Rabbis want to criticize Israel but fear donors (and ‘NYT’ buries the news)

US Politics

Today’s New York Times has a big and important piece on the divide inside the Jewish community over Gaza and Israel. The article is actually a puzzle: the real news about what’s happening inside the Jewish community is strewn in among anecdotes. You have to piece it together for yourself.

Under the headline “Talk in Synagogue of Israel and Gaza Goes From Debate to Wrath to Rage,” reporter Laurie Goodstein begins by saying that leftwing and rightwing rabbis are hesitant to bring Gaza up lest they divide their congregations. The rightwing rabbi says, “It used to be that Israel was always the uniting factor in the Jewish world.”

Goodstein makes it sound like a one-hand, on-the-other hand story. Here’s her nut graph:

Israel’s occupation of Arab lands won in battle and its standoff with the Palestinians have become so divisive that many rabbis say it is impossible to have a civil conversation about Israel in their synagogues. Debate among Jews about Israel is nothing new, but some say the friction is now fire. Rabbis said in interviews that it may be too hot to touch, and many are anguishing over what to say about Israel in their sermons during the High Holy Days, which begin Wednesday evening.

But get to the fourth paragraph or so and the real meaning of the story emerges. Young Jews are alienated from Israel. They don’t want to hear a word of support! And who is holding the line? Large donors.

Particularly in the large cohort of rabbis who consider themselves liberals and believers in a “two-state solution,” some said they are now hesitant to speak much about Israel at all. If they defend Israel, they risk alienating younger Jews who, rabbis say they have observed, are more detached from the Jewish state and organized Judaism. If they say anything critical of Israel, they risk angering the older, more conservative members who often are the larger donors and active volunteers.

And guess what: it’s not even-steven inside the Jewish community. The liberals are more afraid than the rightwingers to speak out.

one-third of 552 rabbis who responded to a questionnaire put out last year by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs said they were reluctant to express their true views on Israel. (Most who responded were not Orthodox.) The “doves” were far more likely to say they were fearful of speaking their minds than the “hawks.”

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinical Call for Human Rights, a liberal group with 1,800 member rabbis, said: “Rabbis are just really scared because they get slammed by their right-wing congregants, who are often the ones with the purse strings. They are not necessarily the numerical majority, but they are the loudest.”

THAT is the story. Congrats to Rabbi Jill Jacobs. She shows real courage. Why isn’t Goodstein giving us that story from the start? She should have written:

Rabbis who are critical of Israel’s action in Gaza are afraid to say so in their shuls because they are afraid of angering donors– even though younger members of their flock agree with them.

Late in the Times article, we learn that some of these rabbis even support BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions. That’s a story. And by the way, all that happened to the rightwing rabbi at the start of the article was he got a letter from a member who was quitting. That’s a bit different from a donor’s call. Just ask Rev. Bruce Shipman. A member quitting and a donor withholding funds — that’s false equivalence.

There is today a revolution taking place inside American Jewish life. Gaza has destroyed many young Jews’ belief in the Jewish state and undermined liberal Zionists’ belief that they can reconcile the two strands of their ideology. The New York Times continues to put its head in the sand.

P.S. JCPA, which reports that doves are afraid to speak out, is a Zionist organization (link). It’s probably undercounting the shift.

 

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46 Responses

  1. Joe Catron
    September 23, 2014, 11:06 am

    I couldn’t read past the first paragraph, in which Goodstein dutifully reports on Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum conflating “young Israeli soldiers — as well as Palestinian children” in a liturgy.

    That’s just wrong. Furthermore, I can’t be bothered to explain how obviously wrong it is. If it isn’t clear to you, retire from whatever sort of public life you have and never post anything online.

    • just
      September 23, 2014, 11:18 am

      True.

      • just
        September 23, 2014, 11:25 am

        From the article:

        “Rabbi Rosen said in an interview: “For many Jews, Israel is their Judaism, or at least a big part of it. So when someone challenges the centrality of Israel in a public way, it’s very painful and very difficult, especially when that person is their rabbi.””

        That’s just pitiful.

