News and Politics

Courtesy of Washington Note

Bibi the Conqueror

March 12, 2010

Netanyahu called Obama’s bluff. He bet that the US would not employ significant pressure on Israel for fear of domestic repercussions, and he won. But for Israel, it was a pyrrhic victory.

Where is the Spirit of Passover?

March 10, 2010

What were they thinking? Mya Guarnieri on the significance of the name “Clean and Tidy” for the Netanyahu government’s latest campaign to halt illegal immigration.

Make Up For the Letdown

March 5, 2010

President Obama has fallen far short of reasonable expectations concerning his Mideast peacemaking abilities. The result has been a serious degradation of stability in the region, and massive despair. It’s time for the American leader to present a bold plan of action.

Our Heritage is Multicultural

February 26, 2010

The Land of Israel may be the Zion of prophecy, but the state of Israel is a political reality and a piece of real estate that, whatever the future holds, Jews will be sharing with others. It’s time Israeli and Diaspora Jewry figured out how to come to grips with that reality.

Democracy Starts in the Occupied Territories

February 23, 2010

Responding to Im Tirzu’s attack on the New Israel Fund, Mya Guarnieri analyzes the growing threat of the Occupation to Israeli democracy.

The End of Hasbara

February 19, 2010

Israel is a synonym for complexity. For decades, its supporters have been asked to speak out on Israel’s behalf, to explain why it rightly resists conventional modes of explanation. Moshe Yaroni on a new study of the Jewish state’s foreign critics, and its urging us to once again speak truth to her defamers.

The Emerging One-State Consensus

February 17, 2010

Since 1967, Israel has imposed a one-state solution upon the Palestinians. Jewish progressives, however, have historically insisted upon the principle “two states for two peoples.” According to Nathaniel Berman, this ideal has slowly devolved into an ideology, disguising and rationalizing a single state status quo.

What Israelis Can Do

February 12, 2010

The Israeli government repeatedly disavows its responsibility for the peace process, saying that there is “no one to talk to” in Palestine, that the ball is in the Palestinian court. According to Moshe Yaroni, the reality is that it is incumbent upon Israel to take the next step.

From the Sabras to the Settlers

February 11, 2010

There are many ways to explain Israel’s failings. One approach is to look at how being Israeli has changed what it means to be Jewish. In an in-depth meditation on Israeli identity, Simon Weil detects a case of arrested development.

The Perversion of Theodor Herzl

February 5, 2010

Israeli democracy is under siege. In our second installment on Im Tirtzu, Moshe Yaroni reflects on the irony of the organization’s name, criticizing its appropriation from the Jewish state’s founder.

Im Tirtzu: The Politics of Distraction

February 4, 2010

Ever since Bibi began his second term in office, the Israeli government and its allies have led a campaign to shut down NGOs opposed to the Occupation. Louis Frankenthaler on rightists Im Tirzu, who recently made headlines for attacking New Israel Fund President Naomi Chazan.


February 3, 2010

Bedouin Israelis have long served in the IDF. Best known for their reconnaissance work, they are frequently used to demonstrate the multiculturalism of Israel’s armed forces. Joe Lockard dispels this myth, recounting an evening’s reserve duty in the Arava desert.

Birth Pangs East Jerusalem

January 31, 2010

Sheikh Jarrah is rapidly coming to resemble a maternity ward. Settlers forcibly remove Palestinians from their homes, while increasing numbers of Jewish and Arab demonstrators are beaten and jailed by the police for exercising their basic rights. If a new Israeli left arises, it will surely be here.

Howard Zinn, 1922-2010

January 28, 2010

America’s best-known progressive historian passed away on Wednesday. The son of European immigrants, Zinn’s combination of activism and academia epitomized the values of the Jewish community at its best. A 2001 interview, reprinted from Bad Subjects.

The Mideast After Massachusetts

January 22, 2010

Following the Republican seizure of Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat, pundits of every conceivable stripe were calling it a victory for the Israeli right. Say what? Moshe Yaroni on how President Obama can still have a positive impact on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Something to Do On a Friday (or Why I Go Out to Demonstrate)

January 21, 2010

Sheikh Jarrah has come to symbolize the Israeli government’s Judaization of Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods. An email from a protestor, dispelling myths about the policy, and those Israelis who oppose it.

Was Scott Brown's Win about Health Care?

January 20, 2010

Zeek interviews Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who spearheaded the effort to pass Massachusetts’ innovative health care reform bill, about the Senate race and what it signifies for “Obama-care.”

Loving Israel, Demonizing Jews

January 18, 2010

Christian anti-Semitism hasn’t died. Its just gone in drag as Zionism. What has changed is the willingness of Jewish rightists to overlook it, in exchange for foreign support of the Occupation.

Misdiagnosing Israel's Ills

January 15, 2010

A progressive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only way to effectively resolve it. Why is it, then, that most of the proposals put forth by Diaspora liberals fall so utterly short of the mark? Moshe Yaroni on Henry Siegman’s argument that peace can only be imposed from the outside.

Tzedakah for Haiti

January 14, 2010

The people of Haiti need the help of every community in the world. Here is a list of Jewish organizations presently engaged in relief efforts.

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