Anti-Semitic Liberal Jews??
Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic?
A hot controversy within the Jewish community has developed over whether criticism of Israel's policies toward Palestine constitutes anti-Semitism. Respected figures in the academic community are involved in the controversy over where legitimate criticism of Israel's policies toward Palestine end and anti-Semitism begins. President Jimmy Carter's recent book on Palestine has added fuel to the fire because of his criticisms of Israel role in the peace process.
The American Jewish Committee, a conservative advocacy group has recently targeted liberal jews who have criticized Israel's settlements in Palestine and other policies.
Professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University recently published an essay castigating a number of "liberal Jews" including playwright Tony Kushner, Tony Judt, and Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen for speaking out or writing critically about Israel's policies in Palestine. Here's a link to an article from today's NY Times. Read it and make up your own mind.
Wiesenfeld v. Kushner
Jeffrey Wiesenfeld's effort to prevent CUNY from awarding prize winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) an honorary degree because he has criticized Israel's Palestine policies is the most recent example of a conservative Jew accusing another Jew of anti-Semitism.There have been other examples of attempts by AIPAC and other Jewish organizations and individuals to veto academic appointments of critics of Israel.
This interference with academia smacks of McCarthyism. Wiesenfeld is shooting himself and Israel in the foot. His ill-considered action won't advance Israel's cause in the United States because a majority of Americans resent interference in academic affairs by zealots of any stripe. I suspect that many if not most American Jews, especially those under 40 years old do not support Wiesenfeld's action. Kushner should get his honorary degree and Wiesenfeld should be forced to resign his position as a trustee of CUNY.
Wiesenfeld's action is but the most recent in a series of attacks on fellow Jews who have spoken out against Israel's settlements and brutal, disproportionate retaliation against Palestine for rockets targeted at Israel.
5-7-11NYTimes--A Matter of Degrees--Wiesenfeld v . Kushner at CCNY
5-4-11 NY Times--CUNY Blocks Honor for Tony Kushner
- CUNY Blocks Honor for Tony Kushner - NYTimes.com
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld said that the playwright Tony Kushner had disparaged the State of Israel.
5-5-11NYTimes--Wiesenfeld Expands on His View of Why Kuishner is Offensive
- A CUNY Trustee Expands on His View of What Is Offensive - NYTimes.com
An interview with Jeffrey Weisenfeld, the City University of New York Trustee who spoke at a board meeting to block an honorary degree to the playwright Tony Kushner.
12-10-10NYTimes--"The Real Jew Debate"
- "The Real Jew Debate"
The view that American Jews supportive of Israel but critical of its policies are not real Jews is, however, widespread. Israel-right-or-wrong continues to be the core approach of major U.S. Jewish organizations, from the American Israel Public Aff
8-9-10NYtimes Review of Saul Bellow's Letters
- Books -" Letters," by Saul Bellow reviewed by Michiko Katutani
Rresponding to Faulkner's plea for Ezra Pound, Bellow is succinct in his moral outrage: "If sane he should be tried again as a traitor. If not he should not be released merely because he's a poet. Pound advocated in his poems and in his broadcasts.."
5-31-10 Haaretz--A Special Place in Hell/The Second Gaza War: Israel Lost at Sea
- Haaretz on Israel's War Policies
We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel's Vietnam.
5-18-10 NYTimes--Noam Chomsky Barred from West Bank by Israel
- Noam Chomsky Barred from West Bank Speech by Israel
JERUSALEM A fierce debate broke out in Israel on Monday amid finger pointing and hand wringing over the countrys refusal to permit the linguist Noam Chomsky, an icon of the American left, to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordan.
3-23-10 NY Times--Anti-Israel Test
- Are you anti-Israel?
Are you anti-Israel? If you fear that, deep down, you might be, I have important news. The recent tension between Israel and the United States led various commentators to identify hallmarks of anti-Israelism, and these may be of diagnostic value.
