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.
Category Archives: American Jewish Community
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.
“Increasingly, Israel was challenged and spurned by some of us,” Rabbi Angela Buchdahl says to a leading reform synagogue in Manhattan before imploring her congregation to love Israel because American Jews are the country’s “strategic allies.”
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.
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.
Why is the Meltzer group, a US life insurance company, underwriting a talk by an Israeli reserve colonel defending Israel’s conduct in the Gaza slaughter of last summer? At a Washington synagogu
Marc Ellis on his latest book “Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza.”
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
Dan Fischer explains why he removed an insert titled “Prayer for the Soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces” from his synagogue’s Yom Kippur service last year.
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
Artist Ethan Heitner presents a profound protest idea on Yom Kippur.
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
Rabbis Susan Talve and Randy Fleisher pray for justice in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Mo., but support AIPAC when Israel is involved. Racial justice at home, apartheid over there.
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
Two days ago I noted the intense backlash from Israeli leaders toward Mairav Zonszein’s op-ed in the New York Times, “How Israel Silences Dissent.” In that piece, Zonszein said she would rather be out of the Jewish Israeli family than be part of the “exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism” that increasingly dominates that society. The piece continues to
The Israeli army had a busy summer so now its friends are staging fundraisers to help the army with the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Nets basketball teams. And with Rabbi Howard Stecker on Long Island.
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
From the New York Times August 19th, just brought to my attention, an article on declining bipartisanship even inside the Senate dining room. Reported by Ashley Parker. Nice work Ashley, getting the word bellow in there. This was about the time Israel was slaughtering civilians in Gaza: One morning last month [July], Senator Mitch McConnell,
From Steven Salaita’s firing at the University of Illinois, to Bruce Shipman’s being forced out at Yale, to Michelle Nunn’s positioning in the Georgia Senate race, to rabbis refusing to criticize Israel, pro-Israel donors play a significant role in the U.S. discourse on Israel/Palestine. Here are several stories that underline the importance of pro-Israel money and show that elites are particularly vulnerable to donor pressure. These same elites are crucial to the lobby because Israel has lost the grass-roots. In fact, there is now a battle raging inside elite opinion
From the Jewish Journal two days ago. “David Brooks’ son is in the Israeli army. Does it matter?” One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha’aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks’s oldest son serves in
The New York Times buries the news: young Jews don’t feel attached to Israel and their rabbis want to criticize the country in the wake of Gaza, but keep their mouths shut because of older donors. Rabbi Jill Jacobs speaks courageously on the divid
Two weeks after a Yale chaplain lost his job for saying that Gaza has fostered anti-Semitism in Europe, Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch refers to “anti-Semitism that flared in Europe in response to Israel’s conduct in Gaza war,” and is slapped by Jeffrey Goldberg for doing so. But Israel itself has promoted the confusion of Zionism with Judaism.
“It sounds to me like you’d prefer Palestinians not to exist,” I said between sessions at the Jewish retreat center. “I wouldn’t go as far as genocide,” he said. “Almost, but not quite.” And he smiled.The ideological merger between Judaism and Zionism has given rise to an American form of idolatry that one rejects at one’s own peril. A vicious hasbara indoctrination had overtaken these people’s minds and shuttered their ability to think
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw has called on Ohio U. student leader Megan Marzec to resign because her action for Palestine allegedly made Jewish students feel “unsafe.” But Leshaw is administrator of a pro-Israel group that in its logo denies the existence of Palestine or an occupation.
Soon after Israel’s sweeping victory in the 1967 war with Egypt and Syria, it became clear that rather than returning the territory it conquered, Israel intended to occupy the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and much of the Golan Heights. Foreseeing where occupation might lead, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, one of Israel’s most prominent and acclaimed public