As an American and a Jew, my experiences have led me to believe that accountability, responsiveness, transparency, and effectiveness in our democratic institutions set the stage for a thriving American Jewish community. Vibrant and vital governing and civil society institutions have led to deep and active participation and engagement by American Jews. Our country and
This spring, Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, came to speak at the University of Virginia, where I teach. As I approached the venue for the speech, I came across a young man sitting on the ground and holding a sign that read, “United Nations Targeted Resolutions Against Israel: 65, Palestine: 0.”
Israel has lived with its historical, political, and geographical contradictions since the (re)birth of the state, and it has always managed to overcome them while growing at an unbelievable, if at times disorderly, pace. “Contradictions” may therefore not be the appropriate term with which to grasp the country. The words “synergies’ and, above all, “ironies”
“Our hope is 2,000 years old, to be a free people in our land…” (“Hatikva,” the Israeli national anthem) “The problem with the status quo in Israel is that we are not free to marry the way we want, to practice Judaism the way we want, to study and live the way we want.” (Mor,
“I told the soldiers I teach: Love of Israel is not love of the land; it’s love of the people living in the land. There is no holiness in earth.” — Rabbi David Hartman True, the notion of “holy land” in our culture is dangerous; it often serves as a theological excuse to appropriate property
When a plane begins its final descent before landing, a miniature version of civilization emerges beneath the clouds. From the small, oval window of the plane, the passengers have a panoramic view of the scene below: clear blue swimming pools that fit into the palm of one’s hand, green track fields the size of place
Bernard Avishai: Only infrastructural integration and political interdependence — regionally and globally — will enable Palestine and Israel to grow fast enough to outpace their respective social problems and inequalities. Confederative institutions are, historically, what peoples build precisely when they do not trust one another and their economic realities do not permit separation.
The recent elections in Israel and the ensuing coalition negotiations have instated a government that, for the first time since 1994, does not include a Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) party. This much-trumpeted development has led pundits to predict dramatic changes to the so-called “status quo” — the historic agreement between the Orthodox and secular sectors on matters