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  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Local Jewish volunteer leadership in Ukraine is most likely to emerge in the federated community organizations established and nurtured by a small number of community rabbis, such as Rabbi Kaminezki in Dnipropetrovsk (Philanthropic Fund of the Dnipropetrovsk Jewish Community) or Rabbi Bleich in Kyiv (Kyiv Municipal Jewish Community), who endorse multiple Jewish community institutions. (Rabbi Vishedski of Donetsk supports a similar effort.) Federated Jewish organizations in Ukraine resemble North American Jewish federations in that they are associations engaged in community planning, fundraising, and budgeting for Jewish welfare, educational, and identity-building needs. Among their most important differences from North American federations is that, to date, each is closely associated with one particular rabbi and his synagogue. As noted, Rabbi Kaminezki has thwarted the activation of other Jewish religious and educational organizations in Dnipropetrovsk. In Kyiv, Rabbi Bleich is more welcoming to other Jewish religious groups, at least in theory; in practice, other Kyiv Jewish religious institutions are so weak (e.g., the Progressive and Masorti movements) or so confrontational (e.g., the Chabad congregation associated with Rabbi Asman) that significant collaboration is impractical.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, North America
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ukraine is a country in transition between a Soviet past and an uncertain future. Since declaring independence in 1991 at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has provided cause for both hope and despair. On the positive side, it has disarmed its nuclear capacity and is ethnically stable. Its large minority Russian population, 23 percent of Ukraine's total of 49.5 million inhabitants and concentrated in the eastern part of the country adjacent to a long border with Russia, remains calm. Although both Ukrainian and Russian extremists express various grievances, and other ethnic groups, most notably Jews, encounter episodic bigotry that is ignored by the state, the Ukrainian government itself has refrained from inciting ethnic chauvinism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: An examination of the historical record reveals many examples of failures of perception, and of leaders and governments refusing to integrate compelling information of existential importance. Taking account of new information and responding to changing circumstances is vital to man's relationship with his environment. When a dysfunction in the process of absorbing important new knowledge and correcting mistakes occurs, the faculty of rational judgment may be fatefully impaired. While, collectively, the attitude of a society is the sum of those of individuals, occasionally, the perception of a single individual in an influential position may be sufficient to determine a government's policy.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: After seven years of the peace process, catastrophic remarks about the end of the State of Israel are much more frequent than they were before the Oslo agreements. Judaism has a long tradition of religious apocalyptic thought; in the secular end-of-days fantasies of the last few months, however, no salvation is offered the community.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Yakir Plessner
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Recently, Israel Television asked Shimon Peres, the architect of the Oslo process, whether he still believed in the efficacy of that process, to which he replied that the question should be put to Yasser Arafat. This answer appears to be symptomatic of a widespread refusal by Israel's political leadership to think about the current situation in a systematic, analytical fashion, giving rise to a suspicion that Israeli society, as a collective, has a basic difficulty with thinking about our relationship with the Palestinian Authority, in general, and about the recent violent confrontations with it, in particular. We appear to be bewildered by it all. The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Liel, stated more than once in a recent television interview that he was baffled by Arafat's behavior, saying that Arafat appeared to have made an inexplicable U-turn. He had assumed that Arafat had resolved to make peace, and he could make no sense of Arafat's recent behavior. In addition, Shimon Peres has stated several times in recent weeks that we must make Arafat understand that his policy is detrimental to the true interests of his own people. This notion was echoed by Ha'aretz columnist Joel Marcus, quoting former Foreign Minister Abba Eban who said years ago that Arafat never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg also stated that he found it impossible to decipher Arafat's conduct.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Seven years after the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to consider re-dividing Jerusalem in response to an American proposal at the July 2000 Camp David Summit. The December 2000 Clinton Plan attempted to codify Barak's possible concessions on Jerusalem. Yet they proved to be insufficient for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, leading to a breakdown in the peace process and an outburst of Palestinian violence with regional implications. At least the failed Clinton Plan did not bind future Israeli governments or U.S. administrations, leaving open the possibility of new diplomatic alternatives. Only by avoiding premature negotiation over an unbridgeable issue such as Jerusalem can the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians stabilize the volatile situation that has emerged and restore hope that a political process can be resumed in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jeffrey S. Helmreich
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: There are two clashing myths on the political power of American Jewry. One claims that the community is too small to affect national elections; Jews make up less than 3 percent of the U.S. population. A contrasting view holds that U.S. Jews play a disproportionately large role in national politics thanks to their campaign donations and media influence.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: As events that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel receded into the history books, the extraordinary accomplishments of the Zionist movement also began to fade. For many Israelis growing up after 1948, Zionism became a negative term, satirized and trivialized, and the details of its achievements were rarely taught in the Israeli schools.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ask Israelis or Arabs to characterize the U.S.-Israel relationship and most, particularly on the Arab side, will argue that the picture is one of unwavering support for the Jewish state. Indeed, the outgoing Clinton administration has been widely perceived and labeled as the closest to Israel in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Though the ties between the U.S. and Israel are indeed close, deep, and institutionalized, a closer examination reveals a constant tension between support for Israel and "evenhandedness" between Israel and the Arab world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Why is it that Israel's per capita GNP still lags substantially behind that of the leading countries of the world? Why is it likely to take decades for the Israeli economy to catch up? This is while the Israeli papers are full of news about very promising high-tech start-ups, and we even hear occasionally about payments of billions of dollars by major foreign firms to acquire Israeli businesses which were founded a few years ago and have at most several hundred employees.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Yaakov Ne'eman
