Hot Topics

Makom’s Hot Topics aim to ask Jewish questions of Israeli current affairs.

Designed to be short, accessible, and challenging, each Hot Topic attempts to ask us to align our Jewish identity with the ongoing drama of Israel and the Jewish People.

We are currently experimenting with a double-format – two pieces from two different perspectives on the same issue… Comments are welcome!

One-way dialogue with the Diaspora

February 23, 2009

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This is none of Diaspora Jewry’s business… Who appointed you? Why are you sticking your nose into these matters, and on what basis do you draw these conclusions?”

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Is the system dummy?

February 16, 2009

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The photograph by Tess Sheflan says it all. No matter which way you comb it, there is not quite enough to go round. The election results of February 2009 have left us in the awkward position of two victors for one crown.

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Turn to the Right

February 11, 2009

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No matter how you spin it, no matter how the mathematics of coalitions can be juggled, there is no doubt that Israel has taken a significant turn to the right in these elections. Even those who thought that a lead for Kadima party would bring about the automatic coronation of Tzipi Livni as Prime Minister, can’t ignore that the creation of a coalition (Yitzhak Rabin called it a ‘Go’alitzia’ – a delightful combination of the Hebrew for ‘coalition’ and ‘disgust’) will be easier the further right one pulls.

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The renewable light unto the nations

February 6, 2009

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The elections this year coincide with the Jewish New Year of the trees: Tu Bishvat. It is perhaps the only thing that all Israelis can unite on and celebrate, especially with elections looming.

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Israel our home

January 29, 2009

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The police has been stalking him for years, his accent is still heavy, and it’s difficult to find a photo of him without his eyes looking scary. But it is Avigdor Lieberman’s policies that present a challenge to us all.

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Living the Gaza complexity

January 22, 2009

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If demonstrations and media reports are anything to go by, it would seem that the overwhelming majority of the world condemns Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. In Israel a mirror-image exists, whereby the consensus in favor of the campaign has been huge. Over the last few weeks it would appear that Israel and Israelis have not been trying to curry favor with the world.

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The limits on Israeli Democracy

January 16, 2009

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In 1985 the racist fundamentalist Kach Party of Meir Kahane was banned from running in the elections, after an amendment to Israeli Election law was passed. This amendment prohibited a party to campaign for election if it either opposes Israel as a Jewish state, or incites to racism.

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Waltz with Bashir wins the Golden Globe

January 12, 2009

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It is an astonishing film. Stunning animation, beautiful soundtrack, and a storyline that penetrates your soul. A deserved winner of the Golden Globe best foreign film (not that we’ve seen any of the other films!), and we wish it all the best for the Oscars. We recommend you go to see it, and offer you a free download of our Makom guide.

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Gaza:changing priorities for Israel

January 7, 2009

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The task of any country’s army is to protect its citizens, to protect itself, and to avoid injuring civilians while doing battle with the enemy. After having targeted Israeli civilian targets for years, and after having invested in developing longer range missiles at the expense of its people’s welfare, it would seem that Hamas, in this sense, is no army.

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The end of heroism in Gaza?

December 26, 2008

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“Who is a hero?” asks Ben Zoma in Ethics of the Fathers (4:1).

The popular translation offers the anwer: “He who conquers his own rage.”

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