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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2010-06-13 05:08:24)

tried to get to Gaza for Gaza Freedom March, held up in Cairo. Last year traveled in the West Bank for two weeks.

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  • 'Curricularizing Israel'-- the Hebrew program in suburban Chicago schools
    • I attended Evanston Township High School, once considered one of the top public high schools in the country, many decades ago. The main problem then was size (Evanston had only one public high school, with about 5,000 students) and racism. About one-fifth of Evanston's population, and a similar proportion of the school's students, was black, but few if any students of color were in college-track classes (I can't remember any in mine), and this elite school had no swimming pool. As a result of Liz Rose's article I started thinking about language classes; if Russian had been offered then (it probably wasn't), what would my parents have said if I told them that every teacher who taught Russian was required to promote acceptance of the Soviet system of government? Those who taught Chinese, of the Chinese system? and that students who refused to buy this line felt uncomfortable asking questions in class, made no friends, and dropped out? Furthermore, that the Russian and Chinese classes were supported by pro-Soviet and pro-Communist Chinese organizations? You can imagine the furor this would have caused during those cold war years. How is the question of Hebrew classes different?

  • If you genuinely back the Palestinian cause, you must support the right of return
    • Take a look at Zochrot (, an Israeli NGO, which has done remarkable work in reconstructing the pre-1948 history of buildings and towns seized or destroyed by Israel and educating Israelis about the Nabka. Zochrot's mission statement and programs call for the right of return; if you haven't heard of them it's because this aspect of their work makes it very difficult for them to raise funds to carry on and publicize their activities.

  • Public Theater backed out of oral agreement to put on 'The Siege'
    • Addendum: Last year "The Siege" toured to about a dozen theaters in England and Scotland, receiving much media attention and good reviews. A noisy campaign against the play included demonstrations and leafletting at theater entrances, cries to withdraw funding for the theaters, and outraged statements to the press. Nonetheless, all performances took place without incident, and not one on the whole tour was cancelled.

  • ASA statement on Salaita: An 'assault against the Program in American Indian Studies at UIUC '
    • Has anyone concerned with this situation looked on line to see what other tenured and near-tenured professors at the U of Illinois have posting on social media about current affairs in this and other areas that are sensitive? A comparison might show what the University allows some people more freedom of speech than others.

  • I lose it at the post office
    • I'm afraid your last sentence is wrong, Phil: I am going to bug you about Christian Nation. I'm a long-time reader and supporter of your invaluable website but am really taken aback at your attitude toward a friend trying to get you to look at a book she thinks valuable and your attitude toward the book itself. Do you only read books written by Jews? Are you against considering anything other than the ideas of your "safe" friends? Is this true of your readers, or at least those who left so many admiring comments on this piece?
      You're comparing apples and rocks here, confusing a dystopian (and therefore by definition exaggerated) piece of literature with what you see as the Zionist threat to American foreign policy. I guess you have never read ANIMAL FARM or anything by Margaret Atwood. Perhaps literature isn't your thing. But it is important for a lot of people not only as an escape but as a way to follow a writer who uses imagination to play out ideas and observations of trends in society and see where they might go. Christian Nation is a NOVEL, a fantasy, an allegory, a story of what MIGHT happen to a group of people and a nation. The author is a lawyer, not a professional novelist, but he is good enough at story-telling to capture at least this reader's attention. If you have any contacts in places outside New York and ever talk to people who have obsessions different from your own you would recognize a germ of truth in the possibility that a combination of ignorance, apathy, fear, and false beliefs JUST MIGHT bring enough people to back a Christian Nation. Does it ever bother you that our President, a highly educated and sophisticated man, has to ask God to bless our nation at the end of every speech? Do you think he is talking about the God of the Old Testament?

  • Weiner should be 'hounded' for his support for apartheid
    • Amazing how many of us were in that auditorium at the New School. As a registered Democrat living in NYC, I must make a decision among the Democratic candidates for mayor before the primary. What struck me most about Weiner was not his astonishing map of Israel (to the Jordan River!) but his pitiful ignorance of FACTS--in an area he supposedly cares about. He's unfit for any office of any kind--see recent NYT article on his lack of consequence the whole time he served in the Congress.

  • Would I have been defended against smears if I was Palestinian?
    • Very thoughtful piece. Another group not heard from so often is non-Jewish Americans who do not feel compelled to tell American Jews and Israelis what they should think, say, or do but are incensed at our government's unthinking support of Israeli government policies and actions and disregard for the plight of the Palestinians. We think the messages these stances give the rest of the world are extremely injurious to American safety and credibility. The various voices of Jews on the left, so admirable in their willingness to take on these questions, principled Christians, Zionist Jews and pro-Zionist Christians are the main ones heard. The rest of us (how many are there? I have no idea) are just as angry. Our anger is not built on memory or guilt or identification with Israel or ideology, but practical considerations.

  • '5 Broken Cameras' is reminiscent of 'The Battle of Algiers' (but the 'NYT' can't tell you that)
    • I saw this film at a press screening and thought it was wonderful, a searing account of life today in an almost intolerable setting and also a work of art. I'm troubled by the general assumption above that the TIMES review of the film was negative or warped by editorial bias. First, A.O. Scott chose this film to view and review from dozens of films currently opening. Then he told his readers that this is a fine film, not a political tract. A fine film is one that wins over viewers because it enters their hearts, helps them understand the suffering and the pride of people, rather than ranting and raving about who is right or wrong. Let's give the man thanks for taking this documentary seriously and being affected by it. If we don't we've lost all sense of proportion.

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