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  • ‘There’s a vicious fight in our community’: Simone Zimmerman talks Bernie for the first time

    By Isaac Luria Simone Zimmerman has become an inspiring figure for American Jewish progressives in recent months — and a boogey-woman for the Right. When the Bernie Sanders campaign fired her over a Facebook post — in which she used some “colorful language” to describe the Israeli prime minister — she became one of this campaign season’s proxy battles in the ongoing Jewish argument over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We sat down with Simone earlier this month for her first interview since being fired from the campaign, where she reveals exactly what took place inside the campaign, the right-wing attack that targeted…

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  • What critics of Bernie Sanders' Jewish liaison are missing

    Simone Zimmerman's appointment is great news for mainstream American Jews who are desperate for a real conversation on Israel/Palestine. Over the past few days, it has been difficult to watch the American Jewish establishment's attacks on my friend, Simone Zimmerman. Just three days ago Simone was appointed the Jewish outreach coordinator for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Within hours of the announcement came a torrent of vicious attacks, both against her as well as the Sanders campaign for having the gall to appoint a critic of Israeli settlements and policies in the occupied territories. (Update: Just hours after publishing this post,…

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  • Time to break the silence: An open letter to American Jews

    The American Jewish establishment, from the Federations to synagogues, must take a look in the mirror and decide whether this is the Israel it identifies with. If it isn't, it should speak up. Urgently.  Dear American Jewish community, I should start off with a full disclosure: I am only tangentially a part of you. I have been living in Israel for the past five years, and before that I was an Israeli-American living in the Bay Area (with a brief stint in Los Angeles), where us Israelis viewed ourselves as a semi-autonomous cultural group. For the most part, we were not…

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  • Overcoming Jewish America's Israel fantasy

    The idea of Israel has long been an integral part of Jewish-American identity. But with a generational change among American Jews and increasingly stark political differences with Israel's leadership, could this be the dawn of a new era?  Last summer Michael Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009-13, blithely offended virtually the entire policy, journalism and government elite in New York City and Washington, D.C. with a series of accusations directed at President Obama and liberal Jewish Americans. In a nutshell, Oren accused Obama of deliberately sabotaging relations with Israel in order to achieve the goals…

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  • Hey Hillary Clinton, Palestinian lives matter too

    You claim to support peace, but your words imply that Palestinian lives are less valuable to you than Israeli lives. I implore you: please do better. By Leanne Gale Dear Secretary Clinton, I have faith that you want to stand with the Jewish people as we work toward peace with the Palestinians. But your recent article in The Forward did exactly the opposite. [tmwinpost] You glorified Israel without mentioning its nearly 50-year-old military occupation and outlined how you plan to “reaffirm our unbreakable bond with Israel” without addressing its rightward anti-democratic spiral. This was a faulty political calculation, marginalizing a powerful progressive constituency…

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  • Jewish Iran deal supporters booted from New York town hall meeting

    When a group of New York activists stood silently in support of the Iran deal at a meeting in Brooklyn, they were accused of being 'Arabs' and wishing to send Jews off to the 'gas chambers.' By +972 Magazine Staff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttee67RghDI&feature=youtu.be Four Jewish activists were booed and shown the door when they expressed their support for the Iran deal at a town hall style meeting with Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries in Brooklyn Tuesday night. Sitting in the back section of the Flatbush Jewish Center, the group stood up during the question-and-answer portion of the meeting and silently hoisted signs, reading,…

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  • Is J Street trying to rebrand Palestinian liberation?

    As liberal Zionism finds itself in the middle of its latest battle for survival, J Street reconsiders forbidden alliances and what it means to be ‘pro-Israel.’ By Soleiman Moustafa Sitting on every seat in the massive auditorium hosting the opening session of J Street’s 5th annual conference last month was a bookmark emblazoned with the a map and the motto “know your boundaries.” The "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobbying organization designed a map of Israel with both Palestinian territories partitioned out in green, with Syria's Golan Heights included in Israel’s boundaries without caveat. Looking up, the auditorium was enveloped in a comforting blue-and-white glow, invoking Israel’s national colors, the American and Israeli flags standing proud at center…

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  • Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What's next?

    Something indeed changed in the Israel-U.S. relationship, the question is what actions will the U.S. take and how Netanyahu reacts — from the Security Council to Gaza. I just got back from the annual J Street conference. The atmosphere was very different from the 2013 conference. Back then it was all about the Kerry mission. This year, talk of peace was replaced by a certain state of shock from Netanyahu’s victory at the polls. Most of the conference participants get their information about those elections from the American media, which was in turn fed by the Israeli media, which presented…

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  • Diaspora Jews, it's time to step up

    For years there have been calls for on-the-ground opposition to the occupation. Now there are a growing number of Jewish platforms — and voices — seeking to make it happen. By A. Daniel Roth The way the world is talking about the Israeli occupation is changing. Alongside that change, opportunity is knocking for those of us standing in opposition: calls for diaspora Jews to be present on the ground in Israel and Palestine are increasing. An important shift is beginning to take place — right now. [tmwinpost] The writing is on the wall. Since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected,…

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  • J Street, turn your focus homeward

    Notes from the J Street conference.  Since Netanyahu's resounding election win last week, there's been a deluge of coverage in the American media of a deepening disillusionment among U.S. Jews over Israel. Whether in the New York Times, the Associated Press, or Bloomberg, the thesis is more or less what you'd expect: Netanyahu rode to victory on a wave of racism, a rejection of peace with the Palestinians, and unprecedented disrespect for his number one patron, Barack Obama. These tactics fly in the face of a largely liberal community comprised of reliably Democratic voters. That rift was represented this weekend in Washington, where…

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  • WATCH: Noam Sheizaf at J Street: Nobody is talking about Gaza

    Speaking at the 2015 J Street Conference in Washington D.C. on Sunday, +972 co-founder and writer Noam Sheizaf participated in a plenary panel called "Does Liberal Zionism Have a Future?" Sheizaf called out both the conference and liberal American Jewry for the lack of discussion about the latest Gaza war. (Watch the full panel here.) Later in the discussion, Sheizaf explained the dichotomy between liberalism and Zionism as it manifests itself in Israel, concluding that talk of diplomatic solutions must be preceded by a real civil rights movement.

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  • Stop giving Netanyahu publicity

    The best way to object to Netanyahu, his Congress speech and his policies, is to ignore him. Since the Netanyahu Congress speech episode began last month, the press, and specifically foreign press, has been flooded with items on the Israeli prime minister. Not a day has gone by without a headline about Netanyahu's lavish spending, incompetence regarding the housing crisis, his assault on media and academics, and of course his incitement against centrist political rivals. Netanyahu has redefined the phrase, "bad publicity is good publicity," since none of this appears to be hurting Netanyahu in the least at home. As Gershom…

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  • 'As U.S. Jews, we need to figure out what leverage we have in ending the occupation'

    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…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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