori Nir in Washington.

A sudden flurry of U.S. warnings to Syria in recent days indicates that Washington has undertaken what Israel and its supporters here have been urging for months: a comprehensive reassessment of Syrian ruler Bashar Assad.In the past two weeks, while U.S. troops were taking control of neighboring Iraq, a string of top American officials —Read More


Rabbis Backed by Ultra-Orthodox Win

JERUSALEM — Israel elected two new chief rabbis this week, after a hard-fought race pitting the religious Zionist movement, which founded and long led the state rabbinate, against the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate that has traditionally shunned it.Both races ended in victories for ultra-Orthodox-backed candidates, dealing a humiliating blowRead More


In Baltimore, Aged Now Get Services Where They Live

By Nacha Cattan

BALTIMORE — Helen Salzman inches across the lipstick-red carpet to welcome guests into her cozy, two-story frame cottage.Her delicately appointed dining room is immaculate, her off-white sectional looks spanking new and the kitchen floor is well scrubbed. But the legally blind Salzman does not notice that her plush rug isRead More


Search for Hillel Director Seen Drawing to a Close

By Nacha Cattan

The search to fill one of the Jewish community’s highest-profile positions appears to be drawing to a close.Richard Joel, the popular president and international director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is stepping down April 30 to become president of Yeshiva University and its affiliated Rabbi IsaacRead More


‘Show Me,’ Labor Brass Tell Democratic Hopefuls

By E.J. Kessler

The Democratic presidential hopefuls’ battle for labor support kicked into high gear last week, as eight of the nine contenders — all except Florida Senator Bob Graham — strutted their stuff at the Washington legislative conference of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades department.Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri — a formerRead More


A DNA Pioneer Finally Gets Her Due — 50 Years Late

By Ami Eden

Fifty years ago this week, James Watson and Francis Crick officially won the race to map out the structure of DNA, a victory that would eventually earn them the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. Now, as the golden anniversary of the discovery is marked, determined feminists and former colleagues are fighting to make sure that a fair share ofRead More


Strikers Invoke Passover In Kosher Eatery Action

The parallels between the story of Passover and a modern-day struggle for worker rights resonated loud and clear at a picket line outside a glatt kosher restaurant on the East Side of Manhattan last week.Immigrant workers and representatives from several local unions and Jewish labor groups waved union posters, ate matzo, drank grape juice andRead More


Daring Heist Spreads Fear

By Marc Perelman

ANTWERP — All hell broke loose on Jews here in mid-February. It was not antisemitism. It was not Iraq. It was merely the largest robbery to hit this Belgian port city in decades.Armed robberies are not usually issues that preoccupy Jewish communal defense experts. The problem this time was that the daring, $120 million robbery took place…Read More


Achieving Peace in Iraq Requires Staying the Course on Democracy

By Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack

It would be foolish to believe that democracy in a post-Saddam Iraq will be easy or certain — let alone that doing so might solve all of the problems of the Middle East. Iraq has real problems that are going to make the creation of a functional democracy there difficult and lengthy. As critics of intervention have noted, Iraq has littleRead More


Arafat Places Stumbling Blocks in Abu Mazen’s Path

JERUSALEM — Israeli and American officials were watching nervously this week as the prime minister-designate of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, tried to maneuver his way through a series of obstacles laid in his path by his boss, P.A. chairman Yasser Arafat.Several sources close to the Palestinian leadership told the Forward thisRead More





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  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
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