Chelsea Clinton’s multifaith initiative

Israel/Palestine
on 17 Comments

Yesterday we posted on Joe Biden’s panderfest to a Jewish audience in Washington, when he said that Jews were responsible for every piece of social progress in the postwar U.S. Well, what a different signal Chelsea Clinton is sending about American culture. The NY Post reports she has a new job at NYU:

The former first daughter has tackled what the school calls a “multifaith” role as co-founder and co-chair of its brand-new Of Many Institute. The program is described by the university as aiming to “develop multifaith dialogue and train multifaith leaders.”

Clinton’s intermarriage is understood to be relevant to this undertaking. Religion News Service:

New York University’s Of Many Institute['s] website says the institute “supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.”…

Clinton is Christian and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is Jewish. She told Time magazine last year that she was interested in helping to create, support and sustain multifaith leadership.

Chelsea “told Time of her desire to study faith and education: ‘With all candor, because my husband is Jewish and I’m Christian, and we’re both practicing, it’s something that’s quite close to home.’”

Thanks to MJ Rosenberg, who comments, Hillary’s not running for president.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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17 Responses

  1. eGuard
    May 23, 2013, 11:18 am

    OT: still nothing on the London beheading? As often, I can recommend Grenn Greenwald:
    link to guardian.co.uk

  2. pabelmont
    May 23, 2013, 11:25 am

    But what does it all mean? In the past Jewish “leaders” entered dialogue only to coerce pro-Zionism. Will this NYU thing be any different? Keep tuned?

  3. Citizen
    May 23, 2013, 12:23 pm

    It will be interesting if the young couple have a kid. Chelsea’s age 33, so she’s getting ripe re the old ticking clock every woman has.

  4. a blah chick
    May 23, 2013, 2:53 pm

    I’d be interested to know what her views are concerning the I/P issue. That last I heard of her was when she participated in a pro-Israel rally about ten years ago.

  5. marc b.
    May 23, 2013, 4:10 pm

    ick. Clinton and Mezvinsky. what a pedigree.

    • tree
      May 23, 2013, 6:05 pm

      Well, her uncle in law is Norton Mezvinsky who c0-wrote “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel” with Israel Shahak.

      Norton Mezvinsky specializes in U.S. history between 1877 and 1920, U.S. immigration history, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the history of Judaism, and terrorism in the post-modern world.[5]

      The book Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (published 1999, revised 2004), which he wrote with controversial Israeli scholar and author Israel Shahak, has been translated and published in four languages in addition to English. In the introduction to the 2004 version, Mezvinsky wrote that “We realize that by criticizing Jewish fundamentalism we are criticizing a part of the past that we love. We wish that members of every human grouping would criticize their own past, even before criticizing others.”[6]

      His most recent publications are a lengthy biographical essay of David Ben-Gurion in the new, highly praised Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, published by Lynne Reiner Publishers (2010), and a chapter essay, titled “The Christian Zionist View of Islam,” in the new book, Islam in the Eyes of the West, published by Routledge (2010). Two additional essays on the Jewish religious Right and Zionism are scheduled for publication in 2011. Professor Mezvinsky is currently writing a book on Christian Zionism. Professor Mezvinsky has lectured and delivered papers at conferences around the world.[citation needed]

      His views have been labelled “anti-Israel” by The Forward,[3] and “anti-Zionist” by pro-Israel advocacy group CAMERA.[7]

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      OT, the 3 volume Encyclopedia looks interesting, but at $400 for the set its way above my present means.

      link to rienner.com

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 24, 2013, 12:46 am

      The sins of the father (and/or mother) are theirs and not their children’s. Chelsea’s handled the disgusting stuff she’s been slammed with in her life, from when she was a girl, from her parent’s political enemies has been nothing but class. I wish her all the happiness in the world.

