Shas Party

It happened when I wrote about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as a paradigmatic instance of moral and intellectual backwardness in the ultra-ultra-orthodox communities of Israel. On the day that I wrote I'd noted a headline and article in the Jerusalem Post: "'Sinner' singer given 39 lashed by rabbis." I have no idea whether the rabbis involved were in the circle of "Ovadia", as the grand rabbi is called by his faithful who are many, or not. But the sin for which the singer, Erez Yechiel, was sentenced and, in fact, punished was to have performed in front of a "mixed audience" of men and women.

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Housing Bust

You do not need insider information to know that Hillary Clinton threw a hissy fit at Bibi Netanyahu last Friday morning. And you don’t need that kind of information to know that she was sent out to do this little job by her boss.

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The Crisis

JERUSALEM—Suddenly, my city feels again like a war zone. Since the suicide bombings ended in 2005, life in Jerusalem has been for the most part relatively calm. The worst disruptions have been the traffic jams resulting from construction of a light rail, just like in a normal city.

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Jeff Goldberg has the analytic scoop: I've been on the phone with many of the usual suspects (White House and otherwise), and I think it's fair to say that Obama is not trying to destroy America's relations with Israel; he's trying to organize Tzipi Livni's campaign for prime minister, or at least for her inclusion in a broad-based centrist government.  I'm not actually suggesting that the White House is directly meddling in internal Israeli politics, but it's clear to everyone -- at the White House, at the State Department, at Goldblog -- that no progress will be made on any front if

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