Professional Hockey’s New Jewish Superstar

Last month Zach Hyman, who plays for Canada’s Edmonton Oilers, joined the elite list of now 99 players in the NHL who have scored more than 50 goals in a single season. Hyman, Armin Rosen notes, is “a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto.”

He is both the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s most gentlemanly player of 2011, and the University of Michigan athlete of the year for 2015. On the ice for Edmonton, he wears number 18—the traditional Jewish good luck symbol for chai, life.

Fifty goals in a season means you’ve now vaulted over the New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes as the greatest Jewish hockey player in history, I declared to Hyman after the game, a 6-1 thrashing of Anaheim in which he’d notched a late goal. Hyman let out an embarrassed laugh. “I don’t know about that,” he replied. “Jack’s a pretty good player.” When I suggested to Hyman that his own success, along with that of Hughes and the Rangers defenseman Adam Fox, meant the Jewish people were now in an unprecedented hockey golden age, his first reaction was to add another name to the list. “I also saw [that] Jeremy Swayman said he had a bar mitzvah,” Hyman said, mentioning the Bruins netminder. “So you can throw that in there. He’s a pretty good goalie.”

I observed to Hyman that he had likely been one of the only Jewish members of just about every team he’d ever played on.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Canadian Jewry, Sports

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict