My love letter to Boston: Farah Stockman in The Boston Globe

APN Board member Sid Topol mentioned in Farah Stockman's farewell column in the Boston Globe.

Dear Boston,

The first time I laid eyes on you, I worried that I might be out of my league. The gold dome of the State House was impressive bling for a Midwestern girl like me. To be honest, I took you for a snob at first. After all, you’re a city with not one but two Harvard clubs, in addition to hosting parts of Harvard itself.

But over time, I got to see your down-to-earth side. Your longshoremen. Your stevedores. Your fierce, proud unions.

It took me years to learn your secrets: that it’s OK to save a parking space shoveled out of the snow in Southie, but not in the South End. That Mike’s Pastry is for tourists, but Modern Pastry is for Nonna.

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Nahum Barnea in YNet: Israel's McCarthys

Op-ed: As Im Tirtzu's supporters saw last week, the fervent quest to implicate others as traitors can quickly go too far. Israel's witch hunters need to stop now, before it's too late.

"Let there be no hope for informers", says the Shemoneh Esrei prayer. That harsh saying has many different and interesting religious interpretations, but when I was young, me and the other kids at a secular school in Tel Aviv took it literally: Bad things are in order for people who inform on their buddies. We wrote the words on a large piece of cardboard paper, and hung it on the wall next to the principal's office.

Since his office was near the restrooms, one child made a slight change to the sign, switching the Hebrew words to mean "Let there be no hope for those who pee." It created a small controversy, one of many. The school itself closed down years ago. Its restrooms now service the coffee shop that has since opened nearby. Whenever I schedule a meeting there, I make sure to give that wall a respectful visit. Not because of the restroom: Because of the informers.

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Let’s take a moment for a thought experiment. I do this days after more Palestinian attacks on Israelis, including the horrific murder of a mother of six children; soon after Israel announced the expropriation of another 370 acres of land near Jericho; and after Majed Faraj, the Palestinian security chief, announced that Palestinian security forces had intercepted 200 potential terrorist attacks against Israel. The thought experiment focuses on whether the “Plan B” for the Israel-Palestine dispute should be Israel’s annexation of the territories it occupied in 1967 and the extension of full citizenship rights to the Palestinians in those areas.

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Michael Sfard in Haaretz: The Israeli Occupation Will End Suddenly

The strength of organizations working to end the occupation and their supporters is greater than we think.

One day the occupation will end. It will probably happen in one fell swoop. And when it happens, it will suddenly emerge that everyone was against it. That the politicians had actually worked to end it, that the journalists strove indefatigably to expose its injustices, that the cultural institutions condemned it courageously and that Israeli academia was a center of persistent resistance, from which the struggle drew ideological and moral backing. In short, everyone was part of the Resistance.

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Gary Rosenblatt in The New York Jewish Week: Frustration With Israel Is Growing Here At Home

The hard fact is that Israel’s leadership is moving in a direction at odds with the next generation of Americans.

Even as Israel endures daily “lone wolf” attacks from young Palestinians prepared to die for the cause of spilling Jewish blood, American Jewish leaders confide that generating support for the Jewish state is becoming increasingly difficult these days — even within the Jewish community, and especially among younger people.

In contrast to the widespread emotional identification shown for Parisians and others around the world who have been attacked by Islamic militants, it is hard to find much empathy out there for Israelis seeking to go on with their lives amidst the prospect of violence they face each day.

In a series of private conversations in recent days with a variety of professionals who make their living advocating for Israel and Jewish causes, I was struck by a consistent theme I heard: deep concern about Israel’s future and its relationship with diaspora Jewry. There was a feeling that the political and diplomatic situation is getting worse as Israel is increasingly isolated on the international scene — even spied on by the U.S., we learned last week.

Closer to home, efforts by the last Knesset to liberalize positions on personal religious status — on such issues as conversion, marriage, divorce and women’s prayer at the Kotel — have been reversed by the current coalition in Jerusalem. That is one more signal to the great majority of American Jews, who are not Orthodox, that they are seen as second-class Jews in the eyes of the State of Israel they are urged to support.

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Washington Post: A danger to Israeli democracy

ISRAEL, SURROUNDED not only by threats to its existence but also by governments and movements that practice tyranny, is a stubbornly free society.

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APN Board member Geoffrey Lewis in The Hill: President Obama, recognize Palestine now!

The absurd notion that, during his current trip to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now signed on to a two-state solution after only eight months ago saying that he would never allow a Palestinian state to emerge is material for George Orwell’s book, 1984.

The recent outbreak of violence in the streets of Israel and Palestine is a wake-up call to all those who seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The United States holds a key to bringing the violence to an end and putting the parties on the road to realizing, what the U.S. and virtually every other nation in the world has called for, the implementation of two states, Israel and Palestine. We call on President Obama to act now and recognize the state of Palestine, a process started by Republican President George W. Bush. This single act is urgently needed in order to provide the next U.S. president with a platform that places both Israel and Palestine on equal footing, at least in terms of formal U.S. recognition.

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Times of Israel: Protesting terror surge, thousands march in anti-government rally in Tel Aviv

Left-wing demonstrators demand Netanyahu’s resignation, say restoring security requires ‘a diplomatic solution’

Thousands of left-wing Israelis turned out in Tel Aviv on Saturday night for a rally condemning the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for what they called its poor response to the current security situation. They demanded Netanyahu resign, and said security could not be restored without negotiations with the Palestinians on a permanent accord.

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Recommended Reading on Escalation 2015

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APN's Lara Friedman and Daniel Seidemann in the Jerusalem Post: A Divided City (November 11, 2014)

Context from the previous Jerusalem conflagration (October 2014)

Context on Jerusalem (pre-2014)

Podcasts/Interviews/Briefing calls on the 2015 Escalation

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