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Muslim and Jewish guys in this French cartoon say: “You must not mock us!”

Mocking Muhammad Is Not Hate Speech

12 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 2012
My last article prompted a solemn reply from Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim website, who deemed it "irresponsible and beyond the pale." Why so? Because, as she puts it, "The solution to escalating violence and hate speech is not more hate speech."
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, center, in a rare public appearance.

Why the EU Refuses to Classify Hezbollah as a Terror Org.

The Lebanon-based Islamic organization Hezbollah is one of the most dangerous groups in the world. Recently, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah incited violence against American and European interests over the movie The Innocence of Muslims. And yet, the European Union refuses to follow America's example and classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization – a move that would enable the E.U. to freeze the group's assets in Europe.

Revaluing Motherhood

10 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
It is ten o'clock in the morning. I am at a local park with my daughter. A number of children are climbing and sliding, imbibing the fresh air. In their orbit are a smaller number of women, some milling around on foot, others sitting on the benches conversing and minding strollers. Trailing my own child, I play a silent game: Who is a Mommy? Which, if any, of these women (who range from lovingly attentive to disturbingly disengaged) are the children's mothers, and which are babysitters?

The Oldest Story In The World

“This is the day of the beginning of your creation,” we read in our Yom Tov prayer books. According to Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the day of the creation of Adam and Eve, and on that very day they proclaim God as King of the Universe.

Debating America’s Response To The Holocaust With The U.S. Holocaust Museum

During a recent trip to Rwanda, former president Bill Clinton lamented his failure in 1994 to intervene in that country’s genocidal massacres. “I don’t think we could have ended the violence, but I think we could have cut it down. And I regret it.”

The State Of The Jews

How well are Jews - and non-Jews - doing with regard to the Jewish state? If the question focuses on the highbrow world, and particularly its predominant persuasion of liberalism (or what is still called by that name), the answer that emerges from Edward Alexander's new book is: not very well.

The New Israel Fund, Jewish Values And Atonement

In its September newsletter, the New Israel Fund (NIF) urged Israelis to examine their behavior (“cheshbon nefesh”), declaring “We have been telling you for some time about the upsurge in hatred and incitement in Israel…”

Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, whose astrological sign is Libra (♎). Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, sensitivity and optimism. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light and love of the other person. The numerical value of Venus, נגה, is 58 just like the numerical value of אזן, which is the Hebrew root of “balance” and “scale.”

A Muhammed Cartoon a Day

9 Tishri 5773 – September 24, 2012
Would repetition inspire institutionalization, generate ever-more outraged responses, and offer a vehicle for Islamists to ride to greater power? Or would it lead to routinization, to a wearing out of Islamists, and a realization that violence is counter-productive to their cause?
Jewish immigrant children from Arab countries at the Talpiot transit camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem, 1954.

Victimhood as Foreign Policy

8 Tishri 5773 – September 23, 2012
Sadly, it appears that the Israeli foreign policy establishment has given up on convincing the international community as to the essential rightness of the Zionist enterprise. Rather, by attempting to push the issue of Jewish “refugees” from Arab lands to the top of the U.N.'s agenda, Israelis abdicating the moral high ground in favor of sinking into a battle of victimhood narratives with the Palestinians.

Use Fish not Chicken for Kaparot

Notions of animal cruelty do not apply to fish under Jewish law, so by using a fish for the Kapparot ritual one would avoid causing unnecessary pain to an animal yet still have the benefit of using a live creature for the ritual.

The Staggering Costs of a Special Needs Child

6 Tishri 5773 – September 21, 2012
The spectrum of special-needs children ranges from mental to physical to psychological and sometimes all three. A 2008 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 14 percent of children in this country fit into this category, and about 20 percent of families have at least one special-needs child. The definition of a special-needs child can range from one who is diagnosed with a mild learning disability to one who has a life-threatening condition, such as cystic fibrosis. This article will focus on the more severe categories.

A Leading Democrat’s Secret Advice On ‘The Jewish Vote’

A senior member of President Harry Truman's own administration secretly gave American Zionist lobbyists advice in 1946 on how to pressure Truman to support creating a Jewish state.

We Have A Lot To Learn From The Soviet Jewry Movement

The greatest Jewish success story in a quarter century has become unknown to many in less than a generation. On Dec. 6, 1987, when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in Washington, more than a quarter-million American Jews – Democrats and Republicans, observant and secular, and individuals representing the entire spectrum of Israeli politics – gathered on the National Mall with a single unified message as old as the Exodus story: “Let our people go!”

Despite Media Pile-On, Romney Isn’t Toast

So while some of us were celebrating the Jewish New Year and taking the last couple of days off from politics, it appears a video has more or less decided the election. That’s the assumption of much of the mainstream media about the impact of the release of the video of Mitt Romney speaking back in May at a private fundraiser about the 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay taxes. They think this means it’s time to put a fork in the Republican candidate.

The Price We Pay For Contempt

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
A monastery in Israel is desecrated, almost certainly by nationalist extremists. The desecration was condemned by the prime minister and others in the government. Chief Rabbi Metzger called it a “heinous deed.” The Internal Security minister did not hesitate to use the word “terror” and announced the formation of a special police unit to combat it. Many people traveled to the monastery to personally apologize, including Rabbi Dov Lipman of Beit Shemesh, who took brush in hand to help scrub the offensive words from the walls.

The Holocaust Then And Now

One of my searing early memories from Israel is a visit nearly four decades ago to the Ghetto Fighters Museum in the Beit Lohamei Hagetaot kibbutz. The world’s first Holocaust museum, it was built soon after the Independence War by survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Dr. Emily Landau: Obama himself used red lines twice this year.

America’s Ambivalent Iran Doctrine

Ironically, the less credible the threat of military force is, the more likely it is that military force will eventually have to be used.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

Behind the Palestinian Protests: A Renewed Fatah Bid to Remove PM Fayyad

It is no secret that Fatah has long been trying to get rid of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who, its representatives argue, had been imposed on the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.
Rimsha Masih

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws

Last year the governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer, was shot dead for merely suggesting the blasphemy laws should be changed.

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