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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Is the Jewish State dividing American Jewry?

By Jonathan Rosenblum

At Israel Independence Day, an examining of shifting priorities




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The creation last October of the Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI) flew under the media radar screen, at least outside of Indiana. But the new group may prove to be a harbinger of a growing split in the American Jewish community.

Once, Israel served to unify the bickering factions of US Jewry; today, it is more often a source of heightened tensions.

JAACI came into existence as an alternative to the local Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the advocacy wing of the local Jewish Federation.

The local JCRC pointedly left out of its mission statement the second goal of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the national umbrella organization of local JCRCs: "To dedicate ourselves to the safety and security of the state of Israel." Like many other JCRCs across America, it focused its advocacy efforts primarily on "social justice issues," such as opposing the school voucher initiative of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels — which holds the promise of substantially boosting Jewish parochial education.

JCRC-sponsored programs devoted to Israel typically included "pro-Palestinian" voices to maintain balance.

JAACI's first scheduled event was addressed by the current speaker of the Indiana House, Brian Bosma, who expressed appreciation for new views being heard for the first time from the organized Jewish community. JAACI, for instance, actively supported school vouchers, and it crafted a pro-Israel resolution that unanimously passed both houses of the Indiana legislature, reaffirming the right of Israel, America's "greatest friend and ally," to defend itself.


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THE BREAKAWAY from the JCRC in Indiana will likely prove the first of many such reactions to the perceived passivity of the traditional communal organizations on Israel. Plans are well advanced to create an alternative to the local JCRC in one of America's largest Jewish communities. An organization called JCC Watch has accused the New York Federationfunded Jewish Community Center of the Upper West Side of partnering with numerous organizations that support, directly or indirectly, organizations actively promoting the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel.

The discontent among rank-and-file Jews has much to do with the federations' politicization and seeming indifference to Israel's image. The New York Federation has recently come under attack for providing over $1 million to the George Soros-funded Jewish Funds for Justice, which coordinated the January ad in The Wall Street Journal, signed by 400 heterodox rabbis calling for Fox News to sanction Glenn Beck for inappropriate Holocaust analogies. Beck, as anyone who watched his broadcasts after the recent Itamar slaughter knows, is one of Israel's staunchest defenders in the media.

The Washington, DC Federation funds an anti- Israel Jewish theater troupe called Theater J. Among the recent offerings was Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children, a short play based on the metaphor of Israeli Jews as today's Nazis. The theater company also sponsored a bus trip to a showing of the anti- Israel agitprop My Name is Rachel Corrie. The Orange County Federation and the Hillel at University of California, Irvine participate in the Olive Tree Initiative — two-week trips to Israel on which students are exposed to both Palestinian and Israeli speakers who share an animus for Israel. One of those early speakers was a prominent Hamas leader (whose participation the Federation subsequently protested).

Philadelphia's JCRC recently sponsored a night on the theme of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. Unnoted by any of the presenters was that Israeli Arabs enjoy political freedoms unknown to any other Arabs in the Middle East, as well as higher levels of prosperity, and are represented in Israeli universities in proportion to their percentage of the overall population.

At the recent General Assembly of Jewish Federations, $6m. was allocated to the creation of the Israel Action Network (IAN) to combat the BDS movement. Martin Raffel, vice president of the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, was chosen to head the new initiative. He argues that Jewish groups calling only for the boycott of goods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines should not be treated as outside the communal tent. Thus the head of the mainstream community's anti-boycott efforts legitimates this tactic.

Perhaps most ominous is the recent appointment of Richard Jacobs to head the Union of Reform Judaism, which claims to represent the largest group of synagogue-affiliated Jews in America. Jacobs sits on the boards of both J Street and the New Israel Fund. The former actively opposed sanctions against Iran, is currently working against a congressional resolution urging the administration to take a tougher stand on Palestinian incitement, enthusiastically endorsed the Goldstone Report and escorted its author around Capitol Hill, and urged the Obama administration not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning the illegality of the settlements.

NOWHERE HAS the failure of the mainstream organizations been more obvious than on university campuses. They have failed to protect Jewish students or to provide them with the information and resources necessary to defend themselves against relentless anti-Israel propaganda. The Zionist Organization of America is the only long-time mainstream organization actively involved in the defense of Jewish students.

When it comes to speakers and information, the bulk of the heavy lifting is being done by smaller groups: CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting), the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the Hasbara Fellowships.

Jessica Felber, a Berkeley student, sued the University of California for "ignoring mounting evidence of anti-Jewish animus" and "physical intimidation and violence by Students for Justice in Palestine," after the leader of the latter group slammed her from behind with a loaded shopping cart as she held aloft a sign proclaiming "Israel wants peace."

And Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, finally prevailed upon the Justice Department to open an investigation of her own university under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, for permitting an environment in which "professors, academic departments, and residential colleges promote and encourage anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish views and behaviors."

Felber and Rossman-Benjamin's efforts to fight back were supported by the ZOA and little-known groups such the Institute for Jewish Community Research and The Fellowship for Campus Safety and Integrity. Meanwhile, the American Jewish Committee's Kenneth Stern publicly criticized the use of Title VI on behalf of Jewish students.

Even the most Jewishly identified students become apologetic, if not absolutely cowed, when the subject of Israel arises. The David Horowitz Freedom Center took out an ad in the Brown University paper entitled "The Palestinian Wall of Lies."

A group of students affiliated with Brown's Hillel wrote to the paper to criticize the "Islamophobic and racist" nature of the ad, and opined that such "spiteful and bigoted words" should not be permitted in the Brown community. The letter did not quote one word from the advertisement, much less refute its wholly unremarkable statements. Interestingly, none of the same students had written to protest Israel Apartheid Week or criticize the Muslim Students Association for sponsoring it. Similar responses to the Horowitz ad were sent by Jewish students at University of Pennsylvania and Yale.

IN 1990, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, explained on Jordanian TV that a powerful Arab lobby could conquer the campuses and media. Their key allies, he said, would be Jewish progressives.

The latter have fulfilled their assigned role.

Thirty professors of Jewish studies recently signed a petition urging Orange County prosecutors to drop charges against Arab students who tried to prevent Ambassador Michael Oren from speaking at UC Irvine. Criminal prosecution would be antithetical to an "academic and intellectual environment," they wrote, though presumably forcibly preventing pro- Israel speakers from being heard is not.

Many left-wing Jews no longer wish to be bothered by arguments or facts about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel has made their lives uncomfortable, and as far as they are concerned, it should just give the Palestinians whatever they want already. The late Tony Judt, a kibbutz volunteer as a teenager, epitomized the trend.

In his famous New York Review of Books piece, Judt labeled Israel (but none of the 57 or so Muslim countries) an "atavism," based on a religious-ethnic identity, that should disappear. At the end of his long diatribe, he let drop his real gripe: Israel had made faculty sherry hours unpleasant for him.

New Yorker editor David Remnick follows in Judt's footsteps: "Even people like me, who understand that not only one side is responsible for the conflict and that the Palestinians missed a historic opportunity for peace in 2000, can't take it any more," he writes. "Sorry, it can't go on this way," he lectures us, instructing us to accept whatever President Barack Obama suggests. If that is how Jewish adults react to criticism, how can we expect college students to do any better? That American Jews can no longer rally around Israel is a tragedy. But it would be a far greater tragedy if those Jews who identify with the Jewish state and are comfortable defending it continued to let ineffectual communal organizations speak for them.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of Jewish Media Resources and a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post's domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. Rosenblum lives in Jerusalem with his wife and eight children.






© 2011, Jonathan Rosenblum