On Thursday night at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th Street in New York, a number of Jews including myself will be on a panel about "How Do We Talk About Israel?" The discussion is about: how to have the discussion. I’ll be rehearsing some of my lines here in the next couple days.
The panel is being organized by Dan Fleshler, an old friend, and fellow soul-searcher, known as Realistic Dove. Dan is writing a book about the Israel lobby, though he is more sympathetic to its actions than I am. And more knowledgeable. (He is more Jewish-identified than I am, and more concerned about the consequences of broaching one of my favorite subjects, dual loyalty.)
Note Dan’s latest post, in which he assigns some blame for the Gaza collapse to the Israel lobby. Excerpt:
In light of recent
events, it is heartbreaking to recall both the hope that was generated
when Abbas initially took over the Palestinian Authority and the role
of the U.S. government –abetted by AIPAC– in dashing that hope….Fatah might have been driven out of Gaza regardless of what
the U.S. and American Jews did or didn’t do. I am sure that the
cabal-watchers in the blogosphere will devote themselves to blaming the
Zionists for everything that has happened in the Gaza Strip in recent
days, and I can predict in advance that their claims will be absolutely
ridiculous. No one forced the Palestinians to elect Hamas. No one
forced them to kill each other on the streets of Gaza City. Still, a certain amount of soul-searching in the liberal American Jewish community is in order.