JPSR Articles by Subject

Jewish Political Studies Review

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 A Sampling of Jewish Political Studies Review Articles

Europe and Israel     International Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism 

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict      Arab World       Israeli International Relations

Israeli National Identity      American Jewish Community      Jewish Political Tradition

 

Europe and Israel

Holocaust Remembrance in the Council of Europe: Deplorable Victims and Evil Ideologies without Perpetrators

The current European politics of Holocaust remembrance, with its interplay of multiple perspectives of Holocaust history, is marked by the hijacking of the Jewish perspective by including numerous other real and self-claiming victim groups under the Holocaust definition, very general and superficial feelings of shame, and the ascription of a role-model character to the righteous among nations for present-day good citizenship behavior. On the flipside, evil ideologies and subsequent crimes are being denounced without clearly pointing to the individuals and societies who are guilty thereof. Read More »

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Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Roles of Jews in Swiss Society

Jews, being the representatives of what now is dubbed the country’s Jewish-Christian heritage, are perceived to hold moral power. For many, the seemingly weak local Jews represent something larger and more powerful, the mysterious World Jewry. Read More »

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The Jewish Community in Germany: Living with Recognition, anti-Semitism, and Symbolic Roles

The symbolic roles of Jews in Germany cannot be compared to those in other countries, as in Germany the real presence of Jews is publicly very important as proof that the country has developed into a democracy and a diverse, open society. Nevertheless Jews are also taken as responsible for Israel’s policies and as such are targets for condemnation. Therefore, the roles which are put upon the Jewish communities and citizens are exchangeable depending on what German society needs and wants to see in the Jews. Read More »

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European Politics: Double Standards toward Israel

The mood created by the political leaders of European countries toward Israeli government officials often permeates their societies. Their discriminatory attitudes are enhanced by many media, NGOs, and some churches. These factors together help build an anti-Israeli atmosphere in large parts of European society, which is expressed in opinion polls. This is often accompanied by anti-Semitic positions. Read More »

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Foundations of an Israeli Grand Strategy Toward the European Union

Jewish Political Israel urgently needs a grand strategy toward the European Union. This is all the more so because the two parties disagree profoundly on fundamental issues and seriously misperceive each other. Israel has many strategic assets that it can use to improve its political and security relations with the European Union, but without a high-quality grand strategy these cannot be employed effectively. Read More »

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Defining Limits on Religious Expression-the Turkish Example

Moreover, in the increasingly sharp debate within Turkey between secularists and Islamists, the question of the nature and extent of Turkey’s relationship with Israel has become a sign of the future direction of Turkey’s foreign policy orientation. Read More »

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How the Jewish Community Defeated the Banks and Stock Exchange in the 2000 Dutch Restitution Negotiations

As far as the banks were concerned one could say that perhaps it was not their fault that the money had not been reimbursed to the Jewish account holders after the war. The stock exchange situation was different. They had been major collaborators with the German occupiers and continued to misbehave after the war. Read More »

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Defining Limits on Religious Expression-the Turkish Example

Moreover, in the increasingly sharp debate within Turkey between secularists and Islamists, the question of the nature and extent of Turkey’s relationship with Israel has become a sign of the future direction of Turkey’s foreign policy orientation. Read More »

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International Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

Anti-Zionist Expression on the UK Campus: Free Speech or Hate Speech?

The last few years have witnessed an explosion of anti-Zionist rhetoric on university campuses across the United Kingdom. Encouraged by the University and College Union’s annual calls for discriminatory measures against Israeli institutions and academics, the rhetoric has become even more strident since Operation Cast Lead. Read More »

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Antiracism for anti-Jewish Purposes: Reflections on the Swedish Mana Affair

Although a survey of the journal shows that the accusations were justified, Mana’s claims that the criticism was policy-driven appealed to many of its defenders, and the support for the journal was strongest on the Left. It was mainly from there that accusations of political censorship emanated, along with claims that Mana’s anti-Semitism was merely legitimate criticism of Israel. This inability or unwillingness of parts of the Swedish Left to recognize the gravity of some of Mana’s content is disturbing, since it could lead to removing the taboo on, and legitimizing, anti-Jewish notions and sentiments. Read More »

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The Jewish Community in Germany: Living with Recognition, anti-Semitism, and Symbolic Roles

