News & Politics

It’s Complicated

“Israel has its challenges, but it’s a healthy society,” said Yohanon Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), a 25-year-old independent center of research and action dedicated to strengthening the foundations of Israeli democracy. “Eighty-five percent of Israelis are proud to be Israeli and feel connected to the state.” IDI, which recently released its […]

Eight-Second Decision

While the stated mission of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is “to defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Israel; to protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily life,” it values human life and human dignity and only uses force when necessary. […]

The Jerusalem Connection

Archaeologists have uncovered yet more evidence of the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem–the very same week that UNESCO and the Palestinian Authority (PA) were declaring that Jews have no ties to Jerusalem. Talk about irony. The latest discovery of a site where the Roman army assaulted Jewish forces guarding the outer walls of Jerusalem, during […]

Society of Builders

“Everybody knows that the Jewish National Fund (JNF) plants trees,” said Jeff Goodman, co-chair of the JNF Orange County Community Breakfast, a kickoff event for the newly revitalized Orange County branch of JNF on Sunday, September 11 at the Merage Jewish Community Center. “Trees are the lungs of Israel, and Israel is the only country […]

Remembering Shimon Peres

The state of Israel, as well as dignitaries and Jewish groups around the world, are mourning the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who passed away on Tuesday two weeks after suffering a massive stroke. He was 93 years old. “My father used to say: ‘you are only as great as the cause you […]

43 Watchdog Groups to UC Berkeley

Forty-three Jewish and education advocacy groups today demanded that UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks take immediate steps to overhaul the course review process that allowed a student-taught, credit bearing course entitled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” to be offered this semester. Not only is the course in clear violation of the University’s Policy on Course […]

Turkey: After the Failed Coup, Fascism

We live in an era of resurgent, strongman leaders. Some of them, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, carry an aura of invincibility, a sense that they effortlessly control the levers of power at every level of state activity, from parliament to intelligence operations to the military. Some of them cling to power even as the […]

The Passing of Elie Wiesel

Dear Friends, As I know you understand, this is a very difficult day.  What Elie meant to our Chapman program and to me is more than I can ever adequately express.  Elie liked to say “life is not made up of years, but of moments,” and I think he found his moments at Chapman, particularly […]

Deleting Inconvenient Words, from Arafat to Iran

The U.S. State Department’s admission that it altered an embarrassing video exchange about its nuclear negotiations with Iran is disturbing—but it’s not the first time that the Obama administration, or some of its predecessors, have tampered with words that it deemed politically inconvenient. State Department spokesman John Kirby confessed this week that part of a […]