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Words of the Week

“‘Yet,’ he said, ‘our inability to use the term anti-Semitism when it concerns Jews, when we don’t have a problem calling other forms of ethnic and religious bigotry what it is, raises disturbing questions about prevalent attitudes towards Jews, Judaism, Zionism, and the state of Israel.'”

–Rabbi John L. Rosove, quoted in Adam Nagourney’s “In U.C.L.A. Debate Over Jewish Student, Echoes on Campus of Old Biases,” The New York Times.

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Words of the Week

I had the privilege of hearing these words expressed “live,” but am grateful to JTA for covering Thursday’s event in Manhattan and providing the quotations:

“‘How many graves would we tolerate?’ he said. ‘Ten? Twenty? We cannot accept any amount of crime.'”– Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia of France

“‘The reason I went to Paris was because we as Americans have some responsibility here to say to our European brothers and sisters,’ he said, ‘that indifference only leads us down a very dangerous path. No one Jewish living in Europe should have to beg for protection.'”– New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Photo credit: Joanna Dreifus

Photo credit: Joanna Dreifus

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Words of the Week

“When it finally happened, and someone I knew compared Israelis to fascists, I looked at her post for an hour before I gathered the courage — after four decades of keeping quiet — to speak up. Virtually, at least.”

–Margarita Gokun Silver, “From Russia With Anti-Semitism” (OZY)

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Words of the Week

“I feel a bit like a curmudgeon when I complain that the march’s wonderful joining of the victims of the attacks—journalists, polices, and Jews alike—felt hypocritical. But, given the silence at every other attack on Jews, it seems clear that the only reason the public at large paid attention was because of the Charlie Hebdo connection. I sadly predict that in the future, if only Jews are victims, people will just shake their heads and move on.

I stress: I am not asking for sympathy. I ask the general European population to recognize that these attacks directly threaten them and the liberal democratic society they treasure. It begins with the Jews but it never ends with them. They must realize that they ignore atrocities against Jews at their own—not just our—peril.”

Source: Deborah Lipstadt, “Hypocrisy After the Paris Terror Attacks” (Tablet)

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Words of the Week

“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)

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Words of the Week

“But forgive us if we experience a special kind of grief for the Jewish kid from Miami, who played rugby and video games and tweeted about American basketball and risked his life to tell an important story.”
“Steven Sotloff Was Jewish,” editorial in The Forward

“We only wish your response and your voice against this crime and the crime Hamas has committed against their own people.”
“Letter by Parents of Daniel Tregerman to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.”

“Vigilance means speaking out whenever protests devolve into the classic rhetoric and symbolism of Jew hatred: swastikas, blood libels, conspiracy