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Israel & the Near East

Political Contrail Political Contrail
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

This month marks the 30th anniversary of an emotionally fraught and bitterly waged political confrontation between the Reagan administration and the organized Jewish community.
Career Corps Career Corps
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The United States has its military academies at West Point and Annapolis. The British put their officers through Sandhurst. But how will the Israeli Defense Forces, a citizen army, train its officers for the 21st century?
Israel Studies 101 Israel Studies 101
Monday, October 3, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The modern American research university is a house of many rooms. The field of Israel Studies, which has emerged in the past decade, occupies one of the newest—and smallest—of those rooms.
The Myth of Mideast Stability The Myth of Mideast Stability
Monday, September 26, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The U.S. Ambassador to Israel recently told the International Conference on Economic Regional Cooperation in Tel Aviv that unless Israel and the Palestinians resume negotiations, "the lack of peace will decrease stability dangerously" in the Middle East.
The Wages of Durban The Wages of Durban
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by Arch Puddington | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the days just prior to the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) was very much in the news, and for reasons that are altogether relevant to the mass murder that took place on September 11, 2001.
Settling for Statehood Settling for Statehood
Monday, September 19, 2011 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly has just begun.  Unless a diplomatic miracle happens, that body will soon be asked to approve what amounts to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.  Palestinian spokesmen say they had no choice but to make their end run around serious negotiations with Israel.
West Bank Blues West Bank Blues
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Few groups are as demonized in public discourse as "the Jewish settlers" of the West Bank. To listen to the pundits, these international outlaws are single-handedly preventing the achievement of a utopian peace in the Middle East.
Spying for Zion Spying for Zion
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Spying goes on everywhere, all the time, 24/7.  But the way spying is treated—when it is discovered, when it is publicized, when spies are arrested, tried, and jailed—is highly variable, especially in the United States.  The timing is almost never a matter of chance.
Israel, America, and the Lessons of 9/11 Israel, America, and the Lessons of 9/11
Friday, September 9, 2011 by Abe Greenwald | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Two heads belonging to the same monster: This is the way a significant portion of the world saw America and Israel on September 11, 2001. On television that day, we watched people jump to their deaths to escape the flames engulfing the World Trade Center.
Mysteries of the Menorah Mysteries of the Menorah
Thursday, September 8, 2011 by Meir Soloveichik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the eve of Tisha b'Av, 2011, archeologists revealed artifacts newly unearthed from the great Jewish revolt against Rome (67–70 C.E.), including coins minted by the rebels and a stone incised with a sketch of the Temple menorah. But what is the menorah, and what does it symbolize?
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Editors' Picks
Wingate's War Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. For the British military establishment in Mandate Palestine, Orde Wingate's disdain for uniform—indeed for clothes in general—was highly unorthodox. Small wonder, then, that he also supported the Haganah.
National Anthem Philologos, Forward. Israel wouldn't have to abandon "Hatikvah" to have an anthem which Muslim and Christian citizens would be proud to sing: just restore some of Naphtali Herz Imber's original lyrics.
Nowruz Peres? Shimon Peres, YouTube. On the Iranian new year, Israel's president appealed to the Iranian people to oppose the bellicose ambitions of their government, and warned them of the consequences if they do not. (Video)
Diaspora Divided (Sneak Preview of JRB Spring Issue!) Jordan Chandler Hirsch, Jewish Review of Books. Peter Beinart tries to show how one-dimensional support for Israel is alienating young liberal Jews. The trouble is that his own one-dimensional criticism of Israel alienates everyone else.
Boom or Bust? Peter Thiel, George Gilder, Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In a debate, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel argues that technological progress is decelerating, while author George Gilder says that progress marches ever onward—with Israel as a case in point. (Video)
Saved to Disc Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. A rare glass disc depicting the menorah from the Second Temple in gold leaf was kicked around Europe for two thousand years before the Israel Museum gave it a home.
Higher Standards Douglas Murray, Jewish Chronicle. Israel's defenders often rebut criticism by contrasting its conduct with that of its authoritarian neighbors. But even when the metric is the conduct of other democracies, Israel fares well.
Building Bauhaus Elizabeth Zach, New York Times. As the Bauhaus school of architecture fell afoul of Nazi aesthetic diktats, its adherents were left looking for new pastures in which to build—and many found them in Mandate Palestine.
Invoking Auschwitz David Landau, Haaretz. Although the Right has made insensitive Holocaust comparisons in the past, the Left must realize that another attempted genocide of the Jews is a real possibility.
Syrian Dreams Avigdor Lieberman, Jerusalem Post. Although many expect Syria to degenerate into radicalization if Assad falls, Israel's minister of foreign affairs refuses to give up hope that Syria's middle class could build a liberal democracy.