        If people believe that ‘Israel is their Judaism’, then they put their faith at risk or perhaps they have no real faith at all. jmo.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 23, 2014, 12:09 pm

      Good point Joe. I recognize that my politics sometimes put me in the position of trying to explain the US Jewish community to the left; and what you cite is a demonstration of the reactionary character of the organized Jewish community. In that context, hers is a daring statement. Sad, awful, true. It’s not the only insular ethno-religious community in the world, but it’s a very important one. And why I think the word revolution is appropriate

      • Joe Catron
        September 23, 2014, 2:05 pm

        It’s not unique to Jews. I remember battling American anti-war activists who, circa 2003-2005, wanted to memorialize US troops alongside Iraqi civilians, and nobody else. The rather obvious disparity seemed entirely lost on them. And then, as now, I didn’t really have the patience to explain it to anyone who couldn’t intuitively grasp it.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 23, 2014, 3:31 pm

        joe, i read the israel project (tip) talking pt instructional on how to engage online. it told pro israel supporters to align w/palestinian civilians (same ridiculous narrative the gov was pushing alleging they were on the side of palestinian people vs hamas) . and we saw that same meme in rabbi leshaws tweets at ohio state, it made the rounds .

        the idea that the attackers (whether israel or US soldiers) are at one with the people they slaughter against the defenders of palestine/ fighters (or all/any adult males in the society) is gross and sick.

        obviously the palestinian people are not going to swing over to the attackers narrative and buy into the concept the slaughter of their own children/victims are the fault of hamas, it’s such sinister-cynical-demented hasbara it’s hard to fathom the mentality of criminals in think tanks who design these talking pts. and it’s unbelievable to me how many people repeat it.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 23, 2014, 12:34 pm

      i found the most disturbing part of the nyt article to be the few words inserted into the paragraph phil blockquoted first where it says “Israel’s occupation of Arab lands won in battle and its standoff ….

      it’s irresponsible journalism to perpetuate a notion that runs contrary to international law, the very idea israel, or any country in this day and age, can legally “win”..”arab land” ..” in battle” which their sentence implies. and i still hear people claiming israel was defending itself in 67 when it was israel that attacked. it’s against international law to unilaterally acquire land by conquest. the nyt must know this, and yet they reference it like it’s a done deal. it’s not a done deal, at all.

      • just
        September 23, 2014, 12:50 pm

        Thanks Annie. You are a most discerning reader. It is so obvious that I ran past it!!!

        OT– did anyone see the new Rick Steves’ special on P/I :”The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today”? He tried to make it ‘balanced’, but the grotesque and real imbalance was glaringly apparent. He did introduce the program with “Palestine”. It was filmed before this latest genocidal massacre.

        “Why did you choose to use the name “Palestine” for the region?

        We had a lot of discussions about what we should name the show, and especially what we should call the West Bank, Palestine, Occupied Territories, whatever you might want to call it. We decided not to go with the careful, the politically correct, or the least contentious name, but to go with what the local people want to be called, taking into consideration what the consensus is among the nations in the world. That’s “Palestine.” The fact that it’s a controversial choice is an example of how this area is quite a challenge when you’re writing a script. Every word is a potential minefield.”

        https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/tv-show/tv-specials/holy-land

      • American
        September 23, 2014, 1:40 pm

        I was about to say that same thing annie…..I got as far as ……”Israel’s occupation of Arab lands won in battle and its standoff with the Palestinians””… ..the ‘downplay’ ….I wasnt interested in reading any more and went to reading the comments.

      • Dima
        September 23, 2014, 2:27 pm

        ok then, what is your solution to injustice?

        lets say you were god and can make any person do anything.

        what would you order us israelis (guys and gals who immigrated here from france, spain, russia, ethiopia, india, or whos parents did it years ago) to do right now to restore justice? and not be punished by karma laws coz next life-cycle we’ll be born as pigs and eaten with vodka somewhere up north :D ok. but whats your plan miss justice? im just curious.
        i think we all need your advice.
        maybe:
        (1) we all go kill ourselves?
        (2) we leave our current country we live in, and go abroad all together
        (3) we open siege on gaza and let them have full equal rights as any israeli citizen
        (4) while number-3 is good, we will let all of them enter israel and start killing us? so yes, 1.9 million are peaceful and cute, but the 0.1 of armed guys is enough to kill most of us in a week. can we allow it? how? if u were born in israel, what would be your solution, what would YOU do right now? (please answer if you can for 2 options, how would u act as regular working citizen, and how – if you were the leader prime minister or whoever in knesset?)

        it’s too easy for you to talk smart from far-far-away.

        i know im a bit aggressive towards you right now, im sorry. it’s just my instinct of ‘anti’ on all who talk much and do little… u can kick my ass in your replies, you’re welcome ;) .

