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David Sarna Galdi

  • With new laws, Netanyahu is hijacking Judaism as we know it

    The leader of the largest Jewish population in the world is consciously abandoning modern Jewish identity in order to usher in a new Judaism. What kind? Just look to the Jewish Nation-State and Holocaust law. By David Sarna Galdi Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the ire of the Jewish world earlier this month when he went on national television to announce his support for an amended version of the controversial Polish Holocaust Law, a gimmick invented by Poland’s anti-democratic government to gain favor with its right-wing base. [tmwinpost] The law effectively endangers free discussion about the Holocaust and presents a…

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  • Elor Azaria takes a victory lap in Hebron: He’s still not the problem

    Azaria, the Israeli soldier who was recently released from prison after executing an incapacitated Palestinian stabbing suspect, gets a hero's welcome at the scene of the crime. Ultimately, however, he is not to blame. We are. By David Sarna Galdi Watching news footage of Elor Azaria visiting Hebron feels like watching O.J. Simpson partying in Brentwood after his release - it makes you sick to your stomach; it forces you to question your country’s values. [tmwinpost] In March 2016, Azaria, then a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, killed an incapacitated Palestinian knife-attack suspect as he lay bleeding on the ground in Hebron.…

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  • Jerusalem isn't only Jewish, and that's what makes it beautiful

    Jerusalem is Jewish and Israeli, but there is an uncomfortable truth Israelis must come to terms with: the city is equally Arab — inherently, inescapably, and wonderfully Arab. By David Sarna Galdi President Donald Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, leaving out mention of Palestinian ties to the place - implying that the city is Jewish and belongs to the Jews. However, Jerusalem has never been exclusively Jewish. In Judaism’s earliest mythological moments, it was Semitic; throughout history, multicultural; and today, its most compelling parts are undeniably Arab. Scripturally, the Land of Israel is not the…

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  • 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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  • Help! My father is voting for Trump

    Trying to understand, and explain, the troubling electoral choice of the man who raised me. By David Sarna Galdi Election day is a week away, and barring a revelation akin to Paul’s on the road to Damascus, I am fairly sure my father will be voting for Donald Trump. My educated assumption about my father’s decision, based on highly frustrating conversations that usually end with me slamming down the phone, has left me angry and confused. How could I have been raised by a man voting for a presidential candidate whose campaign was best summed up by economist Paul Krugman: “Donald…

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  • An assault on storytelling: The other sides of Poland

    A new law in Poland criminalizing Holocaust-related speech presents an offensive, distorted narrative about the nation’s wartime history and its coming-to-terms with the past. But that’s far from the whole story. By David Sarna Galdi The Polish cabinet last month approved a law that will punish (including imprisonment) anyone for claiming that Poles killed Jews during the Second World War or referring to concentration camps like Auschwitz, which were located in Nazi-occupied Poland, as “Polish.” The legislation was met with widespread criticism, most of which missed the point; what’s most egregiously offensive about this law is its assault on storytelling.…

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  • Is Israel 'evil?'

    Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy, who in the past has called Israel Air Force pilots a 'death squadron,' condemned Israel as 'pure evil.' But is he right this time? By David Sarna Galdi Israeli media’s reigning provocateur, Gideon Levy, is an intellectual hooligan hanging around the neighborhood pub just waiting to cause some trouble. Levy insists on instigating scholarly brawls; if he takes a few punches it's no big deal because he relishes showing off his cogitative muscle. In an op-ed published by Haaretz last Sunday, Levy claimed that aside from nationalism, racism, and hatred for Arabs, there is “one more…

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  • The colonialist skeletons in Israel’s closet

    Modern believers in the meaning, importance and necessity of Israel as a safe home for Jews had best come to terms with its less-than-organic birth — it did not magically appear on the sands of an empty landscape. By David Sarna Galdi A day before the Paris peace summit last month, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, tried to delegitimize the French plan by comparing it to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. “One hundred years ago, two officials by the name of Mark Sykes and Francois-Georges Picot tried to dictate a new order in the Middle East,” Gold…

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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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  • Hebron shooter indicts all of Israel

    No need for a trial. Sergeant Elor Azaria is already innocent in the eyes of the Israeli public By David Sarna Galdi The trial of Sergeant Elor Azaria, a soldier indicted for the killing of an incapacitated Palestinian knife-attack suspect in Hebron last month will mostly likely begin soon, but it isn’t really necessary. If public opinion and legal precedent tell us anything, his fate has already been sealed and his future looks very bright indeed. [tmwinpost] The soldier’s guilt was plainly evident from day one, shown in the video of the incident released by B’Tselem, which as Gideon Levy…

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