The symbolic roles of Jews in Germany cannot be compared to those in other countries, as in Germany the real presence of Jews is publicly very important as proof that the country has developed into a democracy and a diverse, open society. Nevertheless Jews are also taken as responsible for Israel’s policies and as such are targets for condemnation. Therefore, the roles which are put upon the Jewish communities and citizens are exchangeable depending on what German society needs and wants to see in the Jews. Read More »

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The Centrality of NGOs in Promoting anti-Israel Boycotts and Sanctions

NGO reports, press releases, and political lobbying campaigns constitute an important source of soft power, and they have a powerful influence in the UN, the media, and academia. This NGO-led political war against Israel uses the weapons derived from the rhetoric of human rights and international law and is conducted via the UN, the media, churches, and university campuses. Read More »

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The University of Toronto: Where Israel Apartheid Week was Born

A coalition of anti-Israel groups initially used the university campus as a launching pad for what has become an annual series of events that take place in dozens of cities around the world. Protesters call for a one-state solution, crippling divestment from Israel, and heavy sanctions. Parallels are drawn between Israel and the Apartheid system as it existed in South Africa. Read More »

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The Jews as Contested Ground jn Postmodern Conspiracy Theory

As always with modern conspiracy thinking, the Jews, especially the Zionists, stand at the center of the storm. Read More »

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An Invented Attack Leads to Decreasing Condemnation of anti-Semitism in France: a Case Study

Public attitudes toward anti-Semitic incidents in France have greatly fluctuated in the new century. From autumn 2000 when the new major wave of French anti-Semitism erupted, till the demise of the Socialist government in June 2002, the official attitude was to deny or minimize the severe verbal and physical assaults on Jews. Read More »

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The Big Lie and the Media War against Israel: From Inversion of the Truth to Inversion of Reality

Since inversion of reality constitutes the basic principle of current anti-Israeli propaganda, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. This propaganda method is a product of Nazi Germany. It is totalitarian both in its methods, particularly the use of the paranoiac myth, and in the absolute solution it advocates. It totally denies all of Israel‘s claims and leaves no room for introspection and compromise. Read More »

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Abusing the Legacy of the Holocaust: the Role of NGOs in Exploiting Human Rights to Demonize Israel

This community has exploited the halo effect of human rights rhetoric to promote highly particularistic goals. In most cases small groups of individuals, with substantial funds obtained from nonprofit foundations and governments (particularly European), use the NGO frameworks to gain influence and pursue private political agendas, without being accountable to any system of checks and balances. Read More »

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Anti-Semitic Trends in Post-Communist Eastern European States: an Overview

Some governments took up legal and administrative measures to ban anti-Semitism, but unfortunately they are not sufficiently effective, although there are some positive tendencies that are effective. Israel could and should do more to collaborate with the respective governments on this matter. Read More »

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Sweden’s Refusal to Prosecute Nazi War Criminals

This has remained the position of the Swedish government even after it was revealed in 2000 that those who had participated in Nazi atrocities were alive and living in Sweden. All the efforts to induce a change in Swedish policy on this issue have hereto failed. Sweden is currently weighing the abolition of the statute of limitations on genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes but will not do so retroactively, so there is no chance that any Nazi war criminal will ever be prosecuted in Sweden. Read More »

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israeli Settlements, American Pressure and Israel

The settlement issue was often at the heart of U.S.-Israeli differences during the Obama administration. However, the crisis that erupted between the two countries appeared to be completely unnecessary. Read More »

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American Jews More Right than Let on the Peace Process

The best data on the positions of American Jews on the peace process show that they
are more on the right side of the political spectrum than is often claimed regarding
such issues as the two-state solution, basic Arab goals, the future status of Jerusalem,
and the settlements, and this pattern has been consistent over the last decade.
Moreover, the more attached American Jews feel to Israel and the more importance
they attribute to their Jewishness, the more likely they are to take positions on the right. Read More »

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The Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Claim of Apartheid

The comparison of Israel to South Africa under white supremist rule has been utterly rejected by those with intimate understanding of the old Apartheid system. Israel is a multi-racial and multi-colored society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. Read More »

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Palestine Indictment and Peace: an Insurmountable Compatibility

Persistent reports describe the pervasiveness and intensity of Palestinian incitement against Israel. The Palestinian Authority is an oligarchy whose purpose is war against Israel. Its leaders consider deception and the armed struggle as the legitimate means by which they can achieve their goals and have adapted their educational system to fill the younger generation with hatred and the desire to perpetrate terrorist acts. Because of the reality behind it, incitement is the real deal-breaker. One side wants peace, while the other does not. Read More »

