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American Jews

  • Netanyahu’s Alt-Zionism has no need for American Jews

    Instead of firmly speaking out against the more than 190 anti-Semitic threats and attacks over the past few weeks, Netanyahu has decided to throw the American Jewish community under the bus of right-wing Israeli fanaticism. By David Sarna Galdi Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week told a delegation led by Reform Movement head Rabbi Rick Jacobs what it wanted to hear — that he was attuned to their concerns. But Netanyahu’s shocking silence during the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States was far louder than his words. Netanyahu, who just a couple of years ago declared that…

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  • Israel's travel ban strikes Liberal Zionism at its core

    Israel’s new anti-BDS law is antagonizing some of the state’s most loyal supporters, rewriting a decades-old relationship. Israel ramped up its fight against the global boycott movement last week, when the Knesset passed its own travel ban: a new law barring entry to any non-citizen or non–permanent resident who has publicly called for or pledged to support a boycott of Israel — or its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. How this new approach will play out politically — whether it will energize the BDS movement or scare off potential supporters — remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: the new…

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  • Trump is pushing American Jews away from Israel — and that's a good thing

    Now that the U.S. is being faced with a racist Trump regime, American Jews are being reminded of their own history of oppression, forcing them to make a choice: which side are we on when it comes to Israel? By Michael Sidman Blind support for Israel has kept American Jews from supporting Palestinian liberation for too long – but the Trump administration, in one of its accidental silver linings, has finally created the perfect incubator to bring American Jews and Palestinians together. For decades American Jews, guided in no small part by mainstream Jewish organizations, have actively and vocally lent their support to far-right…

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  • Israel passes 'dissenter ban' barring entry to boycott advocates

    It's impossible to predict how and against whom the new law will be applied, but the message it sends is clear: if your politics don't toe the Israeli government line, you won't be allowed in. Even if your opposition is entirely non-violent. As Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban against nationals of six Muslim countries and many refugees, Israel's Knesset passed a law that bars giving temporary visas or residency to any non-Israeli citizen who has publicly called for or pledged to participate in a boycott of Israel. [tmwinpost] The way the law is worded makes its possible application very…

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  • Two fathers, Palestinian and Jewish, find hope in solidarity

    When I first got the news that he had won, the first people I checked on were my Muslim mother and my son. But then I wrote my friend, Brad Brooks-Rubin. [tmwinpost] The connection wasn't coincidental. When my son was born, Brad was the first to visit him. A year later, I bought a life-sized playhouse and leaned it against the plastic siding of our rented home, just outside of Washington, DC. When my son was skeptical about his new toy, Brad crawled in first, wedged his head through the tiny window, and looked my toddler dead in the eye.…

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  • It's time for American Jewish institutions to embrace dissent

    In the age of Trump, American Jewish institutions need to include the majority of U.S. Jews who rejected his divisive rhetoric and give a platform to dissenting voices — whether they are speaking out against U.S. or Israeli government policy. By Ben Pakman The Jewish American people are entering what promises to be a tumultuous time under the Trump presidency. Our morals and resolve are being tested and, fairly or not, the rest of the world is observing us under a microscope. [tmwinpost] The most prominent American Jews — Trump cohorts like David Friedman (recently appointed as U.S. ambassador to Israel),…

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  • Welcome to the Jewish American dissonance

    American Jews view a Muslim ban as a threat to the ideals they cherish, yet they also believe that too many Muslims in Israel is a direct threat to the Jewish people. In early December, just a month after the election of Donald Trump, American alt-right leader Richard Spencer sat down for an interview with Al Jazeera. Speaking to Kristen Saloomey, Spencer, who brought his white supremacist views along as he was catapulted into spotlight over the past year, railed against the "great erasure" of the "white world," diversity, and the underrepresentation of American whites in corporate America, among other things. Spencer…

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  • LISTEN: Trump may end up redefining Jewish American identity

    By Dahlia Scheindlin and Gilad Halpern Northeastern Professor Dov Waxman's book, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (2016) was published before envisioning Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office. Gilad Halpern and I hosted him on our podcast, the Tel Aviv Review, a couple of days after Trump's inauguration, to try and understand whether — and how — a divisive and irascible commander-in-chief, and his unorthodox views on Israel, would affect the debate that his book unpacks. Trump, Waxman told us, will likely exacerbate the already raging conflict on the very essence of the Jewish-American identity. And in…

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  • +972 Magazine's 20 most-read posts of 2016

    From Shimon Peres' dark side to Donald Trump at AIPAC to Airbnb in settlements, here are the most popular articles we published this past year.  By +972 Magazine Staff 20. Why I had to leave Israel's Foreign Ministry As a former Israeli ambassador, Ilan Baruch never expected just how badly the country’s situation would deteriorate, with the Netanyahu government pushing democracy to the brink and doing just about everything in its power to entrench occupation and inequality. So he left. Read his full article here. 19. Black Lives Matter should change 'genocide' language — proudly The Movement for Black Lives sparked a heated debate among…

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  • Between hope and despair: A Palestinian woman's journey to Trumpland

    A month after Trump's election I found myself traveling across the United States. Along the way I met with a 103-year-old Jewish journalist, who reminded me that despite the good will of American Jewry, we live in two separate worlds. I spent 10 intense days between airports, malls, presentations, and meetings — switching between Hebrew, Arabic, English, and back to Arabic. On the last of my journey to the United States, on behalf of my village, Wahat al-Salam—Neve Shalom, I began losing a sense of time. I felt overwhelmed by the Americans I met, who were only beginning to make…

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  • Occupation denial is pushing me out of my Jewish community

    I can no longer remain silent as many in the Jewish establishment continue to support the occupation, publicly reject the Movement for Black Lives, and remain silent on Trump. By Jenn Pollan Four years ago on a 100 degree day, I sat on the porch of a home in Bethlehem while a Palestinian man named Samer pointed to the Israeli settlements that surrounded his home. As he spoke Samer fiddled with a small cross necklace I previously failed to noticed he was wearing. When he saw I was looking at the necklace, he paused and said with an almost alarming casualness: “This is…

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  • What neoconservatives get wrong about U.S. Jews' relationship with Israel

    As much as it chagrins the likes of Elliott Abrams, the increasing difficulty they are having with defending Israel’s policies is due to the policies they are working to defend. The longer the occupation continues, the less support it will find among Jews in the United States. By Mitchell Plitnick Over the past few years, there has been a good deal of consternation in Israel and in the American Jewish community about the relationship between the two. That concern has grown as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consistently works to please his right flank with ever more controversial statements and…

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  • Jewish education’s sin of omission

    Despite years of Jewish education, much of which focused on Israel, this young American Zionist was still ignorant of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. By David Sarna Galdi The Israeli occupation of the West Bank will mark its 50-year anniversary next year. For five decades, since 1967, that occupation has been a central theme in any discussion of Israel’s politics, history, current events and obviously, conflict with the Palestinians — except, apparently, if you’re young and Jewish in America. [tmwinpost] While recently reading a critique of the absence of any discussion of the occupation (or any criticism of Israel,…

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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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