      • marc b.
        May 24, 2013, 8:24 am

        The sins of the father (and/or mother) are theirs and not their children’s.

        that was a flip comment by me, woody, but it’s not that simple either. her family connections are a large part of why she is now co-chair of this . . . well, whatever it is. and although I appreciate the sentiment, the ‘of many’ has the feel of so many other institutes/foundations/etc that are essentially elite filters that ensure that the right people work their way up the hierarchy of influence. (the institute “supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.” in other words, this is Chelsea Clinton’s more sophisticated version of her father’s famous foundational networking rolodex of political connections. not that Chelsea would ever aspire to anything like her parents’ ambitions.)

        • Woody Tanaka
          May 24, 2013, 11:57 am

          “but it’s not that simple either. her family connections are a large part of why she is now co-chair of this . . . well, whatever it is. and although I appreciate the sentiment, the ‘of many’ has the feel of so many other institutes/foundations/etc that are essentially elite filters that ensure that the right people work their way up the hierarchy of influence.”

          Hate the game, not the player. LOL. I agree that the set up stinks, but I can’t fault someone for taking advantage of a situation they were not responsible for, especially if they are able to do some good with it. (But I do admit that I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to statements that are critical of Chelsea, stemming back from the days when the Republicans attacked this young girl for no reason, and often did so in the most vile manner. I apologize if I was a bit too strident on this.)

  6. Talkback
    May 23, 2013, 4:21 pm

    “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is trying to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

    J. Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)

  7. Stephen Shenfield
    May 23, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Any room for atheists in the “multifaith dialogue”?

  8. ActivistGal
    May 23, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Second eGuard’s recommendation. Greenwald is nothing short of brilliant and bang on the money in his latest piece. A second piece worth reading is that composed by Joe Glenton (former British soldier who refused to serve a second round in Afghanistan on moral & legal grounds):

    link to gu.com

  9. LanceThruster
    May 23, 2013, 7:15 pm

    When I was “atheist chaplain” as an advisor to the student atheist group, I proposed to the director of religious life that they consider changing their plan for a multifaith center to a “multi-godview” center. Granted the name was somewhat clunky, but was undeniably all-inclusive. Multifaith while trying to be inclusive, just separates believers and the rest of humanity, whereas everyone has a ‘godview,’ just that some have a view that god does not exist (or whose existence cannot be determined to an extent that warrants belief).

    For the record, they were underwhelmed by the suggestion.

  10. Nevada Ned
    May 23, 2013, 7:58 pm

    When Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky get together with their relatives, it must be an occasion to celebrate family values.

    Marc’s father, Ed Mezvinsky, served two terms in the US Congress from Iowa. Later he served five years in Federal prison for 31 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud. Ed probably met a nicer bunch of people in prison than he did in Congress.

    Ed’s brother (Marc’s uncle) Norton Mezvinsky, is a professor at Central Connecticut State University, and co-author of a book, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. His co-author was the late Israel Shahak, prof. of organic chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and early critic of Israeli policy. Norton Mezvinsky has been criticized by Israeli attack organizations like CAMERA. Norton would fit right in at Mondoweiss.

    Marc Mezvinsky, employed by Goldman Sachs, draws a $2M/year salary and has an estimated net worth of $15M. The Democrats will once again run as the true friends of the working man and woman.

    So it must be a really jolly time to celebrate interfaith spirituality when everybody in the Mezvinsky clan gets together!

  11. RoHa
    May 23, 2013, 9:37 pm

    “develop multifaith dialogue and train multifaith leaders.”

    What for?

    “reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.”…

    What has faith got to do with that? Good sense is what is needed.

  12. kma
    May 25, 2013, 11:35 am

    wow, her marriage covers BOTH religions!
    being “christian” probably contributed to Chelsea’s patriotic defending of US wars when she was in school in the UK where people were vocally anti-US over it.
    now BOTH the religions of the world are going to “solve social problems together”!
    time to invest in weapons manufacturers.

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