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The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality

The sixty-year-old Palestinian refugee issue has little connection with reality. It has become solely a bargaining chip used by Arabs and Palestinians in peace talks with Israel and, as such, is a distraction from the real issues of terrorism and boundaries. Indeed, continuing to call Palestinians refugees is a misnomer. Read More »

 

Hatred of the Jews as a Psychological Phenomenon in Palestinian Society

The essentially monolithic ideology and practice of Islam, which date from the inception of the Arab-Muslim world, make Palestinian hatred merely one instance of general Arab-Muslim, particularly Islamist, hatred of Jews and of the West. Read More »

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Kill a Jew, Go to Heaven: the Perception of the Jew in Palestinian Society

It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists, and to knock on heaven’s doors with the skulls of Zionists.1 Read More »

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Arab World

The Holocaust in Arab Public Discourse: Historicized Politics and Politicized History

The Holocaust has become increasingly important in international historical culture, and the murder of six million Jews during the Second World War is arguably the ultimate symbol of evil in Western politics, culture and academia. This fact has had its consequences in the Arab world as well, even though the effects there have been significantly different than in the West. Traditional Arab public discourse has a history of feelings of superiority vis-à-vis the Jews, largely based on Muslim theology. The creation of the state of Israel and its repeated victories over Arab armies have kindled political resentment partly based in this tradition, which in turn has made it virtually impossible to assimilate the dominant Western understanding of the Holocaust into Arab public discourse. Instead, Arab public discourse on the Holocaust is highly politicized and almost always displays hostility toward Israel or Jews. Read More »

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The Big Lie and the Media War against Israel: From Inversion of the Truth to Inversion of Reality

Since inversion of reality constitutes the basic principle of current anti-Israeli propaganda, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. This propaganda method is a product of Nazi Germany. It is totalitarian both in its methods, particularly the use of the paranoiac myth, and in the absolute solution it advocates. It totally denies all of Israel‘s claims and leaves no room for introspection and compromise. Read More »

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Hatred of the Jews as a Psychological Phenomenon in Palestinian Society

The essentially monolithic ideology and practice of Islam, which date from the inception of the Arab-Muslim world, make Palestinian hatred merely one instance of general Arab-Muslim, particularly Islamist, hatred of Jews and of the West. Read More »

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The Forgotten Narrative: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

However, unlike the Arab refugees, the Jews who fled are a forgotten case because of a combination of international cynicism and domestic Israeli suppression of the subject. The Palestinians are the only group of refugees out of the more than one hundred million who were displaced after World War II who have a special UN agency that, according to its mandate, cannot but perpetuate their tragedy. An open debate about the exodus of the Jews is critical for countering the Palestinian demand for the right of return and will require a more objective scrutiny of the myths about the origins of the Arab- Israeli conflict. Read More »

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Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism in Sweden

Nevertheless, the phenomenon exists and manifests itself among some Arab and Muslim pupils in suburban schools, on Muslim websites in Swedish, and in attacks on Jews and their institutions. This anti-Semitism has its roots in the Middle East, where it is widespread in the countries of origin of many Arab and Muslim immigrants in Sweden and reaches them through various channels such as satellite television and the Internet. The exclusion of many Arabs and Muslims from Swedish society fosters the spread of anti-Semitism in the segregated suburbs of the major cities. The situation calls for seriously addressing these groups’ problem of alienation. Read More »

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National Socialism and anti-Semitism in the Arab World

Although Islamism is an independent, anti-Semitic, antimodern mass movement, its main early promoters – the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Mufti and the Qassamites in Palestine – were supported financially and ideologically by agencies of the German National Socialist government. Read More »

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Defining Limits on Religious Expression-the Turkish Example

Moreover, in the increasingly sharp debate within Turkey between secularists and Islamists, the question of the nature and extent of Turkey’s relationship with Israel has become a sign of the future direction of Turkey’s foreign policy orientation. Read More »

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Pakistan and Israel

Pakistan‘s political and military leaders have always striven to get along with its radical clergy and likely will remain committed to the country’s Muslim identity. Only significant progress in relations between Israel and the Arab states could lead to a change in Pakistan‘s position. Read More »

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Israeli International Relations

The US Role in Delaying Sino-Israeli Relations: Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd

