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Where Did the Gaon Go? Where Did the Gaon Go?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Eliyahu Stern's new book portrays the Vilna Gaon as Eastern Europe's Moses Mendelssohn.  But can the ascetic, who backed the persecution of Hasidim, seriously be associated with individualism and democracy?
Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by Ronen Shoval | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Foreign governments, acting thoughtfully and strategically, fund dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that form a flourishing anti-Israel movement within Israel itself.
Editors' Picks
Israel, the Wilsonian Democracy Gil Troy, Daily Beast. When people ask whether Israel can be both Jewish and democratic, they usually imply that such a combination cannot exist.  Woodrow Wilson would have emphatically disagreed.
Dangerous Liaisons Meredith Tax, Dissent. Burgeoning alliances between the far Left and the theocratic Muslim Right represent "betrayals of basic socialist principle" that have "undermined struggles for secular democracy."
Playing Politics with God Jonathan Neumann, Commentary. Examining the dynamics of Israelite society, Michael Walzer finds politics "largely missing" from the Bible.  But he ignores the politics of the Israelites' relationship with God.
Reason, Revelation, and Revolution Patrick Allitt, Claremont Review of Books. America's founders have been characterized both as devout Christians and as militant secularists.  A new book argues that they remained believers in God, but revolted against the Bible.
The Politics of Revelation Jonathan Sacks, Algemeiner. "There is no legitimate government without the consent of the governed, even if the governor is Creator of heaven and earth."
Modernity’s Price in the Middle East Bernard Lewis, Norman Podhoretz, Peter Robinson, National Review. "In the pre-modern Middle East,” says Lewis,” there were many institutions in which power arose not from above but from within.  All that was destroyed by modernization." (Video)
Bibi's Lucky Break Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel. Yesterday's elections weakened the Likud at the expense of Yesh Atid.  But Netanyahu has still come out on top. 
No End to Elections , BBC. Hours after polls closed in Israel, Jordan is holding its first parliamentary elections under a reformed electoral system—in the hope of preventing another Islamist revolution. 
It's Not the Electoral System, Stupid! Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel. Israel's electoral system is often made the scapegoat for its political problems.  But for retiring MK Einat Wilf, Israel's issues are no different from those of any other democracy. 
Prophetic Democracy Warren Zev Harvey, Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Equality of all Israel’s citizens "is not a grudging compromise that Judaism has made with modern secular ideologies, but derives from within Judaism—from the vision of the Prophets."