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!
May 4, 2009
The Israeli electorate leans right, while North American Jewry leans left. Huge resources of influence and finance in the Jewish world disappear overnight. Shoots of Jewish cultural creativity are appearing all over the world, but whether they will produce harmony or a cacaphony of conflicts remains to be seen. Virtual communities and social networking promise to transform or undermine Jewish life across the world.
April 26, 2009
Yom Haatzmaut must be the only festival that the Jewish world doesn’t feel the need to celebrate together.
March 27, 2009
As a source of authority the Talmud is written in a fascinating way. Though Jewish law follows the majority ruling, the minority opinion is still recorded. Who knows, thought the sages, we may still have something to learn from those whose opinion is not accepted, and one day the minority opinion may yet become that of the majority?
March 19, 2009
IDF combat soldiers and officers from the Gaza operation are now beginning to confirm what our enemies have been saying for months. They tell us that, contrary to our own beliefs and expectations, combat norms in Gaza exhibited a blatant disregard for Palestinian civilians. Their comments were not a left-wing leak, but emerged from a frank discussion at pre-army training institute. As Amos Harel writes: “The soldiers are not lying, for the simple reason they have no reason to.” Though others have different opinions about the soldiers’ reports, the investigations have begun.
March 12, 2009
More than two years since the start of legal proceedings, former President of Israel Moshe Katzav, has been indicted for rape and sexual harassment.
March 8, 2009
Documents have recently reached the MAKOM offices, that should give the entire Jewish world cause for concern. A leaked draft of the Jewish People Planning and Policy Positions on Peoplehood Institute (JPPPPPI) talks of plans to abolish celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut), and co-opt Purim instead.
March 3, 2009
It would be silly for us to ignore the statistics. Israel makes Peace Treaties – anti-Semitic attacks abroad decrease. Israel makes Wars – anti-Semitic attacks rise. The formula would seem to suggest that if Israel were to make peace with the Arabs, then Jews around the world would be allowed to wear their kippot in public again. J. J. Goldberg and Antony Lerman begin to explore this ‘equation’ in our Face2Face.
February 23, 2009
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?”
February 16, 2009
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.
February 11, 2009
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.