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Feminists decried the decision by the Israeli Bar Association to select a male for the Appointments Committee of Rabbinical Judges. Now, while it is certainly absurd for leftists and secularists to influence the appointment of rabbinical judges, it is no less absurd for a secular state to have rabbinical courts.

But we fail to see anything in the halacha which bars women from participating in the appointment of such judges if they are not going to be appointed by fellow rabbis. And a healthy dose of feminist influence could make the rabbis somewhat more transparent on divorce issues.

Abbas and SarkoziFatah and Hamas leaders proceeded with their reconciliation meeting in Egypt even though the EU threatened to cut off aid to the PA if Hamas joins the government without recognizing Israel. And the Arabs bet correctly.

Right now, Israel, the US, and EU finance even the Hamas-only government in Gaza, pretending that their aid money goes directly to public servants. No doubt a similar arrangement would exist for the West Bank.

Hamas, however, has little incentive to join Fatah in the bankrupt and discredited Ramallah government. Ruling the enclave in Gaza unilaterally and with few responsibilities (as the Strip is supplied by the UNRWA) is a much better option. Hamas gains more by waiting for the Fatah government to fail on its own. Fatah leaders are also loathe to disrupt their cozy relations with Israel by bringing Hamas into the government.

The Bank of Israel asked the Housing Ministry to delay issuing a massive number of permits for new construction, as the move might drive apartment prices down.

Why, however, is significantly lowering housing prices a bad idea? Thousands of young families would benefitóbut their interests clash with those of existing homeowners.

Banks and owners are more important than apartment-seekers

November 2011
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