Category Archives:
US Politics

NYT takes on Europe’s recognition of a Palestinian state

Allison Deger on
(Screenshot: NYTimes.com)

The question of Palestine, or rather the question of Palestinian statehood is plaguing the Israeli government and now the pages of the New York Times. In a round table of op-eds Nadia Hijab, Avital Leibovich, Efraim Halevy, Nathan Thrall, Caroline B. Glick, Richard Ottaway, and Omar Barghouti, weigh in on the domino effect of declarations of sovereignty over the occupied territories from the past mont

Israel’s Dead Soul: Steven Salaita’s critical scholarship explains his dismissal from the University of Illinois

David Green on
Steven Salaita speaking at the University of Illinois, September 9, 2014. (Photo: Facebook)

Steven Salaita’s book “Israel’s Dead Soul” (2011) merits serious attention and ultimately effusive praise. It contains five critical essays that not only offer brilliant insight into the cultural and ideological practices of Zionism in both Israel and the United States, but implicitly explain why his conscientious efforts would be denigrated and rejected by the ostensibly liberal aspects of this culture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The Center for Jewish Life is stifling free speech at Princeton University

Max Weiss on
The Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University.

Professor Max Weiss says a member of the Jewish Agency vetoed his invitation to speak on a panel about Gaza at Princeton University. He writes, “Apparently this preemptive act of exclusion was carried out on entirely political grounds. This strikes me as an attempt to stifle the exchange of views on an important, if contentious, issue of concern to many in the Princeton University community — an egregious violation of our community’s values.”

From Schindler to Gaza– two evenings at the Lensic theater

Tanya Taylor Rubinstein on
Liam Neeson in Schindler's List

Oskar Schindler’s redemptive life is a legacy, an invitation to all of us to move past our self centered concerns and figure out how we can contribute to the saving of innocent lives. Today it tells us to throw our energy into supporting the people of Palestin

Islamophobia, liberalism and the dangers of Interfaith ignorance

David Shasha on
ben_affleck_bill_maher-715x500

The bitterly contentious exchange involving New Atheists Sam Harris and Bill Maher teaming up against actor Ben Affleck on the matter of Islam shows us quite explicitly the dangerous pitfalls of Interfaith Dialogue and its fatally flawed process. Harris and the other New Atheists, following the lead of the Interfaith Dialogue movement, militantly isolate religion from its contexts. Instead, our understanding of religion needs to take into account the history, culture, and politics that has impacted its development

How ‘Open Hillel’ created a new community by challenging the Jewish establishment

Alex Kane on
(Photo: Gili Getz/ Open Hillel Facebook)

Hundreds of young Jews from around the country converged on Harvard over the weekend for the Open Hillel conference. The event succeeded in creating a space where open dissent on Israel is welcomed and where conversation and debate is the norm. At the heart of the Open Hillel network is a conviction that Hillel should be a place that welcomes all Jews–not just those who follow the establishment line on Israel.

Deconstructing John Kerry’s address to the Gaza Donors Conference

Marc H. Ellis on
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 12, 2014. (Photo: AP)

John Kerry’s address to the Gaza Donors Conference in Cairo on Sunday was remarkably vacant, if not disingenuous. Reading through Kerry’s address paragraph by paragraph is an exercise in futility. Yet the political ramifications are extreme. Everyone knows that after the Gaza war a profound reckoning is needed. Yet John Kerry – and the Gaza Donors Conference – isn’t even clos

Put a spike in the wheel of injustice

Marc H. Ellis on
St. Andrews Church, Jerusalem

Is it time to pay up for what has become all too easy verbiage as the people of Gaza were slaughtered? Marc Ellis reflects on the prophetic message of minister Loren McGrail, who quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer on opposing fascism

Following shocking sermon, Atlanta JVP calls on area rabbis to challenge racism in Jewish community

Jewish Voice for Peace - Atlanta on
Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, Ga on Aug. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Read a letter the Atlanta chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace sent to Atlanta area Rabbis, the Atlanta Jewish Federation, and the board of trustees of Congregation Etz Chaim calling on them to repudiate Rabbi Lewis’s shocking Rosh Hashanah sermon and to take a stand against anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism in their synagogues and organizations.

David Brooks’s son joining Israel army is an ‘extreme case’ — NYT public editor

Philip Weiss on
David Brooks, courtesy of Josh Haner, NYT

Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of the NYT, says that the NYT should disclose the fact that neoconservative columnist David Brooks’s son joined the Israeli army because he’s involved “in a serious international conflict.” Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor, says the Times doesn’t need to disclose the fact.

It looks like Obama is checking out on Israel

Philip Weiss on
Obama in 2012

Martin Indyk says Democratic politicians are having less to do with Israel because the party base doesn’t support the country, and Obama’s recent indifference to Israel suggests he wants nothing to do with the country. He told Israel what it had to do years ago and Israelis ignored him.

Jewish New Yorkers to Schumer and Gillibrand: Enact the Leahy Law and stop US military aid to Israel

Jews Say NO! and Jewish Voice for Peace/NY on
New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. (Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP)

Jews Say NO! and Jewish Voice for Peace/NY write a letter to New York Senators Charles Schumer
and Kirsten Gillibrand asking them to to enforce provisions of federal law that require the termination of aid to any unit of a foreign military for which there is credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.

Food writer Melissa Clark on being Jewish

Philip Weiss on
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Melissa Clark is a foodwriting star. She’s at the New York Times and has authored many cookbooks. She was on Leonard Lopate’s show on WNYC the other day to talk about her favorite cookbooks, described herself as an American who loves many world cuisines, Indian, French, Mexican, regional American cooking. She was asked about Irma Rombauer’s classic, Joy

TX congressman who expressed concern about Gaza deaths undergoes ‘healing process’ and will fly El Al to Israel

Philip Weiss on
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Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke made the mistake of voting against emergency funding to Israel at the height of the Gaza massacres this summer. His own donors have expressed anger with him in El Paso, and O’Rourke has reached out to local Jewish leaders and the Israel lobby group AIPAC. And after the “healing process,” he’s going to Israel.