      • Annie Robbins
        September 23, 2014, 3:08 pm

        You are a most discerning reader. It is so obvious that I ran past it!!!

        just, the best kind of propaganda is the kind that’s benignly inserted into otherwise coherent narrative that we don’t notice and just accept. one thing that informs me in the hasbara discourse is reading the comment sections in msm including places like npr and huffpo. you can see the trends in hasbara. one that’s popular (currently which to me represents a framing/doubling down, by design) is the repetition of the idea israel ‘won’ the WB in conquest. so after hearing that claim repeatedly in the last few weeks it’s not surprising when it pops up in a nyt article, no matter how benignly. this repetition is by design.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 23, 2014, 3:15 pm

        dima, i’m not interested in having a discussion w/you and your racist game playing. you want me to answer your questions peppered w/crap like:

        (1) we all go kill ourselves?

        let all of them enter israel and start killing us? .. 0.1 of armed guys is enough to kill most of us in a week. can we allow it?

        try harder and figure out whatever it is you want. either my answers or pandering to your “instincts” to blather your bs all over the threads., because as long as it’s both i won’t be playing along.

      • Kris
        September 23, 2014, 4:20 pm

        Good catch, Annie.

        Also, it’s not “Arab” land, it’s Palestinian land. That distinction is very important. Palestinians are a distinct people, not just part of some amorphous “Arab” population who might as well just move to Saudi Arabia. Which is why Israelis and their supporters use the word “Arab.”

      • Kris
        September 23, 2014, 4:29 pm

        This is how to ask the NYT to run corrections, and how to email the author of this story:

        News Departments and Reporters

        To send comments and suggestions (about news coverage only) or to report errors that call for a correction, email us or leave a message at 1‑888‑NYT‑NEWS (1‑888‑698‑6397).

        Most reporters can be reached directly by clicking the byline of any article by that reporter. This will take you to the reporter’s Times Topics page, where you can click the Send an Email to… link to access the contact form.

      • just
        September 23, 2014, 6:18 pm

        Of course you are correct Annie. The amazing thing is that it is not even a teensy bit subliminal.

        It’s a barrage of bald faced lies.

  2. eljay
    September 23, 2014, 11:38 am

    >> “For many Jews, Israel is their Judaism, or at least a big part of it.”

    Why waste time worshipping an intangible god when you can worship – and even live in! – your very own “Jewish State”!

    How sad that “for many Jews”, idolatry is a big part of their faith.

    • Kay24
      September 23, 2014, 11:55 am

      Their government has made them feel this way. To question, challenge, or condemn Israel continuous criminal actions, makes them anti Jewish, and they are brought up being made to feel they must support it right or wrong.

      A Jewish friend recently told me that his mother said he will be always a Jew (although he follows some guru who is not Jewish) and that he does not question what Israel does.
      He seems pretty ignorant about many things and did not even know what AIPAC was.
      That said everything to me.

      • eljay
        September 23, 2014, 12:30 pm

        >> Kay24: Their government has made them feel this way. To question, challenge, or condemn Israel continuous criminal actions, makes them anti Jewish …

        Rabbi Rosen’s comment was about Israel comprising most if not all of the faith (Judaism), not the “Jewishness”, of many Jews. Has their government forced them to make the worship of a supremacist state the predominant part of their faith?

        >> … A Jewish friend recently told me that his mother said he will be always a Jew (although he follows some guru who is not Jewish) and that he does not question what Israel does.

        Curious:
        – His mother says he will always be a Jew. What does he say? (IMO, what he says trumps what his mother says.)
        – In addition to not questioning what Israel does, does he support what it does?

        Thanks. :-)

      • Kay24
        September 23, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Eljay, I refer to the sense of intense loyalty many Jews feel towards Israel. Israel right or wrong, and do not question what their leaders do, because it is for their religion, defense, and never again.