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A number of factors are impeding the implementation of privatization in the Israeli economy. Here I will review those factors based on my own experience, both as someone who has represented investors who purchased government companies through privatization processes, and (from the other side of the fence) in my positions in the Ministry of Finance, when I had an opportunity to observe the governmental process from the inside.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Privatization, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Eliezer Schweid
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: With the completion of the process of secularization within the Jewish people, it is now clear that secularism is no substitute for religion. Despite the influence of materialism and the unprecedented control of man over nature and over himself, the need for religion has intensified due to continuing moral, social, and spiritual-existential problems and the profound human need for a connection with the sources, and for continuity and permanence. The time has come for the representatives of religious and secularist movements to begin a substantive dialogue that will enable creative life together.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the past twenty years, beginning with the Israeli-Egyptian disengagement talks following the 1973 war, the tension between secular and religious perspectives on the Middle East peace process and the "land for peace" formula has grown steadily.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Abraham Tamir
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, the reliance on separate negotiating tracks in the Arab-Israeli peace process has resulted in a cumulative loss of territories vital for the defense of Israel's very existence, without any corresponding buildup of peace and security for Israel that could last for generations. The military capabilities of Israel's potential adversaries have not diminished, but, in fact, have expanded considerably. The normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, as stipulated in the peace treaties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt, has not advanced, but, rather, has been held hostage to further Israeli concessions in each of the separate negotiating tracks. Finally, the employment of terrorism and violence by Israel's neighbors became part of the negotiating process with Syria and the PLO.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Richard Butler
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ten years ago the UN Security Council imposed upon Iraq some very specific requirements for disarmament. After Iraq had been expelled from Kuwait, the Council decided unanimously that Iraq may not have nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons; or missiles which could fly beyond 150 km. The Security Council's decisions were taken with the full authority of international law.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Colin Rubenstein
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The political influence of Islam is increasing in South East Asia. While the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc have contributed to the decline of communism as a revolutionary political force in the region, religious and ethnic issues are now assuming renewed and increasing significance. Religious divisions based on Islam have exacerbated ethnic differences, and some religiously-oriented groups are engaging in violent and extreme acts that pose a potentially serious long-term threat to stability in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Soviet Union, Arabia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Steven M. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Attitudes toward separation-accommodation are related to support for (or opposition to) the expression of religion in public life. Within each of the three samples, church-state separationists were more likely than accommodationists to oppose expanded religious influence in society and the involvement of churches and church leaders in political affairs. Table 5 contains several relevant questions in this domain.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gerald B. Bubis
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A giant of the twentieth century left us when Daniel J. Elazar succumbed to an illness on December 2, 1999, at age 65. His career was unique, and much will be written of his multifaceted contributions over the decades to the fields of political science and political theory. While he was known in the world at large for his brilliant theoretical work on the nature of federalism and its applications in government in America and abroad, this analysis looks at the wide-ranging impact of Daniel Elazar on the American Jewish community.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dan V. Segre
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the 1950s, the French Catholic academician, playwright, and former Ambassador to the U.S., Paul Claudel, asked the cultural attachè of the Israeli Embassy in Paris to convey the following message to Martin Buber: Now that the Jews had recovered their sovereignty, would they consider granting citizenship to Jesus, thereby putting an end to his "statelessness" status both for Judaism and Christianity? This could contribute to the fight against anti-Semitism.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Paris
  • Author: David Bright
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: One of the most interesting consequences of the development of the European Union has been the stimulus it has given in recent years to the rediscovery of region within European states. As the supra-state functions of the European institutions in Brussels have burgeoned and the intrinsic sovereignty of the state in Europe has declined, so regions have acquired an ever greater social and political significance. Of course, in some cases, the state was traditionally federal in nature—as with Germany\'s Länder system—and, politically at least, regional aspirations have been satisfied. In the past two decades, however, regional aspirations have expanded into social and cultural spheres that require a new, defined political context. Even in such long-established states as the United Kingdom, such pressures now have to be acknowledged as sub-state factors enter into the complex array of political elements that go to make up the contemporary Union. In this context the Spanish experience is illuminating, both in the way it demonstrates how such tendencies should be accommodated and in the way in which regional populations respond. It is, in fact, a paradigm for a development that will become inevitable and universal as the power of the state declines within the wider structures of contemporary \'Euroland\'.