Although by the mid-twentieth century no outstanding problems had existed between Israel and China and although both were interested in formalizing their ties, over four decades passed before diplomatic relations were finally established. The inevitable conclusion is that while bilateral issues had not been an obstacle, the interference of third parties had been responsible for the delay, notably by the United States. Read More »

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Benedict XVI,the Lefebvrians, the Jews, and the State of Israel

This article explores the relations between the Catholic Church and the Jews from the middle of the previous century until the present day. It will focus on how the Catholic Church has dealt with memory of the Shoah and how this has affected the Church’s relations with the Jews. It will look at the most recent developments in dialogue between the Church and the Jews under Pope Benedict XVI and the impact of his visit to Israel in May 2009. Read More »

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The Improvement of Israeli-South Korean Relations

The two countries’ economies became complementary, and in the 1990s Israel became South Korea’s main Middle Eastern market. South Korean structural reforms following its economic and financial crisis of 1997-1998 and the priority it gave to high tech and information technology have enabled the further expansion of bilateral relations. Read More »

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Japanese-Israeli Relations, the United States, and Oil

The key change for Japan was the decision by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Gulf States to abolish their indirect boycott of Israel in September 1991. The fact is underlined that Japanese-Israeli economic relations proved robust enough to withstand the political upheavals during both the first and second intifadas. Read More »

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Indonesia and Israel: a Relationship in Waiting

Since Suharto’s demise in 1998, the idea of establishing ties with Israel has arisen periodically in political circles, most notably under the brief presidency of progressive Islamic leader Abdurrahman Wahid, but any concrete developments are likely dependent on progress in resolv­ing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read More »

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Ben-Gurion and Jewish Foreign Policy

For Ben-Gurion, Israel was the sum and substance of everything Jewish. Therefore, his foreign policy was totally Israel-centric; ideological when it came to matters of Israel’s centrality and pragmatic when it came to Israel’s survival. Ben-Gurion developed a unique interpretation of Judaism which enabled him to adopt policies and make decisions that would be compatible with his own version of Judaism while at the same time serving the collective interests of the new Jewish state. Read More »

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The Origins of the National and the Statist Traditions in Zionist Foreign Policy

The dilemma of choosing between goals that emanate from the ethno-national setting of Israel as opposed to those serving the state is rooted in Zionist thought and international behavior. The origins go back to the founding fathers of Zionism in the nineteenth century who responded to different challenges of their environment. Read More »

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Israeli National Identity

Israel’s Democracy and Comparative Politics

Special characteristics of the Israeli polity; constitutional government without a constitution, the religion-state relationship, the control system of the Arab minority, the political role of the “non-political” army, the con-sociationalism between Orthodox and secular elites, and the impact of the occupied territories on Israel’s democracy can be better understood in comparative perspective. Read More »

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Jews, Israelis and Citizens: National Identity and Patterns of Political Involvement Among Israeli Adolescents

The results of the study indicate a high level of political involvement among Israeli youth. This involvement is expressed mainly through highly developed affective orientations toward national collectives, the Jewish people and Israeli society, and also strong interest in political issues and functions of political institutions. Read More »

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Jewish Identity Among Israel’s Future Teachers

The question of Jewish-Israeli identity is one of present-day Israeli society’s cardinal and pressing issues.The identity of a citizen of Israel is not that of a purely Israeli identity nor is It a purely Jewish identity. It is,in varying degrees, a synthesis of Jewish and Israeli components depending on the particular subgroups or subidentities. Stress develops around the relationship between Jewishness and Israeliness and around the relationship between Jewish religion and Jewish natinality. Read More »

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Cross-Cultural Issues in Community Mediation Perspectives for Israel

Using examples from a conflict between orthodox and secular Jews, this article analyzes culturally biased assumptions of a mainstream model of mediation: impartiality, linear and rational problem solving, separating people from the problem, equal bargaining power, and using objective standards.  Read More »

 

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The War of the Torah: the Israeli Religious Peace Movement’s Struggle for Legitimation

This situation has led to an almost total identification of religious Zionism with the Israeli right and the ideology of the Complete Land of Israel. To be an Orthodox Jew is to be a hawk. Religious doves are not only a rare bird; they are, in the eyes of manyat least, a nonkosher species. These exceptions to the rule are,therefore, a cognitive deviants, at one and the same time. Read More »

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Citizens’ Rights in Flux: the Influence of American Immigrants to Israel on Modes of Political Activism

