Opinion

JNS.org offers opinion and commentary on a variety of news and lifestyle topics. Shillman Analyst for JNS.org Ben Cohen is a regular contributor. To select another topic, choose from the other content “categories” in our navigation bar.

Latest News

In October, the State Department notified UNESCO that America would withdraw from the U.N. cultural body. The U.S. cited the need for fundamental reform, mounting arrears and “anti-Israel bias” at the organization. But the problem is much deeper: UNESCO does not consider Jewish culture and heritage worthy of protection, writes columnist Sean Durns.

For many NGOs, besmirching Israel’s name is the goal, not improving the universal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. The disconnect between real human rights work and hollow social media advocacy campaigns is stark. There is little evidence that internet-based slacktivism generates lasting change, writes columnist Rena Young.

The “P is for Palestine” children’s book that is causing so much controversy presents anti-Israel propaganda and deeply disturbing justifications for “intifada” violence. But it also contains one very important truth—the author helps remind readers of the true nature of Palestinian nationalism, writes JNS columnist Stephen M. Flatow.

Like so many pins in a bowling alley, the treacherous former Argentine leaders who signed a secret pact exonerating Iran of its responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires are, finally, collapsing under the rolling weight of judicial scrutiny. During the same week that saw President Donald Trump recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the events that took place in Argentina are vitally relevant to the future of the Middle East, where Iran—with or without a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem—remains the greatest threat to Israel and to the region, writes JNS columnist Ben Cohen.

The Palestinians need to learn that no matter what dangerous illusions of conquest they are teaching their children, Israel will never cede its capital of Jerusalem—not after 3,000 years of history. They need to learn, once and for all, that Israel is here to stay. In this way, Trump’s announcement of American policy changes on Jerusalem was a sorely needed dose of reality therapy for the Palestinians, writes columnist Sarah N. Stern.

That President Donald Trump embraced the reality of Israel’s capital and the rights of the Jewish people to Jerusalem in a way that didn’t foreclose the theoretical possibility of a two-state solution helped shore up the pro-Israel consensus. But while the support for Trump’s move is encouraging for those hoping to strengthen the bonds between American Jews and Israelis, celebrations must be tempered, writes JNS Editor in Chief Jonathan S. Tobin.

The Taylor Force Act started out as a powerful and long-overdue tool for pressuring the Palestinian Authority to stop paying terrorists. But the legislation has been diluted, weakened and compromised in so many ways that it is now a pale shadow of its former self, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.

Following the completion of an Israeli state investigation into Breaking the Silence’s (BtS) spokesperson, it’s time for European funders to choose between engaging with the Israeli public or continuing to support BtS’s smearing of Israel’s society, writes columnist Daniel Laufer.

Why is President Donald Trump contemplating moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move that smart people consider foolish? It’s possible that Trump is either being guided to or is stumbling along a path that could be saner than the supposedly safer course steered by his predecessors on Jerusalem, writes JNS.org Editor-in-Chief Jonathan S. Tobin.

Back in the 1990s, civil rights activists coined the term “DWB” (driving while black) to highlight the frequency of incidents in which African-American motorists were stopped by the police without just cause. In the wake of Thursday’s mob attack in Israel, it’s time to coin a new term: “WWJ,” walking while Jewish, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.

Congregants across the U.S. should wake up and understand what is at stake when groups that spew hatred against Israel, and rationalize terror rather than confronting it, are given a misguided seal of approval from Jewish communities, write columnists Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov.

Well, it is that time of year again. No, not Hanukkah or Christmas, but the Jerusalem Embassy Act waiver deadline. It comes around every six months and was a rather quiet affair—until the presidency of Donald Trump. Christian Zionist leader Susan M. Michael urges Trump not to sign another waiver and to fully implement a U.S. law that has been in place for more than 20 years.

Like bad poker players, history’s crooks and liars have an obvious tell. Whether it’s a communist leader in the Kremlin or a cult leader in his compound, the tell is always the same. Today, the desperate effort to suppress objective inquiry is most prevalent on college campuses. The new anti-intellectuals typically target conservative and religious ideas. And as is so often the case with such extremists, many of them are obsessed with Jews, writes David Brog, executive director of the Maccabee Task Force.

Congress will soon re-authorize Title VI of the Higher Educational Opportunities Act. The original legislative intent was to cultivate a consortium of university graduates who were best equipped to deal with the Soviet threat during the Cold War. But through the years, the intent has been turned on its head. Today, the U.S. pours $65 million annually into various regional studies centers run by staffers who overwhelmingly possess strong anti-American, anti-Western and anti-Israeli biases, writes columnist Sarah N. Stern.

By determining that the PLO can keep its office in Washington so long as the activities conducted there are “related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” the Trump administration is ignoring U.S. law and making a very Obama-like move toward Israel, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.

Americans have good reason to be skeptical of Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis are right to alert President Donald Trump to the need to get over his foolish notions about Russia and recommit to holding the line against Iran. If Trump fails to listen to them, the price paid by the U.S. and its allies could be higher than he thinks, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.

Some will argue that Gérard Filoche, who has been expelled by the French Socialist Party (PS) over an anti-Semitic tweet, has the right to free speech. But an elected official’s first responsibility is to the electors, the taxpayers and the entire community one serves. PS was right to boot Filoche from its ranks, and parties in other countries dealing with instances of anti-Semitism should feel free to copy its example, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.

Instead of merely repeating the mistakes of its predecessors, the Trump administration should instead try a paradigm shift that will predicate peace on a simple concept: the Palestinians have to admit they’ve lost their war on Zionism, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.

Robert Mugabe, the ailing 93-year-old dictator of Zimbabwe, finds himself under house arrest in the same country where he proclaimed himself a “Hitler.” He might get to live out his remaining months in out-of-sight luxury, rather than where he belongs—in a prison cell. When we are reduced to looking at dictators through the lens of historical analysis, rather than placing them on trial in the halls of justice, we are compelled to consider the role of our own governments and societies in perpetuating their rule, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.

Ten members of Congress have introduced a bill to prevent U.S. aid to Israel from being used to arrest Palestinian terrorists who are under the age of 18. The bill characterizes young terrorists merely as “Palestinian children” and contends that their arrest by the Israeli army constitutes “abuse.” It’s worth recalling a few examples of the behavior of these “children” in recent years, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.