        I get the impression that he buys the Israeli narrative, and will support it, even if facts are presented to him. He is an extremely nice person, but I sensed not willing to consider any fact that goes against his sense of loyalty to Israel and the religion.

      • eljay
        September 23, 2014, 3:03 pm

        >> Kay24 @ September 23, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Thanks for the reply, Kay24. :-)

  3. Chu
    September 23, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Rabbi Rosen said in an interview: “For many Jews, Israel is their Judaism, or at least a big part of it. So when someone challenges the centrality of Israel in a public way, it’s very painful and very difficult, especially when that person is their rabbi.”

    Israel is the religion to many Jews who’ve never stepped foot in a synagogue. I’ve seen the exuberant defense of Israel, from many whom don’t even know where the ark is in a synagogue is located. Do these enthusiasts have all the money as the quote below indicates, not that I’ve seen. Certainly the mouth though.

    “Rabbis are just really scared because they get slammed by their right-wing congregants, who are often the ones with the purse strings. They are not necessarily the numerical majority, but they are the loudest.”

  4. bilal a
    September 23, 2014, 1:02 pm

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  5. pabelmont
    September 23, 2014, 1:12 pm

    “who are often the ones with the purse strings. They are not necessarily the numerical majority, but they are the loudest.”

    Money YELLS! This is what Bernie Sanders is openly saying about money in politics (on the subject of BIG-FOSSIL-FUEL preventing action on Climate Change).

    Read 4 letters to New Yorker (9/22/2014, p.12) on same topic, 2 on AIPAC as an instance of big-money: pay-wwall’d: http://meter.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/letters-readers-2

  6. just
    September 23, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Perhaps the faint- hearted rabbis should read this to their congregations:

    “About an hour and a half after the High Court of Justice announced that the government must shut down its Holot detention facility for asylum seekers, the sidewalk in front of 6 Etzel Street in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood was filled with reporters interviewing people who vehemently rejected the ruling: many neighborhood residents, including Arnon Giladi, a deputy mayor.

    “We are not angry, we are infuriated,” said Giladi, a resident of south Tel Aviv and a Likud politician. “This is a black day. Residents of Rehavia [an upscale Jerusalem neighborhood] don’t live with our reality.”

    Longtime resident Shahaf Harari said the influx of asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea has made her feel like a minority in her own neighborhood.

    “I’ve been suffering here for 40 years, but since they’ve been here, I suffer more,” said Harari, a dishwasher in a local restaurant. “I feel like a minority here. I’m not against foreigners; I’m against assembling them here in one place. Since they’ve been here, we have less of a livelihood.”

    The presence of cameras appeared to be provoking anger — and racism — in a neighborhood that had calmed down considerably in recent months. One boy started yelling at African migrants waiting for a bus, calling them “monkeys.” Some of those gathered lashed out at “leftists,” with one insisting that Peace Now was responsible for the High Court ruling.

    At one point a woman got annoyed when she caught sight of an African migrant who was standing near the crowd and smiling amid the commotion. “Why is he smiling?” the woman wondered out loud, and whacked him with a bag. A TV reporter attempted to separate them as the man fled.

    The woman switched to hitting the reporters, until she burst into tears.

    Several longtime residents went as far as comparing south Tel Aviv, post-migrant influx, to the iniquity of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. When pressed, some admitted that might be a bit of an exaggeration — prompted by the sight of darker skin tones, and fear. “At night you hardly see a white person around,” one of the residents said. “I feel safe, but you have no children. If you did, you wouldn’t let them on the streets at night.”

    Not all native Israeli residents were upset by the High Court ruling.

    “I feel safe here,” said a young religious woman named Sarit, who lives in the neighborhood and works as a child caregiver. “I’m on good terms with my Eritrean neighbors. They tell me that if Israel would help them depose the dictator in Eritrea, they’d be happy to leave and study in university there rather than do cleaning work here. It’s not their fault, it’s the government’s fault.”

    A woman standing nearby disagreed, saying African migrants had stolen her necklace. “There are all kinds,” insisted Sarit.

    But the other woman was not pacified. “The problem is that they’ll breed,” she said. “We should stand up and get rid of them.”

