“Missing from these earnest and well-intentioned pieces, however, was any acknowledgment of the role the media themselves have played in creating the conditions under which anti-Semitism flourishes. The media do not grasp, the media refuse to see, the relation between the biased and hostile coverage of Israel they produce every day and the anti-Semitism on which they report.”
–Matthew Continetti, “Anti-Semitism: Now They Notice” (Commentary)
“Support for equal pay, or health care reform, or union rights, or abortion rights, or anti-discrimination laws, or protecting the environment, or the idea that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes—none of these are enough of a basis anymore for your liberalism. What now defines American Jews—and only American Jews—as liberals is whether they back the administration on Israel. If you don’t think Netanyahu is not just an opportunistic politician but also the devil; if you don’t see Mahmoud Abbas as a man singlemindedly committed to peace; if you don’t agree that John Kerry is doing God’s work bringing Israelis and Palestinians together; if you don’t think the leaders of Hamas are people who can be reasoned with—and even if you agree with all of the above but are perhaps a little unsure about the wisdom or the necessity of ever-closer U.S. ties with the Mullahs in Tehran—then you should accept that you aren’t a liberal anymore.”
–Tablet Staff, “American Jews Don’t Have to Choose Between Liberalism and Israel”
“Indeed, as Cary Nelson correctly points out in his introduction, boycotting Israel as a solid manifestation of detesting its very existence has become arguably the single most potent marker of being of the left today. He quotes one of the global left’s most cherished gurus, the Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, who states the obvious that, ‘by now, anti-Zionism is synonymous with leftist world politics.’ Even if one is explicitly and actively anti-racist and anti-sexist, opposed to oppression, favours economic equality, fights for workers rights, actively supports the LGBT community, advocates strict gun control, stands for ecological reforms; one will be at best a very suspect, indeed even an unwelcome, member of what constitutes today’s left and being progressive without having decidedly and explicitly anti-Zionist views.”
–Andrei S. Markovits, “Book Review: The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel” (Fathom)
“That cartoon was irresponsible and has great potential to ultimately do far more damage to Israel and [to the] Jewish people in general than it does to the policies Netanyahu or Likud.”
–Derek Kwait, “Collapsing Towers: Liveblogging My Quarrel with Haaretz” (New Voices)
“It is tough to say what is the most stomach-turning aspect of this. Is it that Hamas managed to bully and intimidate foreign journalists en masse for almost two months and get away with it? Is it the fact that this bullying and intimidation successfully prevented the world from receiving an objective picture of what this awful war was really all about? Or is it the fact that the principal correspondent of the New York Times either had no clue about what was happening, or instinctively desired to deny it, or both?”
–Jeff Robbins, “A Willful Ignorance on Israel” (The Times of Israel) Continue reading ›
Every Sunday, I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.” Typically, I post the selected sentence on my Practicing Writing blog and share it on Twitter.
Now, a lot of my reading falls what within might be called “Jewish literature,” so maybe it isn’t all that surprising that more than just a few of my Sunday Sentences also come from the world of JLit. This week, for instance, I posted a line from Diary of the Fall, a novel by Michel Laub translated by Margaret Jull Costa:
My grandfather lost a brother in Auschwitz, and another brother in Auschwitz, and a third brother in Auschwitz, and his father and his mother in Auschwitz, and his girlfriend of the time in Auschwitz, and at least one cousin and one aunt in Auschwitz, and who knows how many friends in Auschwitz, how many neighbors, how many work colleagues, how many people he would have been quite close to had he not been the only one to survive and set off on a boat for Brazil and spend the rest of his life without ever mentioning any of their names.
Other weeks, I’ve shared sentences from work by Stuart Rojstaczer. By Roz Chast. By Gary Shteyngart. And so many more. Take a look. And if you’re on Twitter and just learning about the hashtag here, please join in and share your own #SundaySentence selections in the future.
“But what has become even more stunningly clear in recent years is that even if the United States could fix the Palestinian issue and produce a two-state solution, that accomplishment alone would not stabilize the angry, broken, and dysfunctional Middle East. The region is already in the process of melting down for a tsunami of reasons that have nothing to do with the Palestinians. But talking about the consequences of not fixing the Palestinian issue, particularly in Chicken Little the “sky is falling” terms, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been wont to do, doesn’t help matters — it makes them worse.”
–Aaron David Miller, “It’s Not Washington’s Fault” (Foreign Policy)
“You can take for granted the way a grandfather feels for a granddaughter that has just been murdered,” he said. “You can see it.”
–Shimshon Halperin, grandfather to Chaya Zissel Braun, quoted broadly, including by JTA.
“The Met has the First Amendment right to present this opera, and people certainly have a similar right to attend. It is their choice.
Equally, all of us have as strong a First Amendment right to make our position clear and warn people that this work is both a distortion of history and helped, in some ways, to foster a three decade long feckless policy of creating a moral equivalency between the Palestinian Authority, a corrupt terrorist organization, and the state of Israel, a democracy ruled by law.”
–Rudy Giuliani, “Why I Protested ‘The Death of Klinghoffer'” (The Daily Beast)