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Mainline Protestants and Israel Mainline Protestants and Israel
Thursday, July 29, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

So enamored are today's mainline Protestant churches with the Palestinian Arab "narrative" that they seem to have altogether forgotten, or denied, their own prior history of support for Israel and Zionism. Indeed, some of them appear to be trying to derail the Zionist enterprise altogether.
On Peace, Freedom, and Democracy On Peace, Freedom, and Democracy
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Natan Sharansky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

By Natan Sharansky Editors' Note: We present here two statements by Natan Sharansky—the first originally published after the September 1993 signing of the Oslo accords, the second written on the eve of Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005. Each foresees failure, and each proposes a better path toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We reproduce the statements now in light of the subsequent history of those two earlier experiments, and with an eye to the current diplomatic push to forge, or impose, still another arrangement on the same failed terms.
In the Cage of Feeling In the Cage of Feeling
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Last week marked the hundredth birthday of Natan Alterman, one of the greatest and most dramatic of modern Hebrew poets and, in another aspect of his persona, a compelling and strong-minded commentator on contemporary events.
The Conversion Conundrum The Conversion Conundrum
Monday, July 26, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Late last week, narrowly averting a looming crisis within world Jewry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a postponement, possibly indefinite, of prospective Knesset legislation making the Chief Rabbinate the arbiter of conversion in the Jewish state and thus of who may be eligible for citizenship under Israel's foundational Law of Return. The measure has stirred impassioned debate in and between Israel and the Diaspora, much of it a depressing if also revealing exercise in talking past each other.
The Lone Wolf The Lone Wolf
Friday, July 23, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The 70th yahrzeit of Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) was marked on July 11, at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. There was nary a mention of it in the Israeli media—an extraordinary omission given that Jabotinsky was not only a founder of the Haganah and the supreme commander of the Irgun but also a towering Zionist theoretician and leader.
All That (Israeli) Jazz All That (Israeli) Jazz
Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Add jazz to the growing list of fields in which Israelis are taking their place among the international elite.  As the American magazine JazzTimes gushed in May 2008, "When it comes to jazz, Israel is the source of an almost miraculous outpouring of talent."
Another Madoff Casualty? Another Madoff Casualty?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Shrunken and wizened, the American Jewish Congress lies on its evident death bed, debilitated by a loss of raison d'être as much as by Bernard Madoff's financial depredations. Under the circumstances, reflections on the spotty record of its approach to Jewish life, or on waste and duplication in the alphabet soup of the Jewish organizational world, may forgivably give way to a brief look at the once-proud agency's origins and purposes.  
Who’s Against a Two-State Solution? Who’s Against a Two-State Solution?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 by Efraim Karsh | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

"Two states, living side by side in peace and security." This, in the words of President Barack Obama, is the solution to the century-long conflict between Jews and Palestinian Arabs in the Middle East. Washington is fully and determinedly on board. So are the Europeans. The UN and the "international community" vociferously agree. Successive governments of the state of Israel have shown their support for the idea. So far, there is—just as there has always been—only one holdout.
Tisha b’Av Now Tisha b’Av Now
Monday, July 19, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Tomorrow is Tisha b'Av, the traditional day of fasting and lamentation for the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the sorrows of Jewish history.  But ours is a moment of unprecedented Jewish sovereignty and unparalleled Jewish prosperity. And so, many are asking, why bother?
The Other Talmud The Other Talmud
Friday, July 16, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A Jewish classic known as much for its obscurity as for its great significance took another step into the light this spring with the online publication of its oldest and most reliable version. The classic is the Jerusalem Talmud, and the version is a parchment manuscript, known as the Leiden manuscript, written in 1289 by a Jewish scholar and copyist in Rome.
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