    Asylum seekers in the streets, meanwhile, said they were happy about the ruling, but could not be seen celebrating. Sammy, a migrant from Eritrea, said he had learned of the court ruling on Facebook.

    “I am happy,” he said. “Many people in Israel are helping us. In Eritrea they cut off people’s heads and put them in baskets. The whole world knows our dictator. It’s better to die here than to go back. Because we work hard, we have no time to celebrate.”

    The knot of residents and reporters eventually broke up, but not before some people said they would organize to harm the migrants.

    “We have to be like Islamic State, cutting off hands and feet,” said one.”

    more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.617285

    • Dima
      September 23, 2014, 2:48 pm

      but hey, doesn’t the fact we accepted so many of them, shows that we’re not that bad? :( stop hating israel u all, better think of a solution and give us advice.
      what if someone will come up with a good solution idea? we can gather many people on facebook to go present it to knesset and our leaders. why not. look at the avaaz climate march :P it’s awesome (a bit useless.. but still awesome :) )

      • just
        September 23, 2014, 4:58 pm

        You want advice?

        End the Occupation. End your apartheid. End your genocide of Palestinian people of all stripes.

        Grow some humanity.

      • eljay
        September 24, 2014, 7:54 am

        >> Dima: what if someone will come up with a good solution idea?

        An excellent solution is for Israel to embrace the tenets of justice, accountability and equality and:
        – halt its decades-old and on-going occupation and colonization of Palestine;
        – withdraw to within its / Partition borders;
        – honour its obligations under international law;
        – accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes; and
        – enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • Mooser
        September 24, 2014, 1:19 pm

        “( stop hating israel u all, better think of a solution and give us advice.”

        Oh, this is awful, it looks like all the grown-ups in Israel have disappeared, leaving only whiny kids begging for advice, like “How do you work the Microwave”

      • Ursa_Web
        May 8, 2015, 2:36 am

        Israel is sliding into the Abyss. Nothing will help, to be honest.

    • Marnie
      September 24, 2014, 2:31 am

      But the other woman was not pacified. “The problem is that they’ll breed,” she said. “We should stand up and get rid of them.”

      I would bet any amount of money that these people said the same thing with the yemenite immigration and more recently the ethiopian immigration. This is the most racist state outside the US.

      • Shmuel
        September 24, 2014, 3:42 am

        I would bet any amount of money that these people said the same thing with the yemenite immigration

        Or maybe she was a Yemenite herself.

      • Mooser
        September 24, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Shmuel, are you saying that exploiting and creating racism is a basic strategy in administering the Israeli State? That racism is officially vlidated as a basic component of the state, not just against Palestinians, but also to divide and control different groups of Jews in Israel?

        Would that be a fair generalisation. Any state which depends for its existence on making the most fragile, tenuos, and, in the case of Israel, self-serving distinctions needed to determine who is “Jewish” or not must be steeped to the core in the worst kinds of racism, I would think.

      • Shmuel
        September 25, 2014, 9:01 am

        Mooser,

        Israel is structurally racist against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. It also has a history of popular and institutional racism against non-European Jews. The latter type of racism is no longer as blatant as it once was and is probably more a matter of class discrimination today (with ethnic overlap and some exceptions for the worse). I wouldn’t say that there is a strategy of dividing Israeli Jews along ethnic lines, although pitting the poor against each other is always in vogue.

        My point in noting that the woman who made the statement about “their breeding” may very well have been a Yemenite (or other Mizrahit — not unlikely in south Tel Aviv) was that not all racism in Israel can or should be attributed to the big bad Ashkenazim, and that being a victim of racism (past or present) doesn’t mean that you can’t also be a racist yourself. To come back to the strategy of control, those in power would much rather have the mostly-Mizrahi residents of poor neighbourhoods in TA venting their anger and frustration at asylum seekers than at the government or power structure that keeps both groups poor and oppressed. Nothing particularly Israeli about that.

  7. seafoid
    September 23, 2014, 3:49 pm

    reporter Laurie Goodstein begins by saying that leftwing and rightwing rabbis are hesitant to bring the Klukluxklan up lest they divide their congregations.

    reporter Laurie Goodstein begins by saying that leftwing and rightwing rabbis are hesitant to bring Jeffrey Dahmer up lest they divide their congregations.

