Category Archives:
American Jewish Community

J Street’s progressive illusion

Marc H. Ellis on
J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami speaking at the group's conference in 2012. (Photo: J Street)

Are there any in more active complicity in the destruction of Palestine than Palestine’s well-wishers? J Street’s October 28 statement is the latest example of a “pro-peace” organization that is doing nothing to advance an end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine.

UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement

Alex Kane on
Hillel logo

A California Hillel chapter has partnered with a D.C.-linked public relations firm to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, according to leaked emails obtained by Mondoweiss. The PR firm 30 Point Strategies has discussed how to combat BDS at the University of California, Los Angeles campus with Hillel staffers there. 30 Point staffers have advised UCLA’s Hillel to stay largely silent in the event of a student government resolution that recommends divestment from Israeli military-linked corporations. The revelation that a Hillel chapter has turned to a professional public relations firm shows that UCLA Hillel is stepping up its work to fight BDS on campus.

Israel and Palestine is not about Jews vs. Palestinians

Samantha Brotman on
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Samantha Brotman shares her remarks from an event called “Zionism & The New McCarthyism: A Conversation with Bruce Robbins” that took place in Champaign-Urbana. It was a canceled University of Illinois event that was rescheduled as an independent event, without university support. Bruce Robbins’s short documentary, Some of My Best Friends are Zionists, interviews influential Jews such as Judith Butler and Tony Kushner who discuss the repression of anti-Zionist viewpoints. His talk addressed the rise of a “new McCarthyism” on college campuses which threatens to shut down criticism of Israel in the guise of “civility.” Brotman was a respondent along with Jodi Byrd (Professor in American Indian Studies) and Bruce Levine (Professor of History).

An open letter to Birthright participants past, present, and future

Hannah Friedstein on
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Hannah Friedstein writes a primer on Birthright to demystify its themes and its objectives based on her experience in the program. Her goal is that Birthright participants gain a new and critical perspective on the program which she believes is anything but neutra

The ice floe

Philip Weiss on
Gal (l) is out of uniform for her meeting at the wall with Rezan, from My So-Called Enemy

A liberal NY Jewish community sees a film on a dialogue project between Israelis and Palestinians and thinks that’s the answer to the conflict. Hapless in the Hudson Valley

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.

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

Stop the Yom Kippur prayers if they don’t make sense in the Gaza rubble

Marc H. Ellis on
Abdul Rahman describes destruction in Beit Hanoun, photo by Max Blumenthal

Devastation as far as the eye can see is our Yom Kippur geography. If a closing prayer is a must, chant the Amidah. The Shema. Anything that comes to mind. With a caveat. Stop the prayers if they don’t make sense in the Gaza rubble. If a prayer doesn’t make sense when the names of the murdered are read, call up another prayer. This goes for any comments that are made as well. If they make sense in the presence of the Gazan dead. Otherwise be silent

Read the genocidal sermon a notable Atlanta rabbi gave this Rosh Hashanah

Adam Horowitz on
Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, Ga on Aug. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Last Thursday Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim outside Atlanta gave what can only be understood as a call to genocide in his Rosh Hashanah sermon to welcome in the Jewish new year. The sermon calls for a war on Islam and Muslims worldwide. Lewis says a “holy crusade” against Islam is needed to”exterminate it utterly and absolutely.” Lewis is no fringe figure. He has served this popular suburban congregation for nearly 40 years and was given a commendation by the US Congress

Can Schumer evolve? Finally, some pressure

Philip Weiss on
Schumer, official portrait

Did Chuck Schumer just say, ‘My opinions on Palestine are evolving’? That is the aim of a new campaign aimed at the senator’s assertion that he is Israel’s guardian in the U.S. It’s time to talk about Israeli human rights violations. Demo on Monday at his NY offic

Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship

Philip Weiss on
David Brooks

Glenn Greenwald’s latest revelation, that three former Treasury officials are involved in a neoconservative Zionist lobbying outfit, combined with David Brooks’s apparent belief that he’s an Israeli parent, shows how commingled the Israel interest is in our political culture, the type of sinister influence Lincoln and Burke both warned their democracies against