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!

What is to be done with Richard Goldstone?

November 5, 2011

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Prior to 2009 Judge Richard Goldstone was a respected Judge, who had gained great respect in his native South Africa for his work against Apartheid, and universal approval for his UN prosecution of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. All this changed when this Jewish self-proclaimed supporter of Israel accepted the lead on a fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Commission into the Gaza war.

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Palestinians and the UN

September 20, 2011

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The UN will shortly address the issue of a Palestinian State along 1967 borders.

Questions abound in the media, asked with excitement or trepidation or both. Will the State be recognized? If the State is established, what difference will it make and to whom? If it does make a difference, who will this please and who will this injure? And if it makes no difference, who will this injure and who will this please?

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The meaning of the numbers

September 9, 2011

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On Saturday night the Middle East witnessed another remarkable demonstration of the spirit of democracy.

Over 450,000 people, 6% of Israel’s entire population, were out demonstrating against government policy.

That’s the equivalent of almost 19 million marching throughout the USA, over 2 million in Canada, and nearly 4 million people walking peacefully in the streets of the UK.

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Housing in Israel

July 24, 2011

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The summer protest season is showing signs of longevity. The trail of tents fills not only Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, but streets throughout the country. Young people demonstrated last night against the high price of housing, and filled the streets of Tel Aviv.

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The boycott law

July 13, 2011

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Even aliens from space would note that the phenomenon of Israeli citizens calling for economic boycotts to topple their own State is strange, and can also be seen to challenge democratic process in and of itself. Likewise to attempt to boycott specific areas in Israeli control, and in so doing to suggest that the economy of tax-paying Israeli citizens over the Green Line is somehow separate from the economy of the rest of Green Line Israel is naïve at best and disingenuous at worst.

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Publicity campaign from Palestinian Authority

June 15, 2011

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The image is taken from a poster designed, funded, and promoted by the Palestinian Authority. (Click here for a full view)

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Ruling over Jerusalem

May 29, 2011

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On June 1st the full symbolic and political implications of the Obama/Netanyahu speeches will meet in full force. Yom Yerushalayim celebrates the day when Israel took control of Jerusalem, capturing a city on the “other” side of the 1967 borders.

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Thinking Lag Ba’Omer today

May 22, 2011

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Lag B’Omer is a festival full of contradictions. A short break in the seven-week austerities of the passage between Pesach and Shavuot: Some say we are marking the passing of a great mystic, others that we celebrate the end of a lethal epidemic, and others yet that we honor a heroic yet ultimately failed rebellion against our occupiers.

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A Free People In Our Land

May 8, 2011

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On Monday evening we will begin to celebrate the anniversary of a unique moment in Jewish history, just as tonight we mourn the loss of those who gave their lives for this moment to be sustained.

In May 1948 David Ben Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel, and in so doing signalled that for the first time in over 2000 years the Jews would be – as the re-written National Anthem would declare – a free people in their land.

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Holocaust day and bravery

May 1, 2011

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In Israel the day marking Holocaust Memorial Day is also named for the bravery or heroism of those who perished.

We bow our heads before the suffering and the genocide of the millions, and we raise our heads to honor the courage of those who fought back.

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