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How extremist Israeli settlers celebrate the harvest festival

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Sukkot, the Jewish holiday that marks the fall harvest festival and also commemorates 40 years of wandering by ancient Jews in the desert, commences at sundown on Wednesday. Jews throughout the world are building their local Sukkah, a temporary shelter that usually takes the form of a tent. So how are extremist Israeli Jewish settlers […]

When pro-Israel American Jews say, “This is wrong!”

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

More than 2,000 American Jews attended the national J Street conference last weekend in DC, determined to do something to change the discourse within the Jewish community and affect American policy. I’ve waited a week to write about this because I wanted to gauge others’ reactions and sort out what I experienced at the conference. […]

Why the Jewish right is terrified by J Street’s conference

Friday, February 25th, 2011

J Street, the political arm of the American Jewish pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, will convene its second national conference on Saturday night. There will be an enormous turnout. An organizer told me that about 2100 people are pre-registered (at their last conference, only 850 people were pre-registered but 1500 people showed up). There will be about […]

Mubarak and the alternate universe of Israel’s vicious critics

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Events in Egypt have reinforced my sense of living in a different universe than the one inhabited by Israel’s most vicious critics (let’s call them IMVCs) in the blogosphere. Oh, we have a few things in common. Like them, I am inspired by the Egyptian crowds demanding the overthrow of a tyrant. Like them, I […]

Have a strong stomach? Track the settlements on your cell phone

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Americans for Peace Now has just released a “Facts on the Ground” application that gives iPhone and iPad users real-time, digital maps of the West Bank settlements. It’s also available on the web. You can find it here. Interviewed by Ha’aretz, APN’s estimable CEO Debra DeLee said, “One of the things that make this tool […]

Is there any hope?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We’ve been here before, of course. We’ve been here so many times I’ve lost count. Most of what needs to be said about the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was expressed in a poem written nearly sixty years ago by the late, truly great Yehuda Amichai. In The U.N. Headquarters Headquarters in the High Commissioner’s House […]

NY Times perpetuates myth that American Jews are single-issue voters

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

More and more Jewish voters are deserting the Democratic party, according to a Pew Research Center poll. The survey shows that 33% of American Jewish voters now identify or lean Republican, up from 20% in 2008. That’s interesting and troubling to a died-in-the-wool Democrat like me. But Charles M. Blow’s take on the poll in […]

Philip Weiss and the inconvenient truth of suicide bombers

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

In a recent post, the increasingly influential Philip Weiss tells of a Gaza psychiatrist who pleads with his visitors to “reach out and heal” Israelis because they are “gripped by fear.” Weiss accepts the challenge. After saying Israelis have a “psychosis” because of their fears, he asserts: I use the word psychosis because Israeli society […]

The Israeli blockade is actually strengthening Hamas

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The estimable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now has provided ten reasons for Israel to reassess its blockade of the Gaza Strip. One rationale for the blockade is Israel’s desire to weaken and undermine Hamas. The opposite has occurred, according to Friedman. Oops. This is a classic, tragic example of the law of unintended […]

Dialogue on the Gaza Flotilla

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

“I appreciate your call. My staff was going to get in touch with you. The task force is meeting tomorrow at 8:30. Can you make it?” “I’m afraid the Consulate will need to get someone else. I’m calling to tell you I can’t help anymore. I’m too upset…” “But the facts are on our side. […]

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