Category Archives:
US Politics

Islamophobia, liberalism and the dangers of Interfaith ignorance

David Shasha on
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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

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

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.

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

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