Category Archives:
American Jewish Community

Alvin Rosenfeld’s Holocaust complaint

Marc H. Ellis on
hedynow

Alvin Rosenfeld accuses anti-Zionist Jews of being “Jew-haters.” Isn’t he showing some ageism when he seeks to discredit Hedy Epstein by citing her age, 90, as alleged evidence against her rationality? Marc Ellis at Mondo

Richard Cohen says he married Israel and has been faithful during ups and downs

Philip Weiss on
Richard Cohen

Longtime Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has a book coming out in two weeks called Israel: Is It Good for the Jews? a question that Cohen answers in the affirmative. From his publisher, Simon and Schuster: A very personal journey through Jewish history (and Cohen’s own), and a passionate defense of Israel’s legitimacy.Richard Cohen’s book is

Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is ‘the last thing Israel wants’

Philip Weiss on
Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Ten days ago Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders yelled at constituents to “shut up” and threatened to call the police when they got angry at him over his stance in support of Israeli massacres. Well, at least Sanders abstained on the vote to give Israel another $225 million during the Gaza onslaught. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren supported that funding, and when she also got it from constituents last week she just mouthed Israel’s talking points in response.

Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism

Philip Weiss on
Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale

Everyone is talking about this. Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed by Deborah Lipstadt saying that anti-Semitism is returning to Europe in ways reminiscent of the Nazi era, in which Lipstadt blurred the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, citing protests of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Well, the Times has now run a

‘New Yorker’ limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC

Philip Weiss on
New Yorker writer Connie Bruck and her husband former Congressman Mel Levine. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/ Getty Images)

Connie Bruck has a big piece on AIPAC in the New Yorker that includes some good Capitol Hill reporting on AIPAC’s corrupting influence over the Congress. Friends are passing the piece along to me as an expose, and several are thrilled by it. The article is titled, “Are American Jews Turning Against AIPAC?” and suggests that AIPAC

Leading Jewish organization celebrates Israeli settlement products

Philip Weiss on
B'nai B'rith

Adam sent me this photo today from a doctor’s waiting room. The article is all about wine from the Judean Hills around Jerusalem. At least one of the vineyards is in the West Bank, in the illegal settlement of Psagot (and others vaguely alluded to are in the Golan); but the article doesn’t refer to

Gaza goyim jailbreak

Philip Weiss on
Bardem

Last weekend I joined my wife’s extended family on a mountain lake; and every time Gaza came up, my ears pricked up. For instance, someone grabbed The New York Times business section with Bloomberg’s picture on the front and said “What’s Bloomberg up to?” and someone else said snarkily, “Going to Israel.” The article was

Salaita’s hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor

Philip Weiss on
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise (Photo: L. Brian Stauffer)

Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jascik today reports a disturbing development in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Phyllis Wise, the university’s chancellor, was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita’s comments on twitter about Gaza. The school’s fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with

‘NO DISCUSSION of Gaza’ — new Zionist etiquette

Philip Weiss on
Susan Talve, one of the rabbis who invited congregants to the Muslim-Jewish gathering without political conversation

It’s been observed that people are avoiding the Gaza conversation because they are afraid that the dinner party will explode. I’ve seen it in my friends, walking on eggshells for fear that an Israel supporter will get upset. “[M]any of my Jewish friends cannot debate this… without extreme emotional investment in it, and that’s a very hard

Anti-occupation activists in New York blast United Jewish Appeal for supporting attacks on Gaza

Alex Kane on
photo-6-580x435

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) gathered outside the offices of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York today, criticizing the group’s support for Israel’s policy towards Gaza, including the blockade of the coastal territory and the ongoing military assault. The action was one of many across the country that Jewish

‘Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children’

Philip Weiss on

Yaacov Lozowick is the state archivist of Israel. A scholar who moved to Israel from Europe, he is a true believer in the necessity of Jewish nationalism. Scott Roth and I once met him in West Jerusalem and had a polite conversation that became more adversarial when it was continued on email in the months

Witnessing Gaza

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. As we approach the endgame of this phase of Gaza’s tribulations – for rest assured, Gaza’s tribulations will continue – reporters on the ground are writing and photographing the disaster. Like all

Question for the American Jewish Establishment: Where does Zionism end and Judaism begin?

Zachary J. Foster on

It has happened again.  The rift between America’s Jewish Establishment and young, liberal-minded Jews has widened in the wake of the Gaza War.  Synagogues, Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Councils, Rabbinical Boards and all three major Jewish movements (Orthodox, Conservative and Reform) from Detroit and Cleveland to New York and Miami have thrown their unconditional support

Blaming the Victims: A night with AIPAC in St. Louis and protesters in Ferguson

Michael Berg on

Background: On July 21, during the question and answer portion of a St. Louis Jewish Federation community briefing, I was screamed at, then grabbed by security guards, for having introduced countervailing thoughts to a very one sided conversation. Then on July 29 four members of St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) interrupted Consul General of Israel to

How to respond to thoughtful people who can’t help saying ‘but Hamas’

Donna Nevel on

In conversations about Gaza, I have heard many thoughtful people in the Jewish community lament the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza but then say, “But Hamas…,” as if that were the heart of the problem. I’d like to suggest that, when we have these conversations about Hamas and Israel’s current bombing campaign, we begin

New J Street platform parrots Likud as membership continues to shift left

Ron Smith on

Recently, J Street send out a message to its members, claiming that it had created a new platform that would better address the concerns of its members. For some time, J Street’s open secret is that its members tend to be far to the left of the political spectrum from the leadership. In the wake

On the Frontiers of a Divided World: Reflections after the 2014 Helix Project

Mandy Cohen on

Last month I was in Warsaw. I was on my way home to L.A. after two weeks traveling with the Helix Project through places that Yiddish-speaking Jews once called Líta (Lithuania). Jews from this area are called Litvaks (Lithuanians), they have distinctive dialects of Yiddish, and a reputation as intellectuals, given that Líta was the home of the greatest yeshivas in

Reprint of Yochanan Gordon’s “When Genocide is Permissible” (Updated)

Mondoweiss Editors on

Earlier today the Times of Israel published the article “When Genocide is Permissible” by Yochanan Gordon. They have since taken it down but we are republishing it here as representative of part of the discourse in the American Jewish community. According to Gordon’s bio at the Times of Israel his father is the founder of The Five Towns Jewish

Assault on Gaza fuels surge of civil disobedience in protest of Israeli actions

Alex Kane on

When Israel pounded the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, activists across North America occupied Israeli consulate buildings in protest of Operation Cast Lead, which killed an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians. Now, as the death toll reaches Cast Lead-like levels, with over 1,000 Palestinians slain by Israeli forces, activists are once again ramping

To my fellow American Jews

Beth Miller on

I am writing this to my fellow American Jews. Well, to some of them. For a specific type of American Jew, actually. To those whose parents or grandparents were socialists and started unions before marching with Dr. King in Alabama. To those who despised George W. Bush and marched against the invasion of Iraq. To