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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Op-eds

The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Enable

I could not believe my eyes. I was a young prosecutor handling night court arraignments. Basically, I was formally accusing each defendant of a crime and then asking for bail. The courtroom that night was packed with Hasidim, each one trying to get my attention. And, then, I found out why. Next up? A 23-year-old yeshiva student accused of sexually abusing his 10-year-

A Response from WOW - The High Road at the Western Wall

On July 7, 2013 Rosh Hodesh Av, I witnessed the police stand idly by while ultra-Orthodox (haredi) extremists verbally and physically abused women. In the days that followed I read as blog posts ran all over the internet blaming the scene on Women of the Wall for sensationalism and provocation.  These types of articles blaming women of one side or another

Arab Christians: Israel Only State Worth Fighting For

Arab Christian residents of Nazareth who proudly serve in the Israeli army and encourage their children to do the same are coming under increasing attack, and Israel is starting to take notice and come to their aid.

For a number of years now, a group of Nazareth Christians who are officers in the Israeli army have been actively recruiting young local Arabs to

The Revolution in Egypt: Recommendations for Israel

Egyptian military commanders, having learned the lessons of the 2011 revolution, were careful during the revolution of 2013 not to place themselves at the forefront, but to promote civilian figures acceptable to the public to lead during the transition period. The army and security forces will now have to deal with suppressing opposition by Muslim Brotherhood

Netanyahu’s Choice: Will He Be a Peacemaker or a Pariah?

Only one man in Israel can decide whether there will be two states or one between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean: Benjamin Netanyahu. Now is his chance for greatness – or disgrace.

Anwar Sadat’s decision to fly to Jerusalem was an immensely historical turning point - and changed the face of the Middle East. The Egyptian leader’s decision presented

The Liberal-Traditional Dialogue with the Brick Wall

The conversation between liberal Jewish movements and Orthodoxy sometimes sounds like both sides are talking to a brick wall. Neither side can penetrate the thinking of the other or evoke the slightest of comprehension. Both sides walk away from the conversation feeling deeply hurt and undervalued. This lack of mutual understanding is especially apparent in the

The Mesorah of Chesed

In keeping with our mission to provide our readers with food for thought, the editors felt this piece would stimulate discussion. It has been edited for brevity and clarity.

The Five Towns—I attended an event in my neighborhood recently, where rabbis I used to study with were adamant about haredi boys never going into the IDF.  One of the speakers

Haredim in IDF Portrayed as Vermin in Haredi Propaganda Posters

In ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, anti-IDF posters recall Nazi propaganda. A slew of fliers, reportedly part of a contest started by a member of an extremist group, liken those who join army to bugs and vermin. As the JLBC went to press, a riot broke out in Mea Shearim, when a haredi soldier walked through the neighborhood and was attacked by a mob of at

Why Is Israel So Afraid of the Arab Peace Initiative?

Israel could easily make peace with Iran: it only needs to evacuate some settlements, allow a few Palestinian refugees to enter Israel, and the bitter enmity between Jerusalem and Tehran is a thing of the past.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple—but there is a theoretical kernel of truth to the aforementioned proposition. According to the Arab Peace

Can We Stop the Hate With Music?

Paradise Valley—With the Three Weeks approaching, and TishaB’Av looming in the not too far distance, reading the news and seeing videos about the behavior of Jewish people and everyone else from around the world has not been encouraging. Sinat Chinom is everywhere. It is now a crime to want to compromise, to go down a middle road. It can be a matter of observance,

Multiple Chief Rabbis Would Guarantee Religious Freedom

In a month or so, 150 rabbis and representatives of the public are set to vote on the future of Israel’s rabbinate—ostensibly choosing between maintaining the current status quo or opting for a more open-minded and publicly sensitive Orthodox leader.

More than any other institution in modern Israel, the Rabbinate is the product of a short-sighted and

Celebrating Israel– In My Opinion

I “celebrate Israel” practically every day in one way or another—whether it is reading the news about Israel’s government, its fascinating technological breakthroughs, or even munching on my favorite Kvuzat Yavne green olives. But, once a year, when New York City’s Fifth Avenue turns into a sea of blue and white, there is no greater feeling of pride for an