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Old Beit Midrash building, Lakewood NJ USA 

Will black be the answer to US Jews’ diaspora blues?

In a recent speaking tour in the US, I kept coming across Jews who were consumed by anxiety that so many of their young people were turning against Israel. I had encountered such anxiety on previous trips, but this time it was worse than ever before. Their children, they said, were being hoodwinked by bigoted hostility to Israel — wildly ridiculous lies and libels that they were choosing to believe because these formed the default anti-Zionist narrative on campus. What was to be done to reverse this, the parents repeatedly…

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driver USA 

Driver tries to run down Los Angeles Jews

Another antisemitic attack in the US as a driver tries to run down Jews walking from synagogue in Los Angeles. Quick, let’s blame Trump! Oh wait… Video from a security camera shows the driver apparently trying to hit two men dressed in clothing typically worn by Orthodox Jews on Shabbat. The driver, who has been identified as 32-year-old Mohammed Mohammed, reversed and tried to hit them again. The man reportedly insulted a group of Jewish people leaving the synagogue before he got into his vehicle and attempted to run them…

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migrants USA 

Echoes of another border invasion

When President Trump called the Central American migrant “caravan” an “invasion”, this was promptly denounced as yet more evidence of his racism. Of course. But of course it was an invasion, as is now plain. Yesterday, US Customs and Border Protection agents shut down the San Ysidro port of entry, among the largest border crossings between San Diego and Tijuana, after hundreds of migrants tried to breach the US-Mexico border fence and threw rocks and other projectiles at border police. Trump ordered up thousands of troops to repel them. Tear…

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tikkun Britain Israel USA 

The nation as an island: the source of Israel’s resilience

At this week’s annual dinner in London of the Anglo-Israel Association, which promotes understanding of Israel in the UK, the Israeli thinker Daniel Gordis poignantly described Israel as an island surrounded by enemies. This image of Israel under siege is currently all too apposite. With Iran’s regime now entrenched through its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, Israel now faces a genocidal enemy on three simultaneous fronts. In the face of these dangers, not to mention the recent mini-war when thousands of rockets from Gaza rained down on southern Israel,…

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trump-netanyahu-israel-museum-2017 USA 

The muddled obsessions of progressive American Jews

Having spent the past week or so in Los Angeles, I have been struck once again by the deep anxiety in the American Jewish community over the intensifying demonization of Israel on campus and over self-styled progressive Jews. I have also been exposed to the even more intense divisions within that community over President Donald Trump. One of the most bizarre conceits among those who hate him is that he’s an antisemite, or at the very least knowingly encourages antisemites. A guest of the Hanukkah celebration at the White House…

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Truth Vanquishing Falsehood; Alfred Stevens, 1867-8 USA 

How Pittsburgh has deepened the chasm dividing American Jews

For Diaspora Jews, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre has felt like a family bereavement. Among Jews in America, the trauma has been profound. Their sense of inviolability has been shattered. The fact that Jews were gunned down in the sacred space of a synagogue service has caused even greater torment. Yet in the midst of the communal grief, something has surely been overlooked. In 2014, six were gunned down and murdered in Jerusalem’s Har Nof synagogue. Attacks on Jews in Israel are relentless. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has said…

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paradise USA 

Conditions in the Democratic paradise of California

America goes to the polls tomorrow in the mid-term elections. This is what a Democratic party administration has done to Los Angeles: The number of flea-born Typhus cases in Los Angeles has hit 107. So far this year 72 patients have been recorded by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with a further 15 in Long Beach and 20 in Pasadena. In the 2000s there were around 20 cases recorded per year and analysts are putting the dramatic rise down to a 47 per cent increase in homelessness since…

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conservatism Culture wars USA 

Jews and conservatism: an idea whose time has come

Last Sunday, I took part in the Jewish Leadership Conference in New York on Jews and conservatism. There were some excellent presentations from a line-up including Ruth Wisse, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Jonathan Haidt, Yoram Hazony and others. The point of the conference was, in the JLC’s own words, to harness the power of conservative ideas to strengthen the Jewish people and revitalise American civic life. It is not over-dramatic to say this is a project that is urgently needed to save the west. For the past several decades, the bedrock…

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hatred USA 

Hatred of the Jews unites far left and right

Hatred of the Jews unites far left and right Last Saturday a man called Robert Bowers allegedly walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue where the congregation was celebrating the sabbath and opened fire screaming “All Jews must die”. Eleven were killed and many others wounded. Both Bowers and Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of posting more than a dozen bombs to left-wing figures, are far-right conspiracy theorists. At the same time there are conspiracy theorists on the left who, like the far right, think that the Jews run American foreign policy…

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border caravan USA 

The onslaught on the US border

There are now three waves of central American migrants aiming to force their way into the US across the border. As reported here by JE Dyer, the first group was temporary halted by a Mexican police barricade.  Mexican authorities offered the migrants asylum, jobs, and an array of social assistance programs. When they refused them, the police took down the barricades and the migrants resumed their trek. On Sunday afternoon, the second wave from Honduras reached the border with southern Mexico. The Mexican border guard requested entry in an orderly manner….

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