Archive for January, 2017


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How Could Modern Orthodox Judaism Produce Jared Kushner?

January 31, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In our annual progression through the Torah, we are now deep into slavery in Egypt. And each year, around this time, as I read the first Torah portions in Exodus, the same thought occurs to me: Why is all this necessary? By the end of Jacob’s life, he’s back in… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

What America Owes Refugees From the Middle East

January 30, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why did Donald Trump decide last Friday to temporarily ban immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days? It all goes back to the war in Iraq. For the last few years, the establishment conservative answer for why America lost the Iraq War has been:… Read the Rest »

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Trump and Netanyahu Are Going To Get Jews Killed — Unless They Change Course

January 24, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When the mass violence starts, and some Israeli Jews die, and many more huddle in bomb shelters, I won’t write a column like this. I won’t write a column like this because when Jewish blood flows, it changes the conversation. American Jews became less tolerant of criticism of Israel. And… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Trump’s New Foreign-Policy Direction

January 19, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Inaugural addresses are, in part, catechisms. The new president signals that he’ll take the country in a new direction. But he casts that new direction as consistent with old and cherished national principles, from which the country has strayed, and to which it must return. Since Woodrow Wilson, and certainly… Read the Rest »

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Donald Trump Plays ‘Identity Politics’ With Jews and Israel — but Conservatives Keep Quiet

January 19, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If there’s one thing conservatives hate, it’s “identity politics”: the claim that membership in a particular ethnic, racial or gender group gives someone special authority over policy toward that group. Tell conservatives that women should make abortion policy, or Latinos should make immigration policy, or African Americans should decide whether… Read the Rest »

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Failing To Confront Trump’s Bigotry Is a Moral Stain on Simon Wiesenthal Center — and American Jews

January 12, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In the decades to come, historians of American Jewry will ask how a community that keenly remembers its own experience with state bigotry produced institutions that excused the most nakedly bigoted major party presidential nominee in modern American history. They will ask why the crowd at the policy conference of… Read the Rest »

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How Benjamin Netanyahu’s Dangerously Twisted Words Hide the Truth

January 4, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued two public statements. When the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution criticizing settlements, Netanyahu attacked it for not condemning Syria. When Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration’s decision to let the resolution pass, Netanyahu attacked him for not sufficiently… Read the Rest »