  • Topic: Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, since shortly after the collapse of the Russian ruble in August 1998, an upsurge of antisemitism in Russia has generated a startling increase in emigration of Russian Jewry. Among Jews in Israel and many diaspora countries, concern has grown about the fate of those Jews remaining in Russia, the largest of the post-Soviet states.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Aharon Lopez
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the ceremony of the presentation of my credentials as the Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See on April 10, 1997, I told His Holiness that, actually, this was not my first connection with the Vatican. In fact, when I served as Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, in one of the ceremonies there, I was approached by the non-resident Ambassador of Outer Mongolia, who asked me whether I represented the Holy See in Cyprus. Of course I answered that I represented the State of Israel. Then, looking at my head, he remarked: "Oh, you are right, sir; now I can see the difference in the color!" Of course, he was referring to my skullcap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Vatican city
  • Author: George E. Gruen
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On June 10, 1998, Turkish police and Islamist students scuffled at Istanbul University after authorities refused to allow eleven women wearing Muslim headscarves to take final exams. The students attempted to force their way into the examination hall past police who were helping college authorities enforce a long-standing ban on Islamist attire in places of education, government ministries, and other public institutions. Istanbul University, like nearly all educational institutions in Turkey, receives public funding. Similar scuffles had occurred the previous day when police forcibly removed headscarves from some girls' heads, the pro-Islamist newspaper Zaman said. The paper printed photographs of what it said were female students who fainted in distress after their headscarves had been torn off.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Human Rights, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: George Joffé
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The current situation in Algeria is the direct result of a crisis that developed in the wake of the country-wide riots in 1988 and appeared to have been resolved by political and economic reform up to 1992. Despite a brief period of political liberalization — which, in reality was unsuccessfully manipulated by the regime in power to guarantee its own survival — Algeria has been in the grip of a virtual civil war for the past five years. In these circumstances, the behaviour of the regime and of its clandestine opposition have become parallel experiences, despite the gestures towards renewed democratization made in the past two years. The reality for the vast majority of Algerians — with figures for civilian deaths to date ranging from 50,000 to 120,000— is one of constant fear, both of arbitrary arrest and worse from the authorities and of summary and terminal justice from the clandestine opposition. For these circumstances to be properly appreciated, therefore, some knowledge of the events leading up to the contemporary situation is necessary.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Algeria, Hiroshima
  • Author: Mordechai Abir
  • Publication Date: 09-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The stability of Saudi Arabia (and the Persian Gulf as a whole) is crucially important to the world's industrial countries. According to the Gulf Center of Strategic Studies, "oil is expected to account for 38 percent of all the world consumption of energy until 2015, compared to 39 percent in 1993. Increasing world-wide demand for oil, now about 74 million barrels per day, is projected to rise by 2015 to about 110 million" (Gulf Report, London, July 1997). Over 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves are located in the Persian Gulf, and Saudi Arabia alone controls 25 percent of the total.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Jacob M. Landau
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: When Mustafa Kamal (Ataturk) founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923 (he was its president until his death fifteen years later), he set as his main objective the modernization of the new republic. His preferred means was speedy, intensive secularization and, indeed, every one of his reforms was tied up with disestablishing other Islamic institutions from their hold on Turkey's politics, economics, society, and cultural life.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East