“The bottom line is that it’s time for all rational progressive people, LGBT or not, Jewish or not, to stop giving credibility to these accusations of ‘pinkwashing.'”
Source: Arthur Slepian, “How ‘Pinkwashing’ Has Become an Authoritarian Creed of Intimidation” (Haaretz)
“I share the outrage of Jews and Zionists who recognize how antisemitism has infiltrated the academy and progressive politics in multiple and worrying ways. Even though these activists may vigorously deny the label of antisemitism, at the very least they benefit from deeply ingrained antisemitic attitudes that assume Jews (or the Jew-writ-large of the State of Israel) are inherently powerful, wealthy, aggressive, shadowy, clannish, and untrustworthy. With little of the intellectual honesty and empathy they claim to embody, many anti-Israel activists advance their cause with the aid of these dangerous tropes, and have enjoyed unparalleled success in singling out Israel for rebuke as a result. As a consequence, not only are Israelis dehumanized in deeply repulsive ways by a supposedly humane academy/progressive political class, but BDS activism in the far left has become one of the most effective vehicles for reifying and spreading calumnies and discrimination against Jews. This state of affairs has already led to violence against Jewish students on campus and the exclusion of valuable Jewish voices in progressive causes that have no clear, obvious link to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As a Jew, a Zionist, a progressive, a professor, and a campus rabbi, I am deeply worried about these trends and what they mean for my students.”
Source: Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, Jewish Waterville
For the past four years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2015.
Reviewing my reading for 2015 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish.)
But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.
Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them (most recent first). I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library), or FTB (for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor). Continue reading ›