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O Canada O Canada
Monday, May 16, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In striking contrast to the treatment Jerusalem has been getting from its fair-weather European allies and a fickle Obama administration, there stands, of all countries, Canada. Why "of all countries"? Because none of this was preordained. Until lately, Canada's relations with Israel have essentially followed the trajectory of those with Western Europe—that is, starting out warm and turning increasingly frosty.
Mimouna! Mimouna!
Friday, May 13, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What did two million Israelis do when Passover ended this year? As in previous years, they celebrated Mimouna, a Moroccan Jewish holiday that is popularly observed by picnicking, barbecueing, and consuming moufletas (sweet North African pancakes). And what is Mimouna all about? No one really knows.
Agitprop in America Agitprop in America
Thursday, May 12, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The tempest has subsided, and the playwright Tony Kushner will receive his honorary doctorate from the City University of New York after all. After a single trustee convinced the majority of his fellow board members to deny the award on the basis of Kushner's viciously negative pronouncements about Israel, the weight of almost the entire New York cultural apparatus was brought to bear.
Beyond “Religious” and “Secular” Beyond “Religious” and “Secular”
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What should be the place of the Jewish religion in a Jewish state? There are many putative answers to this question, and the answers have changed over time. When Zionism was still an aspiration, a great blank yet to be filled in, the terms of debate were set by a self-confidently secular dispensation preoccupied with state- and institution-building. In the first few decades of statehood, religion, though state-established, was clearly subservient.
Israel: The Miracle Israel: The Miracle
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Paul Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The state of Israel is the product of more than 4,000 years of Jewish history. "If you want to understand our country, read this!" said David Ben-Gurion on the first occasion I met him, in 1957. And he slapped the Bible. But the creation and survival of Israel are also very much a 20th-century phenomenon.
The New Egypt: Back to Belligerence? The New Egypt: Back to Belligerence?
Thursday, May 5, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Watching Egypt's revolution unfold earlier this year, apprehensive Israelis were reassured by European and American observers that they had little to worry about: Hosni Mubarak's February 12 departure had been provoked neither by anti-Israel fury nor by Islamist fervor, and shouts of "Up with Egypt" in Tahrir Square more than drowned out chants of "Down with Israel" or "Allahu Akbar." 
Hamas-Fatah: Looking for the Red Lines Hamas-Fatah: Looking for the Red Lines
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Things can always get worse, and in the Middle East they usually will. That was made depressingly clear once again with the April 27 announcement in Cairo of a reconciliation agreement between the rival Palestinian organizations of Fatah and Hamas.
Do Israeli and American Jews Need Each Other? Do Israeli and American Jews Need Each Other?
Friday, April 29, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Starting in 2005, American readers of the Israeli daily Haaretz noticed something new in its pages: well-informed, jaunty analyses not only of American politics and diplomacy but of American Jews and American Judaism. The paper's correspondent was clearly a native-born Israeli, but, in decidedly un-Israeli fashion, he not only was genuinely interested in understanding American Jewry from within but regularly had insightful things to say about it.
Loving the Jews Loving the Jews
Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Five years before Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State in 1896, an American Methodist lay leader named William Blackstone dreamed of the Jewish people's returning to their ancestral homeland and rebuilding their ancient country. Blackstone translated his dream into a petition signed by 400 prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and a future president, William McKinley.
How the Likud Came to Be How the Likud Came to Be
Friday, April 22, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Benjamin Netanyahu no doubt took comfort from a recent survey showing that 76 percent of Likud members opposed annexing all of Judea and Samaria. Yet he would also have known that 10,000 party recruits had been newly signed up by uncompromising settler leaders. How to keep the Likud ("Union") together and in the center of Israel's political mainstream?
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Editors' Picks
Operation Pillar of Defense: the Live Blog , Times of Israel. Israel scored an early victory, eliminating eliminated Ahmed Jabari and most of Hamas' medium-range rockets.  But Hamas won't give up without a prize of its own.
Israel Targets Hamas Ilan Ben Zion, Elie Leshem, Times of Israel. Responding to rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel has now assassinated the head of Hamas’s military wing.  “And this,” says an IDF spokesman, “isn’t the end of it.”
A New War in Gaza? Gadi Golan, Shlomo Cesana, Daniel Siryoti, Lilach Shoval, Itzik Saban, Israel Hayom. As rockets from Gaza continue to bombard Israel’s south, the IDF is reportedly preparing another ground invasion. “Air power,” says one insider, “has run its course.”
Saddam and the Missed Opportunity Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel. In the mid-1970s, Israel tried to kill Saddam Hussein with a letter bomb.  Imagine the blood and treasure that would have been saved if the attempt had succeeded.
Bloc Parties Jonathan Rynhold, Atlantic. Far from guaranteeing a resounding victory in the elections, Netanyahu's decision to create a rightist bloc provides an opportunity for parties on the Left—but only if they remain separate.  
skyTran! Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c. While Jerusalem has taken a decade to build a tramline, Tel Aviv is set to be the first city in the world to pilot NASA's space-age rapid transport system.  
The Last Refuge of Scoundrels Tariq Alhomayed, Asharq al-Awsat. As his regime nears collapse, Bashar al-Assad is making one last desperate attempt to regain public support in Syria—by mobilizing for war against Israel. 
The Real Hypocrites Natan Sharansky, Daily Beast. On Peter Beinart’s blog, Natan Sharansky was called a human rights hypocrite.  “I want Palestinians to have all the rights in the world,” Sharansky answers, “except the power to destroy me.”
Barack vs Bibi? Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel. In spite of Netanyahu's past battles with Obama, and his obvious preference for Mitt Romney, Israeli analysts are hopeful that the two leaders can work together.
1979: What Are the Settlements For? Yaacov Lozowick, Israel State Archives. Minutes of Israeli cabinet meetings from October 1979 reveal a dispute between Ariel Sharon and Ezer Weizman as to whether West Bank settlements were a security necessity or a liability.