US-Israeli Relationship

December 14, 2018

The US-Israeli relationship is complicated, dynamic, multidimensional, and enduring. From initial American governmental opposition to the present, Washington has become Israel’s most trusted ally. Rooted in common bonds, entrenched military sharing, and valued strategic interests, the association has also greatly influenced the shaping and sustenance of American Jewish identity.

Cultural Diversity in Israel’s Music Scene: Aveva Dese, A Rising Star

December 12, 2018

Aveva Dese, an Ethiopian-Israeli singer & songwriter, is a rising star in Israel’s music scene. Many of her songs are in Amharic (official language of Ethiopia) and represent a greater trend of Israeli musicians performing in various diasporic-Jewish languages spoken by members of their families and communities.

Miracles and Memory — Hanukkah

December 6, 2018

Perhaps more than any other Jewish holiday, Hanukkah has valuable significance and connection to both ancient Israel and the modern Jewish State.  With its focus on Jewish self-determination in its own land, the holiday served as an inspiration to the founders of the state and its symbols still permeate Israeli society. Remembering the story, how we persevered, deepens the memory for the next generation.

Israeli NGO sends aid to California in wake of unprecedented wildfire

December 3, 2018

Israeli NGO, IsraAID, is sending an emergency response team to California to help communities affected by the unprecedented fires that have killed 80 and destroyed over 13,000 homes and buildings. More than 1,300 people are still listed as missing. After a request from local communities, IsraAID is to conduct a needs assessment of the population in affected areas, promote community resilience and recovery, and distribute relief items to families currently staying in temporary accommodation after losing their homes in the fires.

Not Quite that Close: Israel’s Policy towards China

November 26, 2018

Over recent weeks, a serious debate has taken place on the pages of Mosaic Magazine on Israeli-Chinese relations. First came a detailed study by Arthur Herman, a respected scholar on aspects of Israeli foreign policy. Then came stern warnings from one of America’s best “China hands,” Dan Blumenthal, that “Israel’s Embrace of China is Sorely Misguided,” and from a strong and steady friend, Elliott Abrams, who wrote that “Israel mustn’t let its economic relationship with China threaten its political relationship with America.”

Strengthening Jewish Unity by Strengthening Israeli Democracy

November 15, 2018

As Israel enters its eighth decade, the delicate balance between the state’s two dominant characteristics – Jewish and democratic – has arguably never been more contested. Recent steps perceived to have upset this balance have had implications not only inside Israel, but also vis-à-vis Israel’s relationship with Diaspora Jewry. The Israeli governments backtrack on the Western Wall/Kotel compromise has alienated many Reform and Conservative Jews the world over. The recently-passed Nation-State Basic Law raised concerns about a growing illiberal Israel putting particular Jewish values over more universal values like equality and democracy. The memory of 1967, to say nothing of 1948, increasingly becomes more abstract. Both Israeli society and Diaspora Jewry have undergone significant changes in the intervening decades.

Rising Streams: Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel

November 14, 2018

Overall, Israeli public attitudes toward the Reform and Conservative Movements in particular and pluralistic expressions of Judaism in Israel in general are positive. Sympathy is highest among secular Israelis on the political left and center, turning to mixed feelings or neutrality among traditional Israelis on the center-right and hostility among the Orthodox and Haredi on the political right. A majority of Israeli Jews favor granting recognition and equal rights to progressive Jewish communities.

Jordan’s Summer of Discontent and Its Consequences

November 6, 2018

On October 21, 2018, Jordan’s King Abdullah II informed Israel that he would not renew two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan that leased the territory of Naharayim and Zofar to Israel. Many factors contributed to this decision, including Jordan’s anger over its exclusion from issues related to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the recent diplomatic talks with the Palestinians. The single most significant factor that led to this decision, however, was Abdullah’s need to shore up his legitimacy in the aftermath of the protests and social unrest that erupted in Jordan over the summer.

China-Israel Relations: Growing Cooperation Amidst Conflicting Interests

November 1, 2018

In the past decade, relations between Israel and China have become closer, following a decision in Jerusalem to diversify and expand Israel’s ties with emerging powers and countries that do not belong to the European Union and are less identified with the American coalition. The visit to Israel by China’s vice president is evidence of the warming of relations between the two countries.

Divide Between American and Israeli Jews: President Trump and his Policies

October 22, 2018

Looking back on a June 10, 2018 article by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, we can see polling data reflect a divide between Israeli and American Jews when it comes to approval of President Trump’s policies.

The Logic of Israel’s Actions to Contain Iran in Syria and Lebanon

October 18, 2018

Israel’s opposition to Iranian entrenchment in Syria and Lebanon is twofold: To prevent Iran from building a beachhead against Israel through its proxies on Israel’s borders, and to impede development of Iran’s nuclear and long-range missile capabilities. Israel is absolutely determined and prepared to act forcefully against Iran, which could lead to a full-scale war. Israel must win this struggle against Iran, one way or another.

70 Years of Israel-Diaspora relations: the next Generation

October 12, 2018

The Jewish People celebrates, in 2018, 70 years of sovereignty. There are still many challenges confronting the Jewish state today. But at the same time, Israel can note that 70 years of independence had brought her to unfathomable heights of success beyond any dreams held at its founding.