3-16-10 NYTimes--"Bibi's Tense Timeout" by Maureen Dowd
- Obama Gives Bibi a "Timeout"
Besides, there is no love lost between the Israeli prime minister and Obamas aides, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod ever since Bibi obnoxiously labeled them self-hating Jews last summer.
3-16-10 NYTimes "The Biden Effect" by Roger Cohen
- The "Biden Effect"
Something shifted when Biden You need not be a Jew to be a Zionist was thanked for his support with a snub: 1,600 more apartments for Jews will be built in E. Jerusalem, a pure provocation when restarting peace talks is a core U.S. aim.
3-16-10 NY Times--Israel Rejects U.S. Demands to Halt Settlements
- Israel says NO to U.S. demands to halt settlements
Discord between the U.S. and Israel over Jewish building in E. Jerusalem deepened Tues. with Israeli officials rejecting demands by Washington and expressing anger over the public upbraiding of Prime Minister Netanyahu by the Obama administration.
3-15-10 The Nation Eric Alterman on TNR Charges of Antisemitism
- Semites and Anti-Semites According to the National Review
The racist anti-Arab rants by New Republic editor in chief/owner Martin Peretz have undermined not only his magazine's reputation for liberalism but also the term "pro-Israel" itself.
Ha'retz Editorial on Israel's Announcement of More Settlements in East Jerusalem
This editorial in Ha'aretz gets it about right:
There is one reason for the crisis: Netanyahu's
persistence in continuing construction in East Jerusalem, in placing
Jews in Arab neighborhoods and evicting Palestinians from their homes
in the city. This is not a matter of timing but substance. Despite
repeated warnings and bitter experiences, he stokes the flames over the
conflict's most sensitive issue and is bound to get himself in trouble.
Netanyahu has made it clear by his actions that American support for
Israel, especially essential now in light of the Iranian threat, is
less important to him than the chance to put another few Jews in the
Sheikh Jarrah or Ramat Shlomo neighborhoods. Even if Netanyahu's
adversaries in the U.S. administration have exploited his misstep to
push him into a corner, as his "associates" will certainly argue, a
statesman as experienced as he should have been especially careful.
Clinton made clear to Netanyahu that it was impossible to expand Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and also enjoy America's friendship. Netanyahu's flip-flopping games have come to an end. Even at the price of risks involving domestic party politics, he should opt for what is in the national interest and act to strengthen American support for Israel.
(from Huffington Post)
3-13-10 NY Times--"Driving Drunk in Jerusalem"
- Biden Missed the Boat in Israel--Tom Friedman
Biden should've snapped his notebook shut, gotten back on Air Force 2 and left this note behind: Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends dont let friends drive drunk. And right now you're driving drunk..Call us when you're serious."
Alvin H. Rosenfeld is the author of an essay critical of liberal Jews that has generated heated debate.
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
Tony Judt, anti-Semite? No way!
Tony Kushner, anti-Semite? I don't think so.
10-23-09 TPM--Tzipi Disassociates from Likud Position
- Tzipi Livni, Head of Kadima, Disassociates Herself from Israel Ambassador's Criticism of J Street
Israeli Ambassador Oren conspicuously refused to attend the J Street conference next week and said that J Street might be anti-Israel and thus an inappropriate forum for a visit. Tzipi Livni, head of Kadima disagreed. Her decision is significant.
11-2-09 The Nation--American Jews Re-think Israel Policy
- Re-thinking U.S. Israel Policies
This year has seen a dramatic shift in American Jews' attitudes toward Israel. In January many liberal Jews were shocked by the Gaza war, in which Israel used overwhelming force against a mostly defenseless civilian population unable to flee.
10-21-09 Letters to Editor Re: Israel
10-19-09 The Nation--Israel vs. Human Rights Adam Horowitz & Philip Weiss
- Israel vs. Human Rights--Reactions to the Goldstone Report on Gaza
We are used to accounting for the costs of the Israeli occupation in concrete terms: so many checkpoints, so many colonies, so many dead civilians. The new Israeli effort suggests an even larger cost: that of the very idea of human rights.
