How Legit is the “Trump/Hitler” Conversation?

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Renewed Cycle of Distrust Between Israeli Arabs and Jews

ArabsIsraelis, unsurprisingly, are largely united on the need for their country to be a distinctly Jewish state, a report released this week by Pew Research Center found. They disagree strongly, however, as to how to preserve that Jewishness. Almost half of the survey’s Jewish respondents said that the state should rid itself of the Arab population by expelling or transferring them out of Israel.

Although it has long been recognized that tensions between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs are on the rise, the 48 percent figure is astonishingly high. In a season in which many Jews — both American and Israeli — are looking with dismay at the xenophobia in American politics, the

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Conservative Judaism: A Requiem (Jewish Review of Books)

print_graphicsThe numbers are in, and they are devastating. The Pew Research Center’s “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” portrays a community in existentially threatening dysfunction. Some of the numbers are already well-known: Intermarriage rates have climbed from the once-fear-inducing 52 percent of the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey to 58 percent among recently married Jews on the whole. (The rate would be about 70 percent if one were to leave out the Orthodox, who very rarely intermarry.) Only 59 percent of American Jews are raising their children as Jews “by religion,” and a mere 47 percent of them are giving their children a Jewish education. And the communal dimension of Jewish life, which

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Israel Reaches Out to an Old Ally: American Jews

ladiesOutside the spotlight, one long-standing Israeli rift seems to be healing, at least for now.

The Jewish State has long had a fraught relationship with the non-Orthodox Jewish community in the U.S. Some  ...

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Why the Iran deal leaves Israelis feeling abandoned (NY Post)

AbandonTo get away from last summer’s war in Gaza, with its air-raid sirens and cascade of terrible news, my wife and I decided to head north, and to rent a small cabin in the middle of nowhere for a few days.

If we’d hoped for quiet, we were about to be disappointed. At night, there was shelling from Lebanon; during the day, artillery landed not too far away as Syrian and Islamic State forces battled it out.

This week, because it’s been a quiet summer on the military front, we decided to give the place another try. We drove three hours north, climbing the winding roads up the border’s mountains, to return to the

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No country for Jews? (NY Post)

NoCountryWe have a young language instructor at Shalem College in Jerusalem, where I work. She’s a religious Muslim who wears a hijab, lives in one of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and is a graduate student at Hebrew University. She’s fun and warm, and a great teacher — the students like her a lot.

Late last spring, when things here were quiet, some of the students mentioned to the department chair that as much as they’d spoken with her over the past couple of years, they’d never discussed politics. They were curious what someone like her thought about the conflict in this region, especially now that she was teaching at an unabashedly Zionist

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Palestinian Attacks Wound Israel’s Reputation (Bloomberg View)

1-Pal AttacksPalestinians’ recent attacks on Israelis are, at first blush, not an existential threat to Israel. Horrific as the losses are, the future of the state is not in question.

Or so it seems. But in a closer look, it appears that this round of violence is costing Israel more than the human toll. As the Palestinians clearly intend, the

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The Desperation Behind Netanyahu’s Holocaust Blunder (Bloomberg View)

1-DesperationThe latest round of violence in Israel was not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s biggest problem this week, although it may yetspin out of control. Most of his week was devoted to damage control after he foolishly said it was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem during the Second World War and  ...

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Mutual Fear of Attacks Divides Israel Further (Bloomberg View)

1-Mutual FearIn Israel, the university academic year is about to begin, now that the Jewish holidays are past. New students and faculty are making their way to campus, and learning their way around.

Shalem College, where I work, is in a quiet, mostly residential neighborhood in south Jerusalem. A couple of days ago, one of the new Arabic language instructors, a Muslim woman from a different area of Jerusalem, requested a parking space in a usually off-limits area that is protected by security. None of the other faculty members park there, so someone from human resources asked her why. The instructor said she was afraid: The college is in a Jewish

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Decency is a National Security Issue

sabra1It had been years since I’d been in an Israeli bank. The little that I’ve needed to do could be done on the website and at cash machines. And, let’s be honest, going to the bank here has never proven to be, well, very pleasant.

This week, though, I needed to help my mother with some changes to her account, so into her branch I went. The staff could not have been more professional. I was actually about to reconsider my “never go to the bank” rule, when a woman stomped into the bank, found the branch manager (who was standing right across from me) and started to scream – an

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