Archive for October, 2009

Now for something completely different: my article on German memory

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Here is an article I wrote for the upcoming issue of Reform Judaism magazine. It is about a remarkable group of Germans who work hard, often anonomously, to reconstruct the culture and perpetuate the memory of the Jews who once lived among them. The editors stripped much of the energy and life from my prose. […]

The kids are alright at J Street

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

It was Palestinian suffering that got me engaged with Israel and concerned about its future. I had attended Habonim camp and had grown up in an ardently Labor Zionist household. But when I was in my twenties, I didn’t have much to do with Israel until the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla […]

The pro-Israel peace camp cares about America, too

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

As it prepares for its first national conference this weekend, J Street, the political arm of pro-peace, pro-Israel American Jews, is being assailed by those who don’t want it to take positions independent of the Israeli government. Chuck Freilich, a former Israeli National Security advisor, castigates the J Streeters’ “presumptuousness” and claims they think they […]

The myth that “Israel has no partner” for peace

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The claim that “Israel has no partner for peace” is often trotted out by Israeli and American Jews. Sometimes it is backed up by the argument that the Palestinians are in political disarray, and that relatively moderate Palestinians don’t have the power to stop violent extremists from wrecking any agreement. That argument deserves to be […]

How to prevent another conflagration in Jerusalem

Friday, October 9th, 2009

At long last, I’ve found some sensible sentiments on the scary, sad situation in Jerusalem. They come from Americans For Peace Now’s Lara Friedman and Daniel Seidemann of Ir Amin, who have a piece in Haaretz. They note a few other times when battles over Jerusalem’s holy places threatened to turn a nationalist conflict into […]

Guest Column: A new “grand bargain” in the Middle East

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

What follows is a column by Thomas Mitchell, lightly edited. We often read and hear comparisons between Israel and South Africa under apartheid. Mitchell finds lessons to be learned from South Africa, but not the most familiar ones. Instead, he focuses on diplomatic efforts to end South Africa’s occupation of Namibia and its confrontation with […]

Who cares who represents the “American Jewish majority?”

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Is it more important for American Jewish peace groups to prove that they speak for most American Jews, or to be right? I vote for the latter. Last week, sighs of relief could be heard in the organized American Jewish establishment. A new American Jewish Committee poll showed that a majority of American Jews favored […]