Politics

The Not So Civil Society 1
by / on 30 March, 2012 at 2:03 PM / in Essays, Politics

The Not So Civil Society

NGO’s, the last voice of opposition in Israel, are now under threat from anti-democratic laws

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by / on 27 March, 2012 at 11:36 AM / in Essays, Politics

Liberal Zionism: A Contradiction in Terms?

REBECCA STEINFELD Liberal Zionism is in vogue. It underpins the thinking of groups like J-Street, Yachad, and the New Israel Fund, as well as the writings of figures like Peter Beinart and Gershom Gorenberg. They claim that liberalism and Zionism can be fused. Some even claim the two are complementary, asserting that Zionism’s socialist origins lend it a collectivist penchant […]

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Non Jewish Jews 3
by / on 31 January, 2012 at 5:33 PM / in Book Reviews, Judaism, Politics

Non Jewish Jews

The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics By Gilad Atzmon Zero Books 2011 Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights By David Landy Zed Books 2011 So contested has the issue of antisemitism become and so promiscuously is the term used that it is increasingly difficult tofind clarity amid the fog of frenzied debate. The publication of these two recent […]

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From Oligarch to Icon 0
by / on 20 December, 2011 at 6:02 PM / in Essays, Politics

From Oligarch to Icon

The plight of Mikhail Khodorkovsky raises questions about the place of Russian Jews today

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Two of a Kind 0
by / on 13 September, 2011 at 4:33 PM / in Essays, Politics

Two of a Kind

As The Palestinians Prepare to Declare Independence, the parallels between Israel and Palestine appear more striking

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A New Voice for Israel 0
by / on 13 September, 2011 at 3:16 PM / in Book Reviews, Politics

A New Voice for Israel

by Jeremy Ben-Ami Palgrave Macmillan. 2011 Jeremy Ben-Ami is a first rate political operator. In four short years he has made J Street a $5 million organisation and successfully built a Washington power base in opposition to the AIPAC juggernaut and the rest of the so called ‘pro-Israel’ lobby. With its mantra of ‘Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace’, J Street funds electoral battles, […]

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Walking the Wire 1
by / on 13 September, 2011 at 2:44 PM / in Essays, Politics

Walking the Wire

HBO’s hit drama bypasses individualism to expose the systems that fail urban America

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by / on 27 June, 2011 at 11:20 AM / in History, Politics

Dreams of Utopia

On the inter-war Jewish choice between Zionism and Communism Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin, two great Jewish intellectuals of the early twentieth century and lifelong friends, took opposing sides on one of the great Jewish debates of modernity: was it possible to create a perfect community in an imperfect world, or did the world have to be changed first? Scholem […]

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by / on 14 June, 2011 at 12:13 PM / in Judaism, Opinion, Politics

What is Our Security?

On the self-destructive quest to feel secure ‘Security. A word that these days seems simultaneously both to conceal so much and to reveal so much.’ – John Berger A man is told that he will die from a fall. Such is the terror this generates in him that he decides never to leave his home again. But confining himself to […]

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by / on 25 November, 2010 at 4:34 PM / in Judaism, Opinion, Politics

Kill Him First

On the hijacking of sacred texts for political purposes in Israel

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by / on 25 November, 2010 at 3:56 PM / in Judaism, Opinion, Politics

Not in Our Name: Religious Activism in Sheikh Jarrah

If you happened to walk past the tiny Othman Ibn-Affan street on a Friday evening, you might have been struck by a rather uncommon event: a large group of Palestinians of all ages and left-wing Israeli secular peace-activists gathered around a table on the porch, listening to young religious men and women reciting Kiddush. This anomaly is part of the […]

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by / on 23 July, 2010 at 11:16 AM / in Politics

Through the Looking Glass

A few weeks ago I stood by the tomb of Abraham in Hebron hearing the recitation of the amidah, the rhythm of those familiar words of prayer suddenly accompanied by those of a Jewish poet that came to my mind in that moment. I felt moved and connected in ways I had not foreseen. The last time I was in […]

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by / on 23 July, 2010 at 11:14 AM / in Politics

Bil’in, My Village

It was mid December 2004 when the bulldozers first showed up in my village Bil’in. Without my knowing it, this was the opening salvo for what would become one of the longest and most influential grassroots campaigns against the Wall that Israel is building in the occupied West Bank.

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by / on 11 May, 2009 at 2:00 PM / in Politics

Reform or Die by Hagai Segal

It may be growing political stagnation and instability — not Iran or Hamas — that threatens the future existence of the Jewish state. And history provides few grounds for optimism.

