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Seventy future IDF soldiers—more than half of them women—immigrated to Israel from North America this week, arriving on an El Al Airlines flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency. “I realized that if [IDF soldiers] felt [Israel] was my home, and I felt it was my home, then shouldn’t it be my duty to protect it too?” said Sophie Stillman of Hopkins, Minn., one of the future soldiers arriving on the aliyah flight Aug. 15.
Some 80 students from 13 different countries participated in a high-level training conference that prepares students to make Israel's case to various audiences, including anti-Israel professors and campus activists, many of whom lead the BDS campaign against the Jewish state. "There's a global problem, which is attested this year by the many countries the kids are coming from. But the very good news is the spirit and positive energy of the wonderful students who care about Israel and its cause,” said Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA, the conference's organizer.
Several top experts on nuclear proliferation and Iran told JNS.org the failure to successfully deal with North Korea sets a precedent for a similar result with the Islamic Republic. “If a short-term delay causes the international community to be lulled into a false sense that the [nuclear] deal ‘is working,’ as we are hearing lately from deal supporters, it is likely to wake up with a nuclear Iran that will be as firmly entrenched as North Korea,” said Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies.
Those who refuse to listen to or to associate with political opponents are at the core of our society’s current political illness, in which we have been divided into two warring camps that have lost the ability to listen to each other. That’s why if you think Dennis Prager must be boycotted or believe Morton Klein is as much of a threat to American Jewry as Islamist terrorists, then don’t bother the rest of us with hypocritical complaints about President Donald Trump, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
Two prominent U.S. senators are raising questions about an American-funded school in Ramallah that is running an extremist summer camp for Palestinian teens from around the world, many of them Americans. The controversial summer program, called “Go Palestine,” is run by the Ramallah Friends School, a 148-year-old Quaker institution in the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital. Its stated mission is to provide Palestinian teens from abroad with “introductions to Palestinian culture, cuisine, life and work, and the Arabic language.” But in addition to traditional summer camp fare, Go Palestine participants are immersed in anti-Israel films and lectures by militants, some with terrorist connections.
One of the strongest sources of support for Israel has been found among evangelical Christians in the U.S. Yet today, evangelical Christian millennials, like the rest of their generation, are becoming less religiously observant, which Christian leaders fear may eventually erode support in their community for the Jewish state. In order to counter this trend, Christian leaders are taking a page from the Jewish playbook by launching 10-day trips to Israel for college-age adults.
Compelling the Palestinian Authority to reject a culture of violence that ensures the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue indefinitely is the only hope for the conflict’s resolution. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
The darkness around President Donald Trump, his character and his intentions should not obscure the occasional rays of light emanating from his administration. Yet the rays of light do not tell us a great deal about how Trump thinks the world should be organized—assuming he thinks about that subject at all, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.
When presidential adviser Jared Kushner said in a private discussion that “there may be no solution” to the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel, he was just stating the obvious. For nearly a century, self-appointed wise men have claimed to have the solution, but every such proposal has proved to be a mirage, writes columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
The Trump administration has reportedly reached a new contract with the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems to implement advanced security systems on the U.S. border with Mexico. According to reports that emerged last weekend in Hebrew- and English-language Israeli media, an American delegation recently visited Israel to tour the country’s borders with Gaza and Egypt. Delegation members were pitched on a “smart border” security concept for the U.S.-Mexico border.
As a child, Eliana Rudee spent her summers at Camp Solomon Schechter, a Conservative Jewish camp in Western Washington. The camp was founded on Zionist principles and served as a safe haven to build Jewish community for many campers who might be the only Jews in their schools and hometowns. But this safe haven was shaken last week when the Palestinian flag was raised over the campgrounds, writes Rudee, a fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center.
Former Israeli diplomats charge that the State Department is recycling parts of its old reports in order to whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incitement to violence. The State Department last week released its annual assessment of global terrorism for the year 2016, claiming the PA works “to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.” Alan Baker, former deputy director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, told JNS.org the State Department is seemingly “taking previous reports and copying them, making slight changes where they consider it relevant.”
The State Department’s “evenhanded” statement. The U.S.-backed Middle East Quartet’s call for “restraint.” President Donald Trump sending his international negotiations representative to the region to “mediate.” It all adds up to one thing: American pressure on Israel to make concessions. The July 14 terror attack that killed two Israeli policemen is a clear-cut case of Palestinian aggression if ever there was one, and the Trump administration should have been clearly on Israel’s side from the beginning, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire, has all the makings of a character in a Hasidic fable. He sees no moral contradiction in funding the forces for an “open society” in Eastern Europe, while giving at the same time to left-wing lobby groups advocating for a diminished relationship between the U.S. and Israel, the single sovereign open society in the Middle East. He values the “universal” in Judaism and cares little for the “particular.” Yet Soros is the target of anti-Semitism in his native Hungary. Is Soros being targeted as a man or as a symbol? Even if there is a trace of the former, it’s the overwhelming presence of the latter that should keep us healthily skeptical, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.
Before Israel decided Monday to remove recently installed metal detectors that were meant to intercept terrorists on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, there was a broad consensus among American Jewish leaders in support of the security measure. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations “supports taking the necessary and appropriate steps to assure security for all and to protect the sanctity of these holy sites,” the umbrella group’s CEO, Malcolm Hoenlein, had told JNS.org. Among dovish groups, Dr. Michael Koplow, policy director of the Israel Policy Forum, had called the metal detectors “a commonsense and relatively unobtrusive way to protect the safety of both Jews and Muslims on the Temple Mount and its environs.”
The president of The Forward newspaper thinks there is a “mobilized faction” in the American Jewish community attempting to “censor” dovish views, but other editors and leaders of some left-of-center Jewish organizations see things differently. The dispute arises from comments by Samuel Norich, The Forward’s president, during a panel discussion that aired July 12 on the Jewish Broadcasting Service. At the center of the discussion was The Forward’s recent decision to publish a full-page ad supporting imprisoned Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.
Mayim Bialik, a star on the CBS hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” launched a witty new video campaign this week for SodaStream, succeeding actress Scarlett Johansson as the official pitchwoman for the Israeli beverage carbonation company. In an interview with JNS.org, Bialik praised SodaStream—which employs both Israeli and Palestinian workers—for embodying “diversity, coexistence and peace.” The company’s former headquarters were situated beyond Israel’s pre-1967 lines, making SodaStream a target of the BDS movement. “As so many people in Israel know, people from different religions, ethnicities and nationalities can work together in peace and harmony despite what the media wants us to believe,” Bialik said.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) recently launched “Deadly Exchange” campaign opposes initiatives that promote joint training programs between U.S. police and Israeli security forces. JVP is claiming African-Americans are being murdered because of Israel and its Jewish supporters, engaging in a new version of the old anti-Semitic blood libel. While the Jewish communal tent should be as large as possible, there is no place in it for those like JVP who encourage hatred against Jews, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
The U.S. consul general in Jerusalem recently set off on the first leg of a 200-mile hike that will simultaneously promote one pro-Palestinian myth while inadvertently exploding another. Consul General Donald Blome is ignoring Israeli hiking trails in Judea and Samaria, and instead is making his way across the Ibrahim Path, which runs from northern Samaria to southern Judea. Thousands of Palestinian hikers each year traverse the Ibrahim trail without interruption—there are no Israeli “occupation” troops along the journey. Perhaps that is something for Blome to contemplate while he hikes, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.