Wednesday, December 13, 2017

100 Years Since the Balfour Declaration - Let's place today's headlines into context

I'll be speaking about my book 

The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words - 100 Years of Conflict  

Please join me.

Register at this link.

or copy and paste from here:



DATE:  Jan 09, 2018   -  Tue

TIME:  7:00PM 

Public Price        $ 15.00
Member Price   $ 10.00

JCC members receive discounted prices.

Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please contact the JCC Registration Desk at 646.505.5708 for additional information.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Ten (or so) snap judgments on Trump’s Jerusalem pronouncement

1. What Korean Peninsula? Trump has a knack for diverting attention from issues he'd rather you not focus on.

2. What Mueller investigation? What Russian/WikiLeaks/campaign collusion? You get the idea. Diversion is key to Trump's maddening Modus operandi.

3. What Russian entrenchments in Syria? What bad deal for Israel on the Syrian side of Golan Heights? What Iranian takeover of Iraq?

Forget all those -- focus onTrump's "recognition" of Jerusalem.

4.  BTW. The Russians already recognized west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in April 2017. Trump, in practice" didn't even recognize west Jerusalem (even as a start).

4.  * Passports of US children born in Jerusalem will not be marked “Jerusalem, Israel.”

- Do you really think Washington needs three years or more to begin the process of building an embassy? How about putting a plaque: “Embassy of the USA” on the wall of the newly-built and well-fortified US Consulate in Talpiot, Jerusalem?

6. Nothing in Trump's statement changes the status quo, as the president himself said. By the way, I think he did a good reading job without going off on a tangent about, say, the size of the inauguration audience.  But if you actually watch his announcement all the way through you can see it took a toll.

7. Trump signed the very same waiver presidents before him signed (that didn’t make it into the speech).

8. He may have set the stage for a new tidal wave of Palestinian Arab violence.

9. Worse: His big empty gesture sets the stage for the "great" deal-maker to exact a steep price for “recognizing” Jerusalem.

The administration will supposedly unveil its proposed deal in early 2018.

Funnily, tragically, the Arabs don't see this and neither do the Trump-supporting Jews in the US and in Israel.

Or maybe...

If I’m right that Trump’s “recognition” of Jerusalem was intended to pave the way for heavy-handed pressure on Israel to make dangerous territorial concessions to the PLO – it might (counter-intuitively) explain Abbas’s violent reaction. Because, actually, Abbas does not want to make a real and lasting peace in which the Palestinian Arabs would have to come to terms with a Jewish national home in some part of “Palestine.” This situation recalls Ehud Barak’s go-for-broke offer to Yasser Arafat at Camp David II. Rather than take the best deal the Palestinian Arabs had ever been offered – he launched the second intifada.

10. Keep your eye on the ball: US policy since 1967 is to push Israel back to the hard-to-defend 1949 Armistice Lines (give or take) and Trump’s pronouncement doesn’t change that. Read the text.

So, what we have is, in principle, the right idea delivered ineptly by the Wrong Man at the Wrong Time in the wrong way.

With all that, it is sadly not surprising that Europe is again siding with the Arabs and that the Arabs -- following their 100-year script -- are turning to violence.

(*) h/t to IMRA for helping me crystallize this.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Register today for my talk at the Manhattan Jewish Center - See you Jan 9, 2018 Tuesday at 7:00 PM

Register now for my talk at the Manhattan Jewish Center - 

Hope to see you on Tuesday,  Jan 9, 2018, at 7:00 PM 

Follow this link

or copy & paste from below.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Why Doesn't Sephardi Judaism have streams (Orthodox, Conservative & Reform) just like Ashkenazi Judaism does?

Why Doesn't Sephardi Judaism have streams (Orthodox, Conservative & Reform) just like Ashkenazi Judaism does?


When it comes to the idea of a national homeland for the Jews ... the PLO view


Monday, September 25, 2017

UPDATED NOVEMBER 8, 2017 - Speaking engagements - email for specifics

Herzliya................DELIVERED -  Thank you!

Raanana................DELIVERED -  Thank you!

LONDON .........        DELIVERED - Thank you!


Hilton Tel Aviv Book Signing - November 8 at 7 PM


Rehovot ................ Monday, November 20 (morning)
                                 email for details

US East Coast......   January 2018 ...
                               email for venues, times, etc.

Invite me to speak at your organization...

Buy the book from Gefen or Amazon or Steimetzky or ask your local brick and mortar bookseller. 
In Jerusalem, also buy at independent bookseller Pomeranz
(around the corner from the original Knesset building on King George Street),

Friday, August 11, 2017

Balfour in Raanana

I will be doing a curtain raiser in Raanana for my forthcoming book on the Balfour Declaration (with an opportunity to advance order).

Here are the details (the talk will be in English):

במכללת דוברי האנגלית ביום שני הבא 11/9 בשעה 9 על הצהרת בלפור.
משך ההרצאה שעה והיא תתקיים במשכן למוסיקה, רחוב הפלמ"ח 2א' רעננה.


Anxiety over the upsurge in Palestinian Arab terror helped relegate to the back burner the Jewish world’s furor over the Israeli government’s plan to bolster the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over conversions and to revoke its pledge to formalize a place for non-Orthodox streams at the Western Wall plaza.

click for article

The Jewish Wars...

Friday, June 09, 2017

The British election was not about Israel. The dust hasn't settled. But they'll be raising a glass of juice at tonight's iftar meal in Gaza at Hamas headquarters

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pro-Israelism and its Discontents - It is more complicated than you think

With so many folks writing about 1967, I decided to…

(a) Show the fundamentally unswerving nature of US policy regarding the West Bank since the Six Day War 

(b) Point out that successive administrations and Jewish actors have sought to dissociate support for Israel from support for its retention of the West                                  Bank;

(c) Puncture the notion that US Jewish criticism of Israel is novel or daring;

(d) Posit that maybe disagreement over the West Bank may not fully explain a certain cooling we sense in the American Jewish-Israel relationship.


The piece is here...
Pro-Israelism and its Discontents

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Does the world needs yet another book on American Jewish history? The short answer is yes. Here is why...

Full article here: History

Friday, April 28, 2017

How we got to today does actually matter - The Six Day War in context

You have joined this movie already in progress.

"Occupied" territories?
 "Palestinian Occupied Territories"  "Israeli Occupied West Bank" --

What is the prequel to this story?

This is the prequel...

Where were you in 1967?

The yarmulke adds a nice touch, no?

America Israel Public Affairs Committee in the Trump Era/J Street Era

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Antisemitism, Trump and the Blame Game

We now know that an Israeli-American teenager made the bomb threats against US Jewish community centers. 

It struck me that the American Jewish community’s intramural bickering over anti-Semitism deserved a deeper look. 

I was curious why liberals needed to point to one kind of antisemitism while conservatives felt compelled to point in a different direction. 

Why —besides ideological rigidity — not go beyond the either/or?

And why is April 19th a day to be extra cautious...

All this led to the tour d'horizon below.

To Read Article

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hillel & the Struggle for Jewish Continuity

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Taking Stock of Donald Trump

This is my "taking stock" of Trump piece that I wrote on the eve of his inauguration.

My Archive