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9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Selling GOP to Jewish ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Why does "the gender gap work in Obama's favor" because he leads among women? Couldn't it just as easily work in Romney's favor because he leads among men?

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Mitt Romney Is Real Ti... · 6 replies · -5 points

Thanks Noam Neusner for challenging the liberal Jewish equation of Judaism with liberalism. The Jewish injunction to repair a damaged world should never become a religious shield for moral oversimplification or intellectual fuzziness.

True, Judaism commands us to care for the needs of the less fortunate in our society. But is that an obligation for the state? For the individual? For Jewish communal institutions? What does Judaism say about the crushing debt we're leaving behind for our children and grandchildren?

And surely Judaism isn't only concerned about economic issues. How can our society promote stronger families? Should Jews be concerned that nearly half of all babies born this year will be born to unwed mothers?

And what of our particular obligations as Jews? How much weight should we give to Israel's security needs when casting our ballots? Should we support school choice programs, which could help make Jewish day schools more affordable to middle-class families, but might weaken the public school system?

These are all difficult questions to answer. Jewish sources can support liberal or conservative views, because Judaism is inherently neither a liberal nor a conservative religion. I'm grateful to Neusner for challenging the views in the Jewish community which automatically award the moral and religious high ground to left-wing political ideas. Judaism (and reality) is way too complicated for that sort of one-sided thinking.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Women Still in "Kitche... · 0 replies · +5 points

Does anyone seriously believe that non-Orthodox Jewish women are more likely to study Talmud than Orthodox Jewish women?

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Why No Love for Securi... · 0 replies · +1 points

When President Obama took office, he hoped to finalize a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians by 2011. This was pure wishful thinking. There can be peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but it will take many more years of the sort of the Palestinian institution building that Gen. Dayton was so productive in facilitating.

Giving the Palestinians the makings of a state will give them something to lose, and could motivate them to make the sorts of concessions (territory, refugees, etc.) that Arafat and Abbas have balked at up until now. Building viable Palestinian institutions and increasing security cooperation would also convince the Israelis that the Palestinians are serious, and could convince the Israelis its safe to make concessions on settlements, Jerusalem, etc.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Israel\'s Best Friends... · 0 replies · +1 points

1) The "right-wing legal scholars" who argue that settlements are legal under international law include Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, ICC Justice Stephen Schwebel, Eugene Rostow, and Alan Dershowitz.

2) Chazan fails to elaborate on the "attack on Israel's human rights community." If she did, she'd have to admit that the NGO laws Israel passed are similar to American laws in requiring political groups to disclose any funding they receive from foreign governments. There is no serious effort to prevent Israeli citizens from advocating for human rights.

3) Participation in Israeli democracy is admirable and commendable, regardless of one's political perspective. To the extent that the NIF participates in the Israeli political dialogue, it is to be praised. Funding groups that promote BDS, encourage biased anti-Israel UN reports, and increase oversees hostility to Israel is neither admirable nor commendable. Unfortunately, the NIF engages in this as well.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Senate Wades Into \'Re... · 0 replies · +2 points

Leila Hilal is right. Supporters of the Senate bill do want to undermine the Palestinian claim to return millions of alleged refugees into Israel, because we think this "right" is one of the most significant barriers to a two state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians.

If the State Department is going to call an angry press conference every time new apartments go up in Ramat Shlomo or French Hill, then maybe we should object to this (genuine) obstacle to peace as well.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Silencing of the Liber... · 0 replies · +16 points

We need some consistent standards about what constitutes "silencing" in our community.

Many Jewish liberals lobbied to get Sarah Palin disinvited from an anti-Ahmadinejad rally at the UN in September of 2008 after Hillary Clinton declined an invitation to speak alongside Palin. Ultimately, the event organizers buckled and Palin was asked not to speak. Liberal groups like J Street celebrated that the organizers had cancelled an appearance by someone whose views didn't align with their "Jewish values."

This is the liberal Jewish playbook. When conservatives demand equal time, they're "silencing" liberals. When liberals prevent a conservative from speaking under any conditions, it's a victory for "Jewish values."

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Pension Extends Covera... · 0 replies · +1 points

These liberal rabbis have to confirm "that they do not believe in more than one God." This means that an atheist rabbi could be included.

The Shema--the seminal statement of Jewish faith--declares that we believe in exactly one God.

Perhaps these liberal rabbis would concur with Christopher Hitchens' memorable statement that the Jews "whittled the number of gods down to one, and thereby got closer to the correct, round number."

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Jewish Student Blasted... · 2 replies · -1 points

Ashton Cohen is not Islamophobic. He's spent time in Muslim countries, and bought the costume he wore to the party in Dubai. Two of the three girls in the photo are Muslim, and they apparently got the joke and understood that there was no animosity intended.

If the MSA, ASU, and SJP are concerned about bigotry at UCSD, they should talk to the girl from the UCSD MSA who became a YouTube sensation when she endorsed Hassan Nasrallah's position that "Jews should gather in Israel, so we don't have to hunt them down globally."

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Explosive Dust-Up Over... · 1 reply · +1 points

I'm not sure why JJ Goldberg was surprised to learn that Israelis have vigorous political debates. The fact that Olmert and Dagan disagree with Netanyahu and Barak doesn't mean there's "no consensus" in Israel. It means that there is a lively political process.

The better question is not whether Israelis disagree on Iran policy, but how much of a political constituency Olmert and Dagan actually have. My guess is not much. Olmert left office with a single digit approval rating after a failed war in Lebanon and an ongoing corruption scandal. Dagan was not renewed as Mossad director after the compromised Dubai raid.

When Israelis go to the polls in their own country (as opposed to expensive conferences in New York) we can see what the actual "consensus" in Israel believes.