“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.
“Because there is no sense in not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unless one does not accept Israel itself, every discussion of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem must begin with the United States saying that the right place for the embassy is Jerusalem. In fact, the U.S. Congress did just that in 1995 when it passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, declaring it strange that the United States ‘maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.’ Only then, having settled this, should the United States delve into the question of whether now is the right time to move. Alas, administration after administration has chosen to use a ‘waiver’ and postpone the relocation.
So, is now the time? We can make a list of whys and why nots.”
Source: Shmuel Rosner, “Is It Time to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem” (Moment magazine)
Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.
This week brought us the latest Jewish Book Carnival, hosted for January by Deborah Kalb.
A detailed call for submissions from the Forward‘s Sisterhood blog. (Yes, freelancers–writers are paid for their work here!)
“J. the Jewish News of Northern California has an opening for a full-time editorial assistant who will handle a multitude of responsibilities. The position is based in our office in San Francisco’s Financial District, and will begin in late February.” The same publication is also advertising for a reporter.
A definite highlight of my week: Monday’s “Jews and Muslims in America” conference, presented in New York by the Shalom Hartman Institute. You can view a number of session videos here; if you’re media-focused, you may be especially interested in a panel on “Jewish and Muslim Media, Reporting, and Storytelling.”
And over at Fig Tree Books, where I’m Media Editor, we’re delighted with another enthusiastic review of Abigail Pogrebin’s forthcoming My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew (this time, from Library Journal). Plus, we’ve launched another giveaway—enter here for a chance to win an advance copy.
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Shabbat shalom, everyone.
“For progressively minded Zionists, our love for Israel is not the same as blanket support for every policy of Israel’s government. There are times — be it on matters of religious pluralism or, in the case of the last few weeks, the settlements — when American Jews believe that the present policies of the Israeli government run counter to the long-term interests of Israel. For those of us American Jews invested in the American-Israel relationship, America’s recent abstention at the United Nations was deeply problematic — an untrue and hypocritical condemnation of Israel as the primary obstacle to peace while Aleppo burns, Libya unravels, Iran and Russia destabilize their neighbors and, most significantly, a Palestinian leadership that has yet to perform the basic act of recognizing Israel’s right to exist. And yet, there remains the simple reality that the settlements are an obstacle to a two-state solution.”
Source: Elliot Cosgrove, “Why Liberalism Vs. Zionism Is a False Choice” (The Jewish Week)
“A worldview. A narrative. A frame. Whatever you call it, when it comes to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, The New York Times clearly seeks to steer readers toward the view that the Palestinians are, more or less, ‘just victims.’ And the necessary inverse is that Israel is, more or less, just a victimizer.
This narrative requires the newspaper to obsessively focus on the Israeli occupation, Israeli settlements, and Israeli right-wing ideologues as the explanation for the conflict in general and Palestinian attacks on Jews in particular. It must also downplay the role Palestinian hate speech, incitement to violence, and rejectionism has played in the conflict. Apparently, it also requires the newspaper to dismiss the Jewish connection to any part of the West Bank. Continue reading ›