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People & Places

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.
Evil Genius Evil Genius
Thursday, February 23, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Very little anti-Semitic literature is new; most of its tropes seem ageless, continually recombined and updated by haters reacting only dimly to their actual circumstances. Few anti-Semitic works exhibit literary or lesser, sociological gifts. The one exception is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Do Jews Have a Mormon Problem? Do Jews Have a Mormon Problem?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The religious values of presidents seldom satisfactorily explain their attitudes toward the Jews. Franklin Roosevelt's Episcopalian faith could not have foretold his hard-hearted policies during the Holocaust.  Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter, both Baptists, went in opposite directions.
Material World Material World
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When is a text not a text? When it is an object. When a Torah scroll is held up in the air so that congregants can view its columns of words, it is not being read. The words that the congregation chants are indeed found in the scroll, but in two different places.
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.
Redefining Religious Activity Redefining Religious Activity
Friday, February 17, 2012 by Meir Soloveichik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In August of 1790, Moses Seixas, a leading member of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, composed a letter to then President George Washington, who was visiting Newport. In his letter, Seixas gave voice to his people's love of America and its liberties.
The Anatomy of Life and Death The Anatomy of Life and Death
Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Armin Rosen | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 2010 the New York Review of Books published a now-famous essay by former New Republic editor Peter Beinart, who argued that liberal Zionism was on the decline in Israel and that the "American Jewish establishment" was partly to blame.
The Signal-to-Noise War The Signal-to-Noise War
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A "signal-to-noise" ratio compares the power of a transmitted signal to that of the accompanying background noise. In the war of words between Israel and Iran the noise-to-signal ratio is so high that it is an almost overwhelming task to decipher what's going on.
Mensch in the Moon Mensch in the Moon
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Josh Gelernter | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Right now there are two Americans aboard the International Space Station, and their only way home is to hitch a ride in the Russians' Soyuz capsule, a ramshackle remnant of the 1960s. There's no space shuttle to bring them home because the shuttle's been retired; also retired are plans for an American return to the moon.
Jewish Ethics, from Ancient Bible to Modern Bus Jewish Ethics, from Ancient Bible to Modern Bus
Monday, February 13, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The next time someone tells you that ethical behavior doesn't need a foundation in religious teaching, step onto an Israeli bus (it doesn't have to be the gender-segregated variety) or open a mass-circulation Israeli newspaper and see how religion puts Jewish ethics on steroids.
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Editors' Picks
Israel on $5 a Day Nicole Rae Baerg, Fauzi Azar Inn. Why shoestring-budget travelers are better for Israel's economy than wealthy ones.
Britain's Post-War Pogrom Daniel Trilling, New Statesman. The deaths of two British soldiers at the hands of the Irgun in 1947 sparked the most widespread violence against Jews ever in the UK. But no sooner did it happen than it was forgotten.
Jews of Yemen, Get Out! Lyn Julius, Times of Israel. The few dozen Jews who remain in Yemen—many incentivized against aliyah by the Satmar movement—insist that Jewish life is good in Tzanaa despite a death toll attesting to the contrary.
Israel Can't Solve Africa's Problems Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. No matter how immigrant-friendly the Jewish state may be, the idea that tiny Israel should be considered the solution for African poverty is absurd.
How Bad Faith Drives Out Good Melanie Phillips, Standpoint. Religion, or more precisely the religion of the Bible, and more precisely still the Judaism at its core, is the crucible of reason. Those who reject the religion of the Bible are rejecting reason itself.
The Ten Commandments of America's Jews Jack Wertheimer, Commentary. Go ahead and break the current tablets—here are the new shalls and shall nots.
Know Your Enemy Jodi Rudoren, New York Times. After a hiatus of two decades, schools in Gaza are starting to teach Hebrew again. It isn't because they've discovered a heartfelt interest in a neighboring culture.
Ballpark Figures Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports. Through the Law of Return, Israel's national baseball team could recruit a number of established major leaguers.
Kidneys and Kindness Devora Steinmetz, Jewish Week. Why one woman chose to donate a kidney to a stranger—and what she makes of the fact that her decision is an unusual one.
The Fugees' Score Jonathan Schanzer, Foreign Policy. A new congressional bill could slash the number of Palestinian refugees—but neither the UNRWA nor its beneficiaries is likely to accept this change of status without a fight.