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Joining Larry Derfner on "Israel Reconsidered"

As of this week, I’ll be joining Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner on the debating blog “Israel Reconsidered“. Larry has opened the blog as a discussion platform between himself and Richard Silverstein, but Richard has recently left the project; he explains his reasons here.

When Larry contacted me last week and asked if I knew someone who’d be willing to replace Richard, or perhaps would consider joining myself, I was more than happy to jump on the opportunity. Apart from the thrill of working with Larry – a columnist whom I’ve been reading with tremendous enjoyment and appreciation for many years now – I thought it was time to begin dividing my attention between chasing the events of the day-to-day and addressing some more fundamental questions. There’s scarcely a better way to address such questions, without slipping to navel-gazing, than debating them with someone with whom you respectfully disagree.

None of this means, of course, that I’ll stop blogging here at +972; in fact, many of the posts will be cross-posted on the two blogs when appropriate, both for the benefit of my own thinking process, and to invite readers from one blog to visit the other and vice versa.

Larry’s extremely generous welcome announcement is here. Below, I’m cross-posting my elaboration on why I decided to join the blog – and why I think a debate within the Left, in English, is crucially important for the here-and-now.

I’m very happy to begin blogging here at Israel Reconsidered. There are certain projects and ventures that are right and ripe for their time, and this blog is one of them. We’re now living through a crucial transition period in which much of what we know about Israel, Palestinians, Zionism, two-state, one-state, right, left, religion, state, gender roles and nationalism will all be reshaped and remodelled – some by visionary and reactionary individuals, some by overwhelming historical shifts.

One of the many conversations that need to happen alongside these processes is a dialog and mutual rethinking between the Zionist and the non-Zionist Jewish/Israeli Left. It’s particularly vital for at least one such conversation to be happening in English: English-speaking readers and writers are tremendous stakeholders in the conflict, beginning with many in the Palestinian and Jewish diasporas, continuing through the passionately engaged global audiences, and ending with the fact that the “third man” in this conflict – the United States – perceives, shapes and sells its policy through the English language. Through all these avenues, English readers play a part at least in some ways in the mess here and in the attempts to sort it out. Writing “outward” about the questions and dilemmas arising in this age seems as essential as writing “inward” – within and between our own communities.

See you here, and there, and here again.

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    1. Borg

      So you are Derfners second choice after Richard Silverschwein stood him up

      Reply to Comment
    2. Leonid Levin

      Good luck, Dimi! I’ll be following you and Larry in your debate!

      … and please don’t listen to borg’s snark; he’s just pathetic.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Just to set the record straight, I didn’t know Dimi had the “right” political views for this gig until well after I approached Silverstein.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Just to set the record straight, I didn’t know Dimi had the “right” political views for this gig – non-Zionist Left – until well after I approached Silverstein.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Michael Schneider

      Please. please please Mr.Derfner.
      Please try to change employment by leaving the Jerusalem Post and moving over to Ha’aretz.

      It would be a better home for you and it would make me so happy as I never read that newspaper.

      Thanking you in advance,

      Michael Schneider

      Reply to Comment
    6. @Michael – please. please please please Mr. Schneider. Please stop reading +972, because if you’re only into reading publications you agree with, I have no idea what you’re doing on this site.
      Thanks in advance,
      Ami Kaufman

      Reply to Comment
    7. Michael Schneider

      Thanks for your advice, Ami.
      I look at sites such as this one to confirm my belief that I’m doing the right thing in not looking at sites such as this one, (and newspapers such as Ha’aretz).
      If you are a Larry Derfner fan you probably won’t get this as, in my experience, those who are drawn to haters good old Larry usually don’t seem to have much of a sense of humour.
      Perhaps now a you have a tiny inkling of what I’m doing on this site.
      I hope this clears up the matter to your satisfaction and if you have any other quandraries that I may help you with please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
      PS. Sorry about “Humour” but that’s how we idiotic Jewish Brits spell the word but if you spell it differently I wouldn’t dream to qestion why you are reading my posting!
      Get it?


      Reply to Comment
    8. Michael Schneider

      I left a few grammatical mistakes in my previous message in order to give you something to write about.


      Reply to Comment
    9. Michael Schneider

      This comment was deleted for containing a personal attack

      Reply to Comment
    10. @Michael – actually, I don’t get it at all. You lost me at the word “Thanks”. Get it?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Michael Schneider


      I don’t know how you come to be in this “conversation”. I wrote an e.mail to Mr. Derfner and you jumped in, uninvited, to complain that you have no idea what I’m doing on this site.
      Why do you think I would care whether you have an idea or not? Who the hell are you?
      I think I’m falling in love with you!

      Reply to Comment
    12. @Michael – Since you obviously are not fully aware of your surroundings, allow me to tell you where you are. This is a site called +972. You commented on it. I have no idea of what email you are talking about, but I hope it reached its destination.
      As for your questions, well, right back at you.
      I won’t answer you again on Dimi’s channel, feel free to continue trolling on mine, which is here, on +972, the site you commented on.
      I hope you’ve got your sense of direction back and that you’re in good health.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Michael Schneider

      Hi Ami,

      Just a note to say how happy we all are not to have to read ‘Larry’s Rantings’ in the JP in future.

      I was told that this site, +972, is the site at which Mr. Derfner blogs and apparently that info was wrong so please accedpt my apologies for bothering you.
      In any case, the subject is moot now as dear old Lar is hopefully a thing of the past. Todah l’El.
      Best wishes,

      Reply to Comment
    14. Michael Schneider


      You don’t seem to have had many e.ms since I was last on the site!

      Perhaps you’ll get more now that LD’s gone!


      Reply to Comment