Among the smallest immigrant groups in Israel are those individuals who immigrated to Israel from the United States. These American-born Israelis (henceforth referred to as ABIs) number roughly 85,000; or 1.5 percent of the current population of Israel.2 But despite their numerical marginality, ABIs have played a prominent role in the development and operations of extraparliamentary political groups. Indeed, ABIs can be found at the forefront of a wide variety of such groups dealing with civil rights, women’s issues, bridge-building between religious and secular, election reform, environmental concerns and the peace process and its implications. Read More »

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Teaching Morality in Armed Conflict: the Israeli Defense Forces Model

Armies regard the video as the most developed model for training soldiers about morality in armed conflict. The Israel Defense Forces created a video program by using two- to three-minute clips from relevant Hollywood movies that would be familiar to most of the target audience and presenting elevencodes of conduct. Read More »

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The Supreme Court, Jewishness, and Democracy: Suggestions for a more Effective Balance

Israel has an activist Supreme Court, especially when sitting as the High Court of Justice. It views its role as an obligation to protect the quasi-Constitution and to interpret it up to the point of judicial legislation, as has become its wont. In doing so, it must follow the Jewish and democratic values of Israel. The questions which arise from this include whether the Supreme Court is equipped to answer such a heavy load and what suggestions may be offered to make the system work in a more Jewish and democratic manner, while allowing the court to maintain its efficiency. Read More »

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The Opening of the Haredi Educational System to the Secular and its Transformation from a Periphral Factor to a Central Factor in Israeli Society

From official statistics, it emerges that the number of children enrolled in Haredi education in its various sub-currents tripled during the last decade of the twentieth century. This trend has continued in the current century,[3] with the increase in the number of pupils far exceeding the natural increase of 2 percent per annum.[4] If it maintains this stable growth trend, in the next few years, Haredi education is likely to become the second largest educational framework in Israel, after the State educational stream.[5] Read More »

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Jerusalem, Capital of the Jews: the Jewish Identity of Jerusalem in Greek and Roman Sources

It is noteworthy that despite the negative views of Jews and Judaism expressed by authors such as Manetho, Apion, Tacitus and Juvenal, the Jewish identity of Jerusalem is always clear and never a subject of dispute. These ancient texts, therefore, disprove recent attempts by Muslims and others to deny the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the location of the Temple in Jerusalem through fabrications and lies. Read More »

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American Jewish Community

JTS Rabbis and Israel, Then and Now: The 2011 Survey of JTS Ordained Rabbis and Current Students

In short, younger rabbis and students do indeed differ from their elders and predecessors. But the difference is hardly about declining connection. Rather, the trends point to the emergence of a liberal Zionism, one that bears many parallels with that advanced by Labor Zionists of the past, or many of the opposition parties in Israel today. Read More »

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Reversing the Poles: How the Pro-Israel Policy of Canada’s Conservative Government may be Moving Jewish Voters from Left to Right

Until recently, Jews living in the Western democracies have favored the politics of the Center-Left. Today, however, as the campaign of delegitimization of Israel gains ground, the duty of loyalty to Israel bulks larger in the imaginations of Jews everywhere, and many are currently adjusting their political priorities to reckon realistically with the fact that support for Israel is now stronger on the right end of the political spectrum than on the left. Read More »

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Jews in the Psyche of America

This past December when walking through shopping malls, and in fact thinking about this subject matter, I was immediately struck by store signs reading Happy Holidays rather than the more traditional seasonal notices of Merry Christmas. Listening to the holiday music being played, it became immediately obvious that along with traditional Christmas carols, one could hear Hanukkah songs as well. The pluralistic nature of this society is reflected in how American business has come to understand the diversity of this country. Read More »

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Policy Implications of the Gender Imbalance Among America’s Jews

This gender imbalance differs from most Jewish communities historically and from many other Jewish communities around the world today, in which men characteristically played the most prominent roles in Jewish affairs as well as public religious settings and rituals. The systemic alienation of American Jewish males begins in boyhood, and has profound effects on every aspect of Jewish life. This development is of concern to Jewish leaders and policy planners because it affects not only religious but also communal and demographic realities. Read More »

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American Jewry and the State of Israel: How Intense the Bonds of Peoplehood?

