Jewish community is built on a code of moral and ethical action. This fundamental principle understands that human beings are flawed and will commit bad, harmful acts. It follows that a functioning society requires rules and oversight to protect vulnerable members. Straightforward as this may seem, we all want to believe that our communities are intact, wholesome places where terrible things do not happen.
As of Jan. 7, 20 organizations that support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement are banned from entering the country they love to demonize. However, such a move sets a dangerous precedent, especially in terms of freedom of expression.
The images are disturbing, the stories startling. The military of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and many of its civilians stand accused of committing mass murder, rape, and expulsion of the Rohingya people. Since 2016, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The western media does a valiant job at portraying the current plight of the Rohingya, but it misses several key aspects of the conflict — namely, the history of Buddhism and Islam in Myanmar, Britain’s colonial legacy, and the connection between Rohingya militants and jihadist extremism.
The Quran teaches that Muslims are a nation (ummah in Arabic), and the Muslim ummah has traditionally been led by caliphs, regarded as the successors of Muhammad. The caliphate existed continuously from Muhammad’s death until 1924: After the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I, Kemal Atatürk decreed that Turkey become a secular, European-style republic and abolished the caliphate, which was then based in Istanbul.
With Chanukah’s approach, I’ve been giving thought to the true origins of the holiday, and how they mirror the challenges we face as a society today. The holiday hoopla of dreidels, jelly donuts, latkes, and presents masks the dark secret of the holiday’s history. While it is true that the Maccabees restored Jewish sovereignty to Judaea and cleansed Jerusalem from foreign cultural subjugation, the actual catalyst for losing Jewish independence and religious freedom was an out of control Jewish civic debate on religious/cultural identity and loyalty. Talk and debate turned violent. Senseless internal hatred tore the community apart and led to civil war.
Israel's Syria policy seems to have finally turned a corner. Last week, Israeli warplanes struck the Assad regime and Iranian proxies in Syria with record intensity, hitting five bases in just 72 hours. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer similarly intensified the rhetoric, telling Politico, “If Iran is not rolled back in Syria, the chances of military confrontation are growing ... by the week.” Privately, Israeli military officials even bemoaned to Al-Monitor that Israel did not work to overthrow Assad years ago.
The Destruction of Israel Movement (DIM) is a disruptive movement dedicated to the propagation of vicious lies about Israel, portraying the Jewish homeland as a country of war crimes and apartheid. DIM also receives financial support from anti-Israel terrorist groups; in 2016, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked even referred to the movement as “the new face of terrorism.”
Iran, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, and Yemen.
One of these nations is considered an existential threat to Israel. Another used poison gas on its own citizens. Still another is testing the world’s sense of security as a rogue nuclear threat.
In the Greater Washington area, I’ve identified an estimated 95 congregations, five Jewish day schools, three JCCs, a number of national Jewish organizations, and one Jewish cultural center at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Locating even one Judaic fine arts gallery, however, has proven impossible. While there are a handful of art galleries with the potential to be high-level, serious Judaic art galleries that could sell to any Jew (or, for that matter, non-Jew) who shows an interest in Judaic art, my findings reflect that these few Jewish cultural facilities will tell you their priorities are: one, Jewish artists creating any art; and two, no Judaic themes.
My beloved Jewish family — we must talk!
Thanksgiving break offered me the reprieve to reflect on the most arduous two weeks of my 22-year Hillel career — the weeks prior to the BDS vote at the University of Maryland. I entered these weeks on a high: It was Sunday, Nov. 5, and Maryland Hillel had just pulled off the largest family weekend in our history. We served 2,100 meals and held multiple learning sessions; celebrated with a large-scale Jewish art showcase, including a sermon slam and performances by Hillel’s three a cappella groups and its Israeli dance troupe; and we welcomed a brand-new Torah, all in one weekend.
With every new technological innovation, thousands of new jobs are created and new skills are needed. As a co-founder of AboutWeb, an information technology (IT) government contractor based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, I became increasingly concerned over the years that people in economically-challenged areas were getting left out of the ongoing technology boom. IT jobs were filled by foreign workers, and I wondered whether these IT jobs could be filled by unemployed Americans with a little bit of training; many of these IT positions don’t even require a degree.
- I’m A Latina Who Works for the ADL. JVP’s Attacks Shocked Me.
- The Shadow of Their Smile
- Do We Care About Yemen?
- Solving the 'Shidduch Crisis' Will Take a Village
- BDS Says Speak With Your Dollars — And Speak We Shall
- The Conversation We Should be Having
- Raqqa Report Highlights the UN’s Illogical Double Standard Against Israel
- The Real Existential Threat to Jews
- Giving PTSD the Jewish Treatment
- Should Diplomatic Relations Between Israel and Saudi Arabia Be Established?