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Purim Puzzles Purim Puzzles
Friday, March 11, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Purim, Judaism's strangest holiday (which this year falls on March 20), is prescribed by what may be the strangest book in the Hebrew Bible, the scroll (m'gilah) of Esther. Two public readings of the book, one at night and the other in the morning, tell a story of Persian palace intrigue in the fifth century B.C.E., a recitation accompanied by the holiday's decidedly unspiritual noisemaking, tippling, and masquerade.
An Open Letter to the Arab Street An Open Letter to the Arab Street
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by Benjamin Kerstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

First and foremost, congratulations. Even from our vantage point on the other side of a seemingly unbridgeable divide between our peoples, the extraordinary nature of what you have accomplished in recent weeks is obvious.
Follow the Money Follow the Money
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) is shocked—shocked—to discover that Muammar Qaddafi is a very bad man. So the once venerable institution is diverting some of the $2.5 million pledged through Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam into a scholarship fund for Libyan students.
J Street’s Last Hurrah? J Street’s Last Hurrah?
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a little over three years, a liberal lobby calling itself "passionately and unapologetically pro-Israel" appears to have either supplanted or co-opted other likeminded groups on the Jewish Left—among them, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum, and the New Israel Fund.
Strange Bedfellows Strange Bedfellows
Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

To the already boiling Middle East cauldron, add the prospect of new bilateral relations between two powers that have historically kept each other at arm's length: Egypt (Sunni, Arab, lately a client of the United States) and Iran (Shiite, Persian, patron of Hizballah and Hamas). One bone of contention between them has long been the Jewish state of Israel.
The Tribes Speak The Tribes Speak
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Unrest is spreading in the Middle East, but everywhere it displays a unique character. Take Jordan. In an unprecedented public letter to King Abdullah II, thirty-six of the country's tribal leaders have warned that "Jordan will sooner or later be the target of an uprising similar to the ones in Tunisia and Egypt."
Cyrus, Ahmadinejad, and the Politics of Purim Cyrus, Ahmadinejad, and the Politics of Purim
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Anyone who deplores the politicization of the past should have been apoplectic in September 2010 at the sight of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receiving the loan of the "Cyrus Cylinder" from officials of the British Museum.
Blood Libels Blood Libels
Monday, January 31, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Among the unexpected consequences of the January 9 shooting tragedy in Tucson has been the introduction into American public discourse of a term seldom used and poorly understood.
Arab Stirrings Arab Stirrings
Friday, January 28, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On January 14, the strongman of Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, fled in panic to Saudi Arabia after the astonishingly spontaneous, Facebook-driven crumbling of his corrupt regime.
The Hamas-Fatah Two-Step The Hamas-Fatah Two-Step
Friday, January 14, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Frustrated by the diplomatic deadlock over negotiations with the Palestinians, many Westerners, and some Israelis themselves, have focused on the need to accommodate the demands of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA).
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Editors' Picks
An Egyptian Jew in Exile Jerry Gordon, New English Review. "We started our life as stateless, robbed, homeless refugees": In an interview, Bat Ye'or speaks of her family's heritage, her writing career, and her predictions for the Middle East.
Ideology of Iran Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Jerusalem Post. Continuities between Iran's policies now and those of the Shah indicate that regime change would not dramatically alter the country's regional ambitions.
Assad, Abbas, and the Arab World Dave Cook, Christian Science Monitor. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren explains how the ouster of Syria's dictator could be beneficial to Israel—and how a Palestinian state at this time would do immense harm to the prospects for peace. (With video)
Shaken, Not Stirred David Rosenberg, Media Line. In developing innovative storage techniques for lulavim (palm fronds), Israel's technological prowess went head-to-head against an Egyptian embargo, and won.  
Vandalism and Evenhandedness Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. Compared to the outcry against the tiny minority of Israelis engaging in violence against Arabs, the fact that Arab violence against Jewish targets is not considered worthy of much indignation is of great concern.
Ignoring Hamas Kenneth Bandler, Jerusalem Post. Rather than deal with troubling Palestinian realities, world leaders seem to pay attention to Gaza only when there is a confrontation involving Israel.
A Palestinian Moderate Speaks Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. Even Sari Nusseibeh, the worldly and well-respected intellectual and peace activist, cannot bring himself to accept the reality of Israel as the Jewish state.
New Ottoman Empire? Emanuele Ottolenghi, Standpoint. In the uncertain wake of the Arab Spring, Turkey is trying to reassert itself as the leader of the surrounding Arab countries. How? By escalating tensions with Israel.
My Summer in Jordan Eric T. Justin, Harvard Crimson. Traveling in the Middle East, an American student expected to encounter anti-Semitism. But he was unprepared to discover how retrograde and pervasive it was.
Unholy Alliance S. Rob Sobhani, Washington Times. The alliance between Iran and the Palestinians has its roots in a 1979 kiss between Yasir Arafat and the Ayatollah: a kiss of death for Iranian Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians alike.