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The Forward

  • Reckless charges of anti-Semitism endanger Palestinians

    The baseless claims made by The Forward's Batya Ungar-Sargon at Bard College last week feed the dysfunction of the American debate on Israel-Palestine, making it more difficult for Palestinians and their allies to advocate for their rights. In a strange public controversy last week, Batya Ungar-Sargon, the Opinion Editor at The Forward, published a column claiming that she had been protested by members of Students for Justice in Palestine during one of her panels at a conference on racism and anti-Semitism at Bard College, ostensibly “for being a Jew.” [tmwinpost] The article omitted the fact that many of the protestors were Jewish,…

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  • Ousted Trump adviser: Liberal Jews are betraying U.S.-Israel relations

    The former White House aide with ties to an anti-Semitic organization says 'liberal elements of the American Jewish population have basically become anti-Israeli.' By Eli Clifton Recently-departed White House aide Sebastian Gorka never seemed to hold his tongue during his tenure as an adviser to President Donald Trump. He called criticism of the White House’s omission of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement “asinine” and regularly attacked television anchors for their ratings, deriding them as “fake news.” [tmwinpost] But Gorka, who left the White House under unclear circumstances last Friday, was apparently holding back his vitriol for left-wing Jews,…

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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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  • Israeli artist sets Emily Dickinson poetry to music

    While Israeli musicians composing original songs in English can fall into the trap of sounding unnatural, Ben Zur, a native of Nahariya, manages to incorporate Dickinson’s Victorian American poetry into her own distinctive indie-folk-pop sound.  This article was originally published in The Forward. Listening to the new album “Robin” by acclaimed actress and singer-songwriter Efrat Ben Zur, you wouldn’t know that the songs on it were sung by an Israeli artist, or that they were composed to the poems of 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson. But it is precisely this serendipitous combination that makes the album so captivating. “I didn’t plan…

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  • Israeli paper runs controversial NY Times 'pinkwashing' piece

    A couple of months ago, the New York Times run an op-ed titled "Israel and ‘Pinkwashing,’" which accused Israel of using the issue of gay rights to whitewash its deteriorating human rights record. Quote: In Israel, gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights — just as in America, the expansion of gay rights in some states does not offset human rights violations like mass incarceration. The long-sought realization of some rights for some gays should not blind us to the struggles against racism in Europe and the United States, or to the…

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  • Israeli parliamentary committee deems J Street “pro-Palestinian”

    In a hearing called by the committee for Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday to discuss the “breaking of norms regarding the relation of Diaspora Jewish communities to Israeli governments,” the 3-year old progressive American Jewish lobby J Street was probed and vilified as an anti-Zionist organization whose love for Israel is conditional and thus disqualifies it from being “pro-Israel.” Committee head MK Danny Danon (Likud) asserted his dislike for J Street due to its actions “against Israel” and expressed disapproval of the five members of parliament who attended its annual conference in Washington, DC last month. He screened…

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  • Israeli musician argues with Roger Waters over BDS

    With no other argument against boycott, Kobi Oz reverts to old “no Palestinian partner” line Unfortunately, the Middle East isn’t the most stable place, so Israelis know we have to be very careful as we pursue peace. We could sign an agreement with a moderate regime and suddenly find ourselves confronted with a fundamentalist enemy. We withdrew from Gaza and got Hamas. We pulled out of southern Lebanon, and now Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government. We gave back the Sinai, and now Egypt is a great unknown. This is an excerpt  from a letter Israeli musician Kobi Oz wrote to Roger…

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