Amid the Gaza war this summer a group of young American Jews formed a new group, 'If Not Now, When?', which aims to challenge the American Jewish establishment's unquestioning support for the occupation. +972 sits down with one of its founding members to find out who the group is and what they hope to accomplish. By Tom Pessah For decades, American Jewry has been dominated by its own “one percent” – a small group of donors and unelected executives who lead organizations like the Jewish Federations of North America, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International. Recent surveys have shown…Read More... | 54 Comments
A student-led movement is seeking to 'open' a prominent U.S. Jewish campus group to a broader range of voices, and it's gaining ground. This weekend, Open Hillel will seek to model an inclusive Jewish community that embraces marginalized voices. By Naomi Dann “What’s wrong with conflict?” A professor once challenged me, a student of peace and justice studies and non-confrontational by nature. “Points of tension and moments of debate are productive, we learn from them.” This weekend, a student movement known as Open Hillel will host a historic conference that promises vibrant debate and plenty of conflict over the relationship…Read More... | 18 Comments
There is great desire and momentum for change in Israel and Palestine, yet a dire lack of leadership to harness it. If given the international support he needs, could Mahmoud Abbas be the one to guide that change? By Abraham Gutman Last week, on my way to listen to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speak at Cooper Union, I was talking to my sister on the phone. I told her that I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel going into the speech. As an Israeli, I tend to automatically get defensive when it comes to issues of Israel and…Read More... | 6 Comments
As an Israeli in the U.S. I learned that criticizing Israel is not an option for many American Jews. But there is a legitimate way to criticize Israeli policy, and if you care about someone or something you won't let it go astray. By Abraham Gutman We were sitting in front of a lagoon at the top of a volcano in Costa Rica. We were happy to get some rest after the three-hour hike, and took a short swim in the freezing water. With us was a group of tourists along with a local guide. There was a Dutch man,…Read More... | 29 Comments
If any gentile in America wrote about Jews the way he just wrote about Presbyterians – for any reason – he or she would be ostracized from public life for good. So many pro-Israel Jews are coming down on the Presbyterians as anti-Semites because of their divestment vote, which is a slander. But why aren't any of them calling out Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, "America's rabbi," for the bigotry he has been spewing? From his Jerusalem Post column a few days ago: The rotting corpse of the Presbyterian Church got another nail in its coffin with the vote on Friday ... Now the…Read More... | 45 Comments
Just because Sisi and Assad are close by doesn't mean their disgusting policies seep through the border and infiltrate the Israeli system, poisoning our minds. Why not compare ourselves to countries we actually want to be more like? I gotta tell you, I'm really tired of this. I'm tired of Jewish right wingers in Israel and the U.S. who say things along the lines of, "Christians have it bad here? You should see what goes on next door in Syria and Egypt," or things like, "you want to talk to me about human rights? Look at how Assad is butchering his…Read More... | 40 Comments
The Conference of Presidents, a U.S. group comprised of 51 national Jewish organizations, voted earlier this week against admitting the dovish J Street into its ranks. Now, says Dahlia Scheindlin, is the time for American Jews to walk away. There is something that troubles me while observing current events, forming my political opinions and appropriate responses: it is so easy to judge history and see how things went wrong, but so easy to not to see what is going deeply, terribly wrong in the present. It is so hard to be clear minded and step outside what we take for granted,…Read More...
Few of the people accused of boycotting Israel actually advocate or adhere to the central demands of the Palestinian boycott call. Ironically, those same people may be in the best position to help end the occupation. By Ran Greenstein Opposition to the BDS movement has become a crucial test of loyalty to the pro-Israel cause in the U.S. Jewish community in recent months. It has not replaced the Iranian nuclear program as the most prominent cause for alarm raised by the Israel lobby and its allies, but it is moving in that direction. Naturally enough, this heightened publicity is being…Read More... | 18 Comments
The term 'pro-Israel' should mean anti-occupation, support for human rights, equality, democracy for all peoples under Israel's control – not hard-line Zionism. Reflections and commentary on +972’s use of the term. My colleague Noam Sheizaf's article about the addition of David Makovsky to the American negotiating team for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process carries the following headline: 'A pro-Israel hawk to draft Kerry’s peace plan?' The subheading reads, with some indignation: 'That one must be a pro-Israeli Zionist in order to be eligible for the State Department’s Israel-Palestine team is indicative of the problem with U.S. policy in the region.' I disagree…Read More... | 53 Comments
A policy decision on American military action in Syria cannot be justified by an analogy between Syrian suffering under Assad and Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Two weeks after a chemical attack in Syria killed at least 1,400, including 400 children, and one week after U.S. President Obama announced he favors a limited military strike on Syria, mainstream American Jewish groups broke their silence Tuesday and expressed what they conveyed as unequivocal support for a strike. As reported in Politico, AIPAC - the powerful Israel lobby known for being forthright on all issues related to American policy in the Middle East…Read More... | 26 Comments
AIPAC is only hesitatingly supporting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, all the while scuttling a diplomatic resolution with Iran. American Jews should remember the differences between AIPAC's and their own views next time they have qualms about confronting it. By Roi Bachmutsky There are several organizations that American Jewry widely believes to be too cute, cuddly and unequivocally well intentioned to be held accountable for their actions. The iconic blue donation boxes in synagogues across the United States suggest the Jewish National Fund (JNF) is one of them. Two years ago, a JNF board member publicly severed all ties with the organization in…Read More... | 7 Comments
The American Jewish allegiance to the Democratic Party is not as strong as it once was, nor as invulnerable as it may appear in the wake of Obama’s victory. Republicans can undermine it, but only if they revamp their party and realize that Israel is not the only issue that American Jews care about. By Dov Waxman They had the money (thanks to Sheldon Adelson), they had the belief, and they had the attack lines (“Obama throwing Israel under the bus”), so what went wrong? Why did the Republican Jewish establishment—led by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and the Emergency…Read More... | 6 Comments
Jewish nationalism, in its belligerence and paranoia, is watching the world pass it by - and the overwhelming majority of Jews in America, Israel and elsewhere do not want that to happen to them. The split between humanistic Judaism and nationalistic Judaism goes back a very long time, but in recent years, the complete takeover of both Israel and the Republican Party by nationalist radicals has obviously sharpened that split, nearly creating schism within Judaism. (By "Judaism," I don't mean just the religion but all of Jewish civilization.) Every Israeli election is a battle between these two opposing Jewish camps,…Read More... | 13 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
+972 bloggers report on a region under fire during Israel's operation 'Protective Edge.'
The murders that preceded the war in Gaza.
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RT @Benhartman: Jerusalem police chief says Temple Mount to be open tomorrow, decision made to return status quo to mount #Israel
BREAKING: Israel recalls ambassador after #Sweden recognizes state of #Palestine
RT @jvplive: ‘Death to Arabs’ sprayed on one of only five non-segregated schools in Israel: http://t.co/4qjbyBWvVM http://t.co/phEyaajyfL
Bibi ain't "chickenshit" - he's just really good at maintaining the status quo: http://t.co/8BZZYfEOWA
The White House got it wrong. Bibi's status quo strategy makes a Palestinian state impossible: http://t.co/8BZZYfEOWA