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The Book of Numbers The Book of Numbers
Monday, March 19, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jewish ambivalence about demography goes back a long way. The Bible, in several places, meticulously enumerates each tribe's population even while warning that conducting head counts can bring dire consequences.
Martyr in Waiting Martyr in Waiting
Friday, March 16, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan, currently under administrative detention in Israel, has announced the end of his 66-day hunger strike in exchange for a commitment by Israeli authorities to set him free on April 17. His pending release raises a moral dilemma.
AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Politics is a matter of emotions as much as intellect, and rituals and ceremonies are central. The annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C. is, perhaps above all, a ceremony of reaffirmation of the relationships among American Jews, non-Jewish Americans, the American state, and Israel.
What Would Ariel Sharon Do? What Would Ariel Sharon Do?
Monday, March 5, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Biographies of father by sons are an uncertain genre. Closeness necessarily entails distortion, positive or negative. But at a time when the vast majority of Israeli and world leaders seem strikingly small, it is worth considering the portrait of Ariel Sharon provided by his youngest son.
Footnotes to <i>Footnote</i> Footnotes to Footnote
Friday, March 2, 2012 by Michael Fagenblat | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Director Joseph Cedar's film Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) takes place in the Hebrew University Talmud Department, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the (unnamed) Shalom Hartman Institute—the Jerusalem cloisters of the small network of Israel's talmudic academic elite.
Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists
Thursday, March 1, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What is this thing called Jewishness? What does it look like? What are its boundaries? Even the most neutral-sounding answer reflects some position on one side or the other of the crazy-quilt of conflicts that have defined and continue to define Jewish life over the last 200 years.
Jazz, <i>Piyyut</i>, and Jewish Identity Jazz, Piyyut, and Jewish Identity
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Omer Avital and Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Israeli-born, New York-based Omer Avital is both a world-class jazz musician and a master of classical Arabic music. He recently visited the Tikvah Fund, oud in hand, for an evening of music and free-flowing discussion about jazz, piyyut [liturgical verse], and Jewish identity.
Order in the House Order in the House
Monday, February 27, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On a bad day, Israeli parliamentarians have been known to hurl water at political adversaries, denigrate immigrant MKs' Hebrew accents, and even bow their heads in the memory of Palestinian suicide bombers. On a good day, they mostly go about the nuts-and-bolts crafting of bipartisan legislation for the benefit of all Israelis.
BDS Secrets BDS Secrets
Friday, February 24, 2012 by Ran Baratz | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ubiquitous anti-Israel activist Norman Finkelstein stirred up the blogosphere last week. In a YouTube interview with pro-Palestinian advocate Frank Barat, Finkelstein said that members of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) care less for human rights than they do for Israel's destruction.
Rose-Colored Glasses Rose-Colored Glasses
Monday, February 20, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jacqueline Rose, a noted professor of English in the United Kingdom and the author of many works of literary criticism, has stepped beyond the academic precincts where she first made her name to produce, over the past decade or so, a substantial opus dealing with Zionism and Israel.
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Editors' Picks
Israel vs. Haredim Moshe Averick, Algemeiner. Haredim are criticized today for not serving in the IDF or contributing to the workforce.  But secular Zionists must acknowledge their historical role in deliberately marginalizing the Old Jew.
. . . at Israel’s Expense Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post. "At a time such as this, when aliyah is dwindling, it is incumbent upon every Orthodox Jew in America and elsewhere to look in the mirror and ask himself with unadorned honesty: Where do I really belong?"
Meet the New Politics, Same as the Old Politics Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post. "So this is new politics: Not using loaded words, like ultimatum and boycott, but doing exactly what they entail, while covering it up by talking about values.  Lapid played us all."
Entebbe's Forgotten Dead Eetta Prince-Gibson, Tablet. Yoni Netanyahu is often thought to have been the only Israeli to die in the Entebbe raid.  But three hostages were killed by stray Israeli fire—and Israel has refused to investigate their deaths.
Apartheid Agenda Patrick Mascoe, Moment. The organizers of Israel Apartheid Week distort U.N. resolutions, conceal their identities, and deliberately ignore racial segregation in Muslim countries—all under the guise of free speech.
The Orthodox Go to Washington Yair Rosenberg, Tablet. Offering sessions aimed at Orthodox rabbis for the first time, this year's AIPAC conference reflects a broader trend of engagement in the political process by the Orthodox community.
Reassessing Iron Dome Avi Kober, Begin-Sadat Center. Iron Dome has been praised for its role in protecting civilians during the recent war in Gaza, but it cannot shield those closest to the border—and it has proven ineffective as a deterrent. 
Excuses, Excuses Norman Geras, Fathom. Critics of Israel often distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.  But Israel is increasingly being used as an alibi for anti-Semitism, in four specific ways.
Arafat's Intifada Jonathan D. Halevi, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. A recent Israeli documentary argued that the Second Intifada was a spontaneous uprising, not instigated by the Palestinian Authority.  But substantial testimony from the PA at the time shows otherwise.
Obama's Opportunity Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia. "Obama now holds more cards than any American President in a long time: between the nightmare in Syria and the threat in Iran, Israel has never needed support from allies more than it does now."