American Jewish-Israeli ties have evolved since 1948. That date symbolizes the fact that the Jewish return to sovereignty and statehood irrevocably changed the map and meaning of Jewish peoplehood in the latter half of the twentieth century. Read More »

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American Jews and Evangelical Christians: Anatomy of a Changing Relationship

In many ways, the debate over how to address Evangelical support for Israel parallels the newer debate in the broader American society that stems from the strong role played by Evangelicals in the national elections. As the election results underscored, Jews who care about Israel, including those uncomfortable with the notion of cooperating, will find themselves unable to ignore the influence of the large bloc of conservative Christians in America. Read More »

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Suing Hitler’s Willing Business Partners: American Justice and Holocaust Morality

The American lawsuits, and the concomitant political campaign by American Jewish leaders and American government officials, also unearthed valuable historical data about the financial crimes of the Nazis and their cohorts during WW II. This post-Holocaust restitution movement, while viewed as a success, nevertheless created troubling moral issues, and this article focuses on five of them. Read More »

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Religion in the Public Square: Jews Among the Nations

When Jews speak about Jewish things, they cannot make the separations that Christians make when they talk about Christian things in a multi-religious world…Nevertheless, Jews keep coming back to an intermixture of religion and the public square. Read More »

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Neo-Paganism in the Public Square and its Relevance to Judaism

There are many reasons for Jewish observers to watch attentively which direction the powerful, renewed interest in nature will take, and what consequences this may have for world Jewry. Read More »

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The Impact of Denomination-Differences in the Israel-related Opinions of American rabbis and Jewish Communal Workers

Generally, rabbis’ views were more ideological, pronounced, and extreme than those of communal workers, while communal workers’ tended to the dovish or hawkish views than the corresponding denominational segment of the Jewish public. Read More »

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Jewish Political Tradition

Religion and Public Life in the Thought of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik

Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik views religion as a private affair, which occurs in the intimate relations between the I, the Thou, and the Eternal Thou. He consistently denies or de-emphasizes the public or coercive role of Judaism and halakhah. Yet Soloveitchik has trouble justifying his private religion with Jewish tradition and with the relatively expansive self-understanding of halakhah. This trouble is reflected in a number of contradictions about the nature and function of Judaism and halakhah, both in general and in the State of Israel. Read More »

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Conflict Prevention and Mediation in the Jewish Tradition

In this article, Jewish approaches to mediation and conflict resolution will be analyzed using existing academic frameworks, where applicable, in order to identify the key elements. After considering the function of mediation in civil disputes, and the ways in which the Jewish tradition views the role of the leader in preventing communal disputes, we will examine the application of these techniques in dealing with conflicts in Israel and in the Jewish World. Read More »

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Lessons from Inter-Communal Conflict During the Second Temple Period

Inter-communal conflict often seemed to be the natural order of things and the results of all this were catastrophic. There are, though, a number of lessons to be  learned from all this,particularly regarding the need for pluralism in the intellectual and religious spheres of Judaism, but within the framework of some agreed upon common ground. It is also especially important for communal and religious leaders to recognize the existence of problems, even if sometimes they are the source and cause of those problems. Read More »

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John Selden and the Biblical Origins of the Modern International Political System

In other words, Selden’s work on the law of the sea confirms the contention that 17th century Protestants used the Biblical idea of separations and boundaries not only for interpreting Scripture but for applying the Scriptural word to modern international relations. Read More »

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Max Weber’s Conception of Covenant in Ancient Judaism with Reference to the Book of Judges

What then, can Weber contribute to an understanding of the Jewish political tradition? His contribution is three-fold: substantive, methodical, and cautionary. Both his theses, his sociological approach, and his limits are instructive. Read More »

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The Attitude Towards Democracy in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Medieval Jewish thought, following Platonic and Muslim political philosophy, on the one hand, and halakhic concepts, on the other, was basically, although reluctantly, monarchist, and inherently antidemocratic. It rejected outright what we term here as the ancient Greek  variety of liberal democracy, which went against its basic philosophical and theological assumptions. Read More »

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From Private Rights to Public Good: the Communitarian Critique of Liberalism in Judaic Perspective

For communitarians, liberalism here tries to square a circle. Mishnah, Talmud, and Maimonides anticipate this contemporary debate by conceiving of community and common good in a way thick enough to allow for distributive justice, yet limited enough to preserve individual rights. Read More »

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The Idea of the Messiah in the Theology of Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes elaborates a conception of the Messiah in his political treatises that is unusual because it seems to combine Jewish and Christian elements. He asserts that Jesus is the Messiah in the sense of being the earthly king of the Jews as well as the Son of God and king of heaven. Read More »

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