Apr 29, 2014

On The Holocaust, Take Abbas At His Word–for Now


As peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians continue to unravel, Yom HaShoah [Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day], of all dark days, suddenly emerged as a revitalizing light for the stalled negotiations. And Holocaust memory itself, improbably, found a new devotee in the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, a man who once had a shaky command of the Shoah. In both English and Arabic, President Abbas acknowledged the Holocaust as the most heinous crime against humanity in modern history.
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Apr 22, 2014

Passover Week Hate Crimes Evoke Horrible History

Daily Beast

Even during the best of years, Passover, with all that Seder plate symbolism and forbidden grains, is usually a tough holiday for Jews. But this year was different from other years, where a subplot marred the happy ending of the Exodus story and where the bread of affliction (matzo to most people) was not the most distasteful reminder of Jewish suffering.
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Apr 15, 2014

How Safe Are Jews In America?: The Kansas City Shootings Should Prompt Jews To Add A Fifth Question To The Haggadah


A few short weeks ago Jews around the United States breathed a collective sigh of relief upon hearing the results of the Anti-Defamation League's annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents. The number of such incidents continued its decade-long plunge, dropping by yet another 19 percent last year to nearly the lowest level since the ADL started maintaining these statistics in 1979. With the ADL's audit serving as an auxiliary Haggadah at the seder table, thoughts of liberation from the perennial evils of anti-Semitism were a fitting prologue to this year's Passover. Yet, unsurprisingly perhaps and not unlike the plagues of old, the hatred of Jews, even in America, wasn't about to disappear so easily. The ADL audit, alas, would produce no Dayenu moment. The initial news ultimately proved too good to be true.
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