9-20-09 NY Times "Settling for Failure in the Middle East" by Stephen Walt
- Settling for Failure in the Middle East
Like so many of his predecessors, President Obama is quickly discovering that persuading Israel to change course is nearly impossible.
9-18-09 UN Report Finds War Crimes in Gaza
- Goldstone Report Finds War Crimes in Gaza
A United Nations fact-finding mission investigating the 3-week war in Gaza last winter issued a highly critical report on Tues. detailing what it called extensive evidence that both Israel and Palestinian groups took actions amounting to war crimes.
September 2009 J Street
- J Street featured in The New York Times Magazine
J Street sat down with a number of prominent Israelis, including former military and security officials, to discuss the importance of a two-state solution and J Streets work supporting the Presidents efforts to achieve such a resolution.
About J STREET
- J Street : About Us
J Street was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. We support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy deb
9-9-09 NY Times The New Israel Lobby
- J STREET
The idea that there's an Israel lobby, with an undertone of dual loyalty, is controversial. It' been around since the early 70s, but it became a topic of wide discussion only after the publication of a controversial article by Mearsheimer and Walt.
Some Facts on Israel Palestine Conflict
- Facts on the Conflict Between Israel and Palestine
If Americans Knew is dedicated to providing Americans with everything they need to know about Israel and Palestine.
Juan Cole on Goldstone Report
- Informed Comment: Goldstone Report Finds Israeli Military Guilty of War Crimes in Gaza
History, Foreign Policy, Middle East, South Asia, Religious Studies, War on Terror
American Jewish Committee Attacks Critics of Israel as Anti-Semites
Michael Kinsley: Is Criticism of Goldman Sachs Anti-Semitic and "Philo-Semitism"
- How to Think About: Jewish Bankers | The Atlantic Wire
Michael Kinsley on Rush Limbaugh, Abe Foxman, and Goldman Sachs
The Chutzpah Industry
9-23-09 The Goldstone Report in The Nation
- The Goldstone Report by Roane Carey in The Nation
The Goldstone report is devastating in its critique of Israeli actions: indiscriminate firepower; deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian structures, 1ncluding hospitals, schools, use of white phosphorus munitions, use of human shields, etc.
Adrienne Rich anti-Semitic? I doubt it very seriously.
Noble Laureate Carter an anti-Semite? Not a chance!
Richard Goldstone Wikibio
- Richard Goldstone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Goldstone presided a fact finding mission into an urgent, independent international fact-finding mission (...) to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against
Holocaust Heroes--A short list
NY Times--A Prosecutorial Brief Against Israel
- A Prosecutorial Brief Against Israel and Its Supporters, NYTimes book review by William Grimes
Here's a link to William Grimes's review of Stephen Walt's and John Mearsheimer's new book "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." Mearsheimer and Walt argue that it is in the interest of the U.S. "to...
Anti-Semitic Liberal Catholic?--Andrew Sullivan Tangles with Marty Peretz and Simon Wiesenthaler
- Inevitable: New Republic Calls Former Editor Andrew Sullivan An Anti-Semite | TPMCafe
Sullivan left TNR and its whacked out publisher, Marty Peretz, on good terms although Sullivan must have known that there was one condition for remaining on those good terms: he must never attack Israel's policies.
Israeli General--"We re-wrote the rules in Gaza"
- Israeli Commander: 'We Rewrote the Rules of War for Gaza' | CommonDreams.org
A more junior officer who served at a brigade headquarters during the operation described the new policy - devised in part to avoid the heavy military casualties of the 2006 Lebanon war - as one of "literally zero risk to the soldiers".
Oct -'09 Goldstone Report--Killing the Messenger
- Foreign Policy in Focus | The Goldstone Report: Killing the Messenger
Obama criticized for killing the Goldstone Report.
5-21-07TheNation--"The Chutzpah Industry"
- The Chutzpah Industry by Jon Wiener in The Nation 5-21-07
Alan Dershowitz is at it again. First he tried to get California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to stop the University of California Press from publishing a book highly critical of him and now he's trying to...