So you read every single article in +972 this year? That’s great. Honestly, we thank you. But that’s not enough for Lisa Goldman. A comprehensive list of must-read articles you probably missed this year, covering everything from slavery reparations to Gaza to the crisis of liberal Zionism on the Upper West Side.
The other night my sister and I were talking about end-of-year lists and how much we enjoy reading them — the book and cinema critics’ picks, the news and photo editors’ choices and certainly the food and restaurant reviewers’ favorite articles. The New York Times Sunday Magazine‘s The Lives They Lived is always moving and interesting, too. Then we started naming articles we’d read over the previous year that had left a lasting impression. My sister pointed out that I’d posted an awful lot of articles about Gaza on Facebook. Could I choose one or two that I thought were the best? Hm.
The following is a list of articles that stayed in my mind after I’d read them. Most of them are about Israel-Palestine, but not all. They are listed randomly, with no ranking. I’ve also put together a sub-section of articles about the crisis among liberal Zionists, for reasons explained below.
Articles that are not about Gaza (some about Israel)
The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
“Between 1882 and 1968, more black people were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state,” writes Coates near the beginning of this seminal, epic article for The Atlantic. But blacks were not just murdered and denied their civil rights. They were also robbed, systematically, of their property. A black person could spend his life working hard and acquiring property, only to have a white person arbitrarily take it from him — and there was no legal recourse. And even after Jim Crow, government housing and education policies have denied blacks their rights, exploited them and marginalized them. I read this article slowly, twice. And I’ll probably read it again. It started a discussion that has only come to seem more urgent over the past few months, with a series of high profile incidents involving unarmed black men dying at the hands of white police officers.
The Outcast, by Rachel Aviv for the New Yorker (alternate title: “The Shame of Borough Park”)
It’s well known that ultra-Orthodox Jews are an insular lot who...Read More