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by / on 10 May, 2009 at 11:46 PM / in Politics

Debating the Debate

‘Anglo-Jewry finds its voice’, trumpeted the front page of the Jewish Chronicle during the harrowing days of the Gaza bombardment. What voice exactly was this? What was it saying? More importantly, for whom was it…

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by / on 12 June, 2008 at 9:14 AM / in Politics

Teaching Arabic in Israel : A Linguistic Challenge in Majority–Minority Relations

Teaching spoken Arabic to Jewish schoolchildren in Israel needs to be prioritised if the next generation have any hope of peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. Maya Popper considers the practical and social hurdles obstructing this vital process.

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by / on 25 April, 2008 at 3:02 PM / in Opinion, Politics

Jewish Self-Hatred : Myth or Reality ?

Those who level the charge obviously have no doubts. So much so that it’s deployed as the ‘killer fact’: to be called a self-hating Jew explains everything. No more need be said. Self-hatred means being a traitor to your race, an Uncle Tom, siding with the enemy, willing the destruction of your own people. In Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti-Semitism and the Hidden Language of the Jews, Sander L. Gilman says it’s ‘a term interchangeable with “Jewish anti-Judaism” or “Jewish anti-Semitism”’.

Recently you could have taken a course in the history of Jewish self-hatred at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The playwright David Mamet deploys the concept in his book, The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred and the Jews (2006), a fierce denunciation of ‘apostate Jews’ and ‘race traitors’. And then there’s the outrageously gross ‘S.H.I.T.’ — Self-Hating, Israel Threatening — ‘list’, a website purportedly ‘exposing’ more than 8,000 self-hating Jews, given credence in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz in July 2007 in an article which argues that Muslims would benefit from a good dose of the kind of public self-hate so common among Jews. Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks refers to it uncritically in his most recent book, The Home We Build Together (an attack on multiculturalism): ‘[Self-hatred] is something Jews know about: we can fairly claim to have invented it (Arthur Koestler once memorably said, “Self-hatred is the Jew’s patriotism”). It occurred in mainland Europe in the later nineteenth and early twentieth century [sic], as Jews internalised the negative image others had of them. It represents the breakdown of an identity, and nothing good can come of it.’

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by / on 25 April, 2008 at 2:57 PM / in Opinion, Politics

Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger

Comments from an incendiary discussion between Nadine Gordiner and Amos Oz The International Writers Festival in Jerusalem was a week of encounter and discovery. Comments from the incendiary discussion between Nadine Gordimer and Amos Oz have been quoted in Ha’aretz and the Boston Globe. Here is their conversation. AO: As soon as they taught me the alphabet I started to […]

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by / on 14 March, 2008 at 5:37 PM / in Judaism, Politics

Exodus Complexidus

Shalom Auslander wonders whether God and political leaders are as hopeless as each other. It is Moses season in America. There are Moses on the radio and Moses on TV. Followers of one Moses hand out fliers at the grocery, followers of another Moses put up signs along the street. ‘Moses 2008,’ shouts a blue sign, ‘Vote Moses!’ shouts a […]

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by / on 1 March, 2008 at 5:07 PM / in Politics

Symposium – Israel’s Arab Citizens

Israel’s Arab citizens comprise 18% of its population yet have languished on the margins of Israeli society for decades. Failed peace talks and political stalemates have convinced a growing number that Israeli Arabs will not only play an important role in a peace settlement between Israel and her Arab neighbours but could also hold the key to the future internal […]

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Contested Sites 0
by / on 1 December, 2007 at 12:38 AM / in Dispatches, Politics

Contested Sites

Any intellectual practice in Israel entails both the representation of politics and the politics of representation. The ideological implications of practising archaeology in Jerusalem are as many-layered as the cultures that lie buried beneath the city’s surface. Archaeology has always been implicated in the conflict of claims to the contested land but now archaeologists find themselves increasingly in the pay of right-wing settler groups, who use their finds to write their own particular version of history.

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People of the Wall 0
by / on 1 December, 2007 at 12:16 AM / in Politics

People of the Wall

Yonathan Mizrachi on lives affected by the Separation Wall Yonathan Mizrachi worked for the Antiquities Authority during the construction of the Separation Wall. These excerpts come from his book, People of the Wall. Archaeologists can dig for days and come up with nothing. When they need to excavate in residential areas, in addition to shards and antiquities, they come into […]

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