    “Rabbis who are critical of Israel’s action in Gaza are afraid to say so in their shuls because they are afraid of angering donors– even though younger members of their flock agree with them. -”

    the Jewish prison

    • Mooser
      September 23, 2014, 6:29 pm

      “the Jewish prison”

      Seafoid, get the hell over yourself, okay? If you need instructions or assistance in how to rent or buy a building, raise funds, equip the building for services, just call me, I’ll help you out.

      Oh, you’ll have to bust of of Jewish “prison” first. Can’t help with that, have no experience in prison breaking.

  8. piotr
    September 23, 2014, 5:04 pm

    This is close to the closing of NYT article:

    Last year, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles tried and failed to organize an event exploring how to have a dialogue about Israel, in part because of logistics and in part because it was just too contentious, said Jonathan Freund, vice president of the board.

    “It was kind of ironic,” Mr. Freund said, “because we couldn’t in the end figure out how to talk about how to talk about it.”

    I do not know how hard are the logistics in LA area (hard to arrange carpools? ah! it is hard to find any rabbi offering his temple as the location!) but clearly, the idea to talk your mind is discounted as impractical.

  9. peacenotapartheid
    September 23, 2014, 10:33 pm

    On Sunday I wrote:
    > On Thursday’s “On Point” (“The Future Of Liberal Zionism”) with Antony Lerman and Peter Beinart, Caroline Glick personified the “this can’t be discussed” position, starting out by saying “…I’m just completely appalled by this entire discourse…”, and “I don’t understand what service you’re performing for your audience…”: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/09/18/the-future-of-liberal-zionism

    Her tirade got worse from there. I expect her belligerence would convince almost any unbiased listener that she’s in the wrong.

    (repeating because I haven’t seen this show mentioned here yet)

  10. michelle
    September 23, 2014, 11:56 pm

    .
    what kind of teachers are these rabbis
    is this where the fear is comming from
    .
    criticize injustice
    criticize fear
    criticize selling out
    criticize turning a blind eye
    .
    good or bad through your choices ‘you’ stand for something
    what kind of example will ‘you’ prove to be
    are you truly free or are you in truth a prisoner
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  11. RoHa
    September 24, 2014, 1:59 am

    “many are anguishing over what to say about Israel in their sermons during the High Holy Days”

    Do they have to say anything about Israel? Can’t they give a sermon without it?

    • just
      September 24, 2014, 12:28 pm

      Good question. This goes again to Rosen’s comment:

      “For many Jews, Israel is their Judaism”

  12. jon s
    September 24, 2014, 6:54 am

    Shana Tova, A happy and sweet year to all, a year of peace!

    • seafoid
      September 24, 2014, 9:24 am

      a year of peace and make sure you finish that desert

    • Mooser
      September 24, 2014, 1:15 pm

      “Shana Tova, A happy and sweet year to all, a year of peace!”

      You, “Jon s” say that, and your tongue didn’t immediately get boils? Wow, it is true God is merciful around the High Holy Days.

  13. eljay
    September 24, 2014, 7:26 am

    >> jon s: A happy and sweet year to all, a year of peace!

    Sadly, if the supremacist “Jewish State” continues to have its way, it won’t be a year of justice and accountability.

  14. eljay
    September 24, 2014, 7:33 am

    >> eljay: … it won’t be a year of justice and accountability.

    Correction: … it won’t be a year of justice, accountability and equality.

    (Zio-supremacists love “peace”, but they have no time for justice, accountability and equality.)

  15. ThePolemicist
    September 24, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Take a look at this post, riffing on “Exodus” – the movie with Paul Newman that provided what Edward Said called “The main narrative model that [still] dominates American thinking” about Israel” for a whole generation, and whose memes still are still circulated widely in the culture by influential members of that generation.

    It’s interesting that the film is never shown now, and I think that’s because it actually presents some of the nastier elements of the Zionist strategy, which makes it much more problematic as a vehicle for promoting Zionism to a younger generation. It emphatically demonstrates, for example, the hypocrisy of Israel’s complaints about “human shields.”

    The memes have gone off the rails, and the younger members of these congregations have a completely different “lived relation” to Israel and Zionism.

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