Author Archives: Jack Ross

‘Where Do You Stand?’: A 1943 Yom Kippur sermon challenged the American Jewish community on Zionism


Seventy years ago this Yom Kippur, one of the most prominent and outspoken American rabbis of his generation gave what may have been the most poignant and far-seeing High Holy Day sermons to speak directly to what some authors have called “the Jewish century.” Irving Reichert (1895 – 1968), the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco from 1930 to 1947 and a leading personality of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism, prophetically warned that answering the fundamental question posed by Zionism – “what shall be the status of the Jew in the postwar world?” – would indeed have grave consequences for his audience and their children and their children’s children.

Posted in American Jewish Community | 38 Comments

Beinart’s romance, and the coming tragedy

American Jewry married an idolatrous form of nationalism in the 1960s. We need a divorce, and Peter Beinart’s romantic vision won’t save the relationship

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, Neocons, US Politics | 104 Comments

‘Peter Beinart’s offense against liberalism’ and the spiritual crisis Zionism has wrought

The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue’s Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch rails against Peter Beinart, and Jack Ross says it represents the “museum quality specimen of the spiritual crisis and degradation that Zionism has wrought.”

Posted in American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | 45 Comments

Ron Paul and the liberal interventionists

Ron Paul represents a challenge to liberal interventionism. The left must search its soul about the roots of that ideology

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 15 Comments

Even the left has deferred to the Jewish establishment’s demand to bow down before Baal

The other day Adam Horowitz published a dialogue with Daniel Sieradski of Occupy Judaism. This is a response to Sieradski from Jack Ross, author of Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism. I feel compelled to write to you … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 25 Comments

Goldstone lesson: what’s so great about international law?

What Richard Goldstone published on the Times op-ed page yesterday should not be surprising to either his defenders or detractors.  He has never made a secret of being a progressive Zionist, and if he went a step further than the … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 13 Comments

The neocons’ post-9/11 Jewish journey (and mine)

The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has come and gone. But in the commemoration of those attacks, under the radar of the inevitable jingoism and cynical emotional appeals, a more disturbing phenomenon lurks still: the neoconservatives, new to public … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 9 Comments

In the sacred story of American empire, Israel is the ultimate symbol, dammit

Jewish Ideas Daily has run a critical review, by Lawrence Grossman, of Jack Ross’s important new book, Rabbi Outcast. Ross responds: The review itself begins with a very intellectually dishonest premise. In the context of negotiations with Palestinian Arabs at … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 4 Comments

Mead consecrates Jewish nationalism and American nationalism on the rock of anti-Semitism

Walter Russell Mead is the apotheosis of the American establishment in our time, which tends to make his pronouncements of great profundity exercises in extreme silliness. With that noted, he wrote on his blog yesterday, for some strange reason having … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 8 Comments

Alterman describes a future for Israelis as free citizens of a normal democratic country ‘dystopian.’ And why?

Eric Alterman has an important piece at the Forward stating the liberal Zionist opposition to any talk of a one-state/binational democracy in Israel/Palestine and, from an American platform, reminding Palestinians who live over there that they must accept their historic … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 44 Comments

The rise and fall and vindication of Jewish anti-Zionism

Editor: Jack Ross’s new biography of the anti-Zionist rabbi Elmer Berger, Rabbi Outcast, performs two hugely-important tasks: It painstakingly recovers a noble tradition of anti-Zionist thought inside American Jewish life that few of us know anything about, and it situates … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 130 Comments

UN recognition of Palestinian state is actually last chance for 2SS, though US will kill it

The most confusing thing in all the back and forth about Obama’s pronouncements about the Middle East in the last few days is why there is so much talk of the Palestinians trying to declare statehood at the UN in … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 64 Comments

Obama’s speech is irrelevant

Why do you care about what Chris Matthews says? Or NPR for that matter?  The fact is that the US has no control over events on the ground any more. You and your friends and the neocons should stop pretending … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 37 Comments

OBL/Palestine = Berlin Wall/Apartheid

Both Roger Cohen and Peter Beinart have hit home runs as they often do in declaring that the death of Bin Laden means we can finally move on from the “war on terrorism” and Islamofascist conspiracies against our precious bodily … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 29 Comments

Pro-intervention; US is desperate to be relevant again

Looking at Libya through the prism of America’s recent wars really misses the point.  I certainly want to second Pat Buchanan’s statement that it’s their war, not ours. And as I always insist on his Israel-Palestine policy, while Obama’s posturing … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 2 Comments

This revolution ‘undoubtedly means the end of Israel as a Jewish state’

At Postright, Jack Ross has a twilight of the gods post: the events of Cairo signal that the neocons are over, Israel is doomed as a Jewish state, and the Israel lobby is imploding.  the unabashed chutzpah award has to … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 17 Comments

An unqualified defense of Helen Thomas

UPDATE: Thomas has announced her retirement. Her comments [telling Israelis to leave Palestine and "go home" to Europe] do not reflect a desire to see Israel/Palestine judenrein, but rather an ominous sense of what a dangerous place Israel has become, … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 155 Comments

Judah Magnes is rolling in his grave

Judge Goldstone’s removal from the board of governors of Hebrew University is quite possibly the greatest in a long history of grave insults to the legacy of Judah Magnes, founder of the Hebrew University.  Magnes, who warned of the totalitarian … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, US Politics | 2 Comments

On Berman and projection

Re Paul Berman’s 300-page book about Tariq Ramadan. From Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics: It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self; both the ideal and … Continue reading

Posted in Neocons, US Politics | 4 Comments

J Street and ‘the Jewish collective’

On the one hand, J Street has stopped playing their coy game about how Zionist or non-Zionist they are, and now speak openly not merely of "the Jewish people" but even come close to using Commentary’s dark phrase "the Jewish … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 13 Comments

Clinging to the ghost of the two-state solution

Those who complain about the composition of Obama’s Middle East team miss the point, which is: Are they even relevant to what’s going on any more. Here’s an item in which Jeremy Ben-Ami talks shamelessly about "the national home of … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 14 Comments

But Israel doesn’t want a two-state-solution

There is much to commend in Scott McConnell’s criticism of the romantic view of the anti-apartheid struggle, but he ultimately falls into the same trap as a lot of progressives, of wanting a two-state solution more than the Israelis want … Continue reading

Posted in One state/Two states | 5 Comments

More neocon-symp stuff from the ‘Forward’

Jack Ross was disturbed by this piece on Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Muslim intellectual, that appeared in the Forward, which again exhibits its sympathy to the neocon worldview– categorizing Tariq Ramadan as an "Islamofascist" without demurral. Ross: The Forward runs … Continue reading

Posted in Beyondoweiss, Middle East, US Politics | 4 Comments

Who booed Yoffie?

Much has been made of the fact that Rabbi Yoffie was booed at J Street when he dissed the Goldstone report. One of the booers was Medea Benjamin of Code Pink. And Jack Ross adds further info. As the perpetual … Continue reading

Posted in Israel Lobby, US Politics | 27 Comments

Arguing about BDS with Jack Ross

Jack Ross had this further response to the BDS debate prompted by Jeff Blankfort on Rabbi Waskow. Weiss responds to Ross below. I conclude that the militancy with which so many on the left have rushed to embrace BDS and … Continue reading

Posted in BDS | 22 Comments