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‘How to Talk Candidly About Israel’

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Here’s the flyer for tomorrow night’s event, at the Stephen M. Wise Free Synagogue in N.Y. hosted by Meretz USA, that I’m participating in. I see that the Forward’s J.J. Goldberg is moderating, and Anne Roiphe is joining Dan Fleshler and me on the panel…  Great.

World exclusive on what I’m gonna say: I’m taking part in a Jewish conversation, in a Jewish space. And progressive Jews do know alot about the problems in Israel. But it’s problematic; the way to talk candidly is to talk candidly. The challenge is not to limit this progressive conversation to Jews. Jews owe it to this great country we’re in to share our thoughts about Israel as widely as possible…

So… when Ari Fleischer brags to a Jewish audience in Cincinnati that as Bush’s spokeman he never used the words "cycle of violence" to describe the Israel/Palestine situation… when Alan Dershowitz brags about the power of the Israel lobby in his book Chutzpah and then all but accuses two non-Jewish scholars who write a paper on that subject of antisemitism… when the Zionist Organization of America attacks a Jewish group at Columbia U. for inviting an Israeli critic of the occupation to campus, saying that it’s O.K. to say this stuff in Israel but not to a general audience in the U.S…. those Jews are damaging American democracy.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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