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The Americas

Love, True Love, and Statistics Love, True Love, and Statistics
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The depth of sympathy for the Jewish state among ordinary Americans ought to be cause for positive amazement. In stark contrast to strikingly negative European attitudes, a far-reaching CNN poll released on May 31 presents an uplifting picture of American public opinion toward Israel.
Anti-Semitism and Man at Yale Anti-Semitism and Man at Yale
Monday, June 13, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The modern university is no longer made up simply of departments and regular professors teaching students. Ancillary centers, programs, and initiatives proliferate, undertaking research on every conceivable topic. The fates of such entities rarely make the New York Post. But anti-Semitism is not a normal subject.
Before the Law Before the Law
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 by Suzanne Last Stone and Alan M. Dershowitz | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The holiday of Shavuot, which falls this year on June 8 and 9, commemorates the giving of the Law. In video interviews conducted by the Israeli media agency Leadel, the prominent legal scholars Suzanne Last Stone and Alan M. Dershowitz explain the differences between Jewish law and Western law, and how their own interest in the former has informed their careers in the latter. —The Editors
The Forgotten Festival The Forgotten Festival
Monday, June 6, 2011 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The holiday of Shavuot, which begins this year on Tuesday evening, is the orphan among Jewish holidays; it is the forgotten festival. Let me count the ways.
The Anthropology of AIPAC The Anthropology of AIPAC
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Few events in contemporary American Jewish life generate as much passion as the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), held in Washington this year on May 22-24. The best way to view the over 10,000 conference participants may be in terms of a tribe or small society.
American Orthodoxy and Its Discontents American Orthodoxy and Its Discontents
Friday, May 27, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A "case study in institutional decay": that description of Orthodox Judaism in America was offered in 1955 by the late sociologist Marshall Sklare. It has long since entered the gallery of scholarly misjudgments, acknowledged as such by Sklare when events turned out to belie his assessment.
From the Four Corners From the Four Corners
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are most Jews white? The impression that this is so is partially the result of the calamitous and decimating events of the 20th century, in which the great centers of Europe were lost to Nazi genocide while those of the Middle East and North Africa were lost to Islam.
What Would Ben-Gurion Do? What Would Ben-Gurion Do?
Thursday, May 19, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

How would David Ben-Gurion handle himself if he were the one scheduled to meet Barack Obama on May 20 and address a joint session of the U.S. Congress a few days later? That hypothetical question has been aired frequently by Israelis in the run-up to Benjamin Netanyahu's pending appointments in Washington.
The Life of Prayer The Life of Prayer
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Prayer has never been easy, as the Psalmist well knew: "For there is no word on my tongue; You, O Lord, know them all" (139: 4). And even if there are words on the tongue, the results can be distressingly uncertain, or worse: "My God, I call out by day and You do not answer; by night, there is no respite for me" (22:2). It hasn’t gotten easier since then.
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.
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Editors' Picks
Warming to Israel Moshe Arens, Haaretz. With the advent of the Arab Spring, the press predicted that Israel would be alone on the world stage. But burgeoning relationships with the Netherlands, Canada, and the Obama administration suggest otherwise.
Blessed are the Bootleggers Allan Nadler, Tablet. While rabbis opposed Prohibition in the name of religious freedom, and many Jews embraced the black market, one Izzy Einstein became the most successful enforcer of dry laws in the country.
The Lost Tribe of New Mexico Irene Wanner, Seattle Times. Straddling the border between Colorado and New Mexico, San Luis Valley is home to Hispano communities, where research shows that almost everyone is related by blood. Jewish blood.
Whitewashing Black-Jewish History Sivan Zakai, jweekly. Both African-Americans and Jews journeyed from slavery to redemption, ultimately united as allies in the civil rights era. It makes for an appropriate and inspiring school lesson. But is it good history?
Independent is the New Democrat Ilana Ostrin, American Prospect. Jewish affiliation with the Democratic Party has dropped by ten percent since 2009. This won't hurt President Obama—but may affect other electoral races in 2012.
Should We Worry about Adelson? Ira Sharkansky, Jerusalem Post. Sheldon Adelson almost single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich's candidacy alive. Maybe that's bad for the Jews—or maybe Adelson is just providing some ideological balance to George Soros.
History without Witnesses Deborah E. Lipstadt, Jewish Week. As the Holocaust disappears from living memory, what matters is not who is speaking but who is listening.
Ardor, or Architecture Yonatan Silverman, Jerusalem Post. The holiness of Jerusalem in the Muslim tradition owes less to the Koran than it does to the opportunistic building program of Jerusalem's eight-century Umayyad rulers.
The Big Lie Returns Ben Cohen, Commentary. As long as the enemies of the Jews control the meaning of the term 'anti-Semitism,' Jews will remain vulnerable to the calumny that they alone are the authors of their own misfortune.
The Mufti and the U.S. Election Rafael Medoff, JTA. A mufti calls for violence against Jews, Netanyahu demands Palestinian leaders disavow him, and America's presidential race could be affected. That could be a news report from last week. Or from 1946.