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War & Peace

East Jerusalem East Jerusalem
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

During Vice President Joseph Biden's visit to Israel last week, a routine bureaucratic approval of additional dwellings for ultra-Orthodox Jews was leaked to the media, thereby setting off a crisis in relations between the two countries. The neighborhood in question, Ramat Shlomo, is said to stand in Arab East Jerusalem. But what and where is East Jerusalem?    The term is an artificial construct, and a misnomer. Jerusalem is a city built on hills, embedded on a mountain ridge; Samaria lies to the north, Judea to the south.  The city has no grid system—no Fifth Avenue to divide the east and west sides....
Allon’s Legacy Allon’s Legacy
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It was fitting that Benny Begin, son of the late Likud-party prime minister Menachem Begin, should have been the cabinet minister representing Israel's government at the annual memorial service on Monday for Labor-party icon Yigal Allon. On the Zionist political spectrum, the Begins are stalwarts of the Right, whereas Allon was decidedly a man of the Left. Yet the inheritors of their respective legacies share a sense of clarity about Jewish rights in Israel, a desire for genuine accommodation with the Arabs, and an emphatic insistence on defensible borders.   Allon was born in 1918 in the Lower Galilee and died...
On the Heritage Trail On the Heritage Trail
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Unlike Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not have to take a stroll on the Temple Mount to provoke Palestinian Arab leaders into threatening mayhem. Instead, Netanyahu simply announced a comprehensive plan to strengthen Israel's national heritage by rehabilitating and preserving archaeological and historic sites, developing historic trails, and conserving photographs, films, books, and music of archival value. "A people," he declared, "must know its past in order to ensure its future." Unveiled on February 2, the plan was greeted with a yawn by the mainstream Israeli media, mixed with a few deprecating remarks about Jewish chauvinism, and was largely ignored by Palestinians....
Iran Iran
Monday, March 1, 2010 by | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Iran's nuclear program marches on: an existential threat to Israel—target of Tehran's declared genocidal intent—and an immense strategic challenge to the United States and the West as well as to Muslims, Arabs, and others with a stake in geopolitical stability. The Iranian regime has made no bones about seeing this moment as an historical hinge, marked by the rout of American influence and the rise of Tehran as the region's dominant power. As Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed last week at his meeting in Damascus with the complaisant Bashar al-Assad, Hassan Nasrallah, and Khaled Mashal, the Americans "have reached a dead end. They once...
Libels and Politics Libels and Politics
Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Here we go again. Baroness Jenny Tonge of Britian's Liberal Democratic party called recently for a serious investigation of charges that Israeli rescue teams were in Haiti to harvest organs. In the ensuing firestorm, she has been removed from her role as "health spokesman" for her party in the House of Lords. What is going on here? It is one thing for Hamas to fling about heinous lies. Among Western elites, "Israel-bashing" seems too thin an explanation for the mounting eruptions of lunatic forms of anti-Semitism, unhinged from even the most severe criticisms reasonable people might make of Israeli policies. Are we...
Goldstone, Again and Beyond Goldstone, Again and Beyond
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The UN's Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead has taken on a life of its own. Late last week, Israel submitted its own official version of its military operations in Gaza, to which UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon is expected to respond today.  Within Israel, calls for an independent commission of inquiry have found a prominent ally in the state's outgoing attorney general. Meanwhile, Alan Dershowitz, alongside his substantive criticisms of the Goldstone Report, has denounced its author as a Jewish traitor. Intentionally or not, the Report has become a powerful element in the mounting international campaign—warfare conducted as "lawfare"—to delegitimize Israel's very existence as...
And That’s an Order? And That’s an Order?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

International pressure is mounting on the Netanyahu government to freeze—and eventually remove—Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Simultaneously, a heated domestic debate is taking place within the national-religious (Dati Leumi) community over whether religious soldiers can, if push comes to shove, resist a government order to remove settlers from their homes. The argument resonates most strongly in the "Hesder" yeshivot, higher-level schools whose students alternate periods of Talmud study with active military duty. Yesterday, the heads of Har Etzion, a flagship Hesder yeshiva, issued a strong statement against disobedience. The issue is made more acute by the fact that so many religious...
Perfidious Albion? Perfidious Albion?
Friday, December 18, 2009 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The British government's announcement on Tuesday that it would no longer tolerate the legal harassment of visiting foreign officials put a halt to speculations of an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, Israel's former foreign minister and now leader of the opposition in the Knesset. But it has not ended the uproar over Israel's alleged war crimes—Ms. Livni vocally supported her country's invasion of Gaza to stop rocket fire by Hamas—or over the principle of "universal jurisdiction" invoked by judges hoping to hold foreign (read, Israeli) dignitaries for prosecution. On one Arab website, an Israeli musician living in England lambastes the British...
Asymmetric Lawfare Asymmetric Lawfare
Friday, December 4, 2009 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Goldstone Report on Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war, endorsed by the UN General Assembly on November 5, has taken on a life of its own in the court of world public opinion. Increasingly, both its enthusiasts and its detractors see it as a weapon, even more potent than the UN’s Zionism-Racism resolution of November 1975, in a campaign to render illegitimate the very existence of the state of Israel. So loud has the drumbeat over the Report become, and so widening its repercussions, that an entire website—cited in the first item below—is needed to collect the facts and to...
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Editors' Picks
Truth from an Unlikely Source Conrad Black, National Post. The new country of South Sudan has taken its place squarely with the Jewish state and attacked the Arab-led conspiracy against Israel in international organizations.
Will Israel Strike Iran? Elliot Jager, Larry Derfner, Video debate on the likelihood of an attack, media reporting on the issue, and the international implications all around.
Fraternité Ronen Bergman, Ynet. Despite Sarkozy's recent faux pas, Israel has a friend in Paris, and it would be a pity to let interpersonal rifts overshadow France's staunch support where it really matters.
Beyond Bad Faith Shelby Steele, Hudson New York. Palestinians will never be reached by reason until they are able to get beyond the paralyzing "poetic truth" that they are the perennial victims of an aggressive and racist Israeli nation.
Dennis Ross' Legacy Ron Kampeas, JTA. While the peace process seems as moribund as when the U.S. Mideast envoy last left it in 2000, Iran's isolation might be counted as Ross' success. 
The "Mañana" Approach Ari Shavit, Haaretz. The recent UN report confirming Iran's nuclear capabilities has a disturbing subtext: for a decade, Israeli intelligence postponed taking necessary action.
Release Marwan Barghouti Avinoam Bar-Yosef, New York Times. Israel isn't the only government afraid of releasing Palestinian terrorists. There's one whom Mahmoud Abbas would be happy to keep behind bars.
Israeli Inflation Ronen Bergman, New York Times. The rising cost of the life of an Israeli hostage, from the Entebbe raid to the Shalit deal.
The Case for Acting Now Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. Time may be running out for covert efforts aimed at sabotaging Iran's nuclear program.
The Case for Cooling Their Jets Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy. As the U.S. and Israel consider a preemptive strike against Iran, here are the top five reasons why they should keep their missiles on the ground.