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!
November 17, 2011
Two bills have passed the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation, aimed at preventing foreign governments’ funding of NGOs in Israel.
It is argued that this is an anti-democratic move, restricting citizens’ rights to openly examine and critique their government’s actions. Yet the restriction is not on critique – these NGOs remain free to continue their work – but on the ability of foreign governments to intervene on a primary political issue in Israel. To Full Post
November 5, 2011
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.
September 20, 2011
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?
September 9, 2011
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.
July 24, 2011
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.
July 13, 2011
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.
June 15, 2011
The image is taken from a poster designed, funded, and promoted by the Palestinian Authority. (Click here for a full view)
May 29, 2011
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.
May 22, 2011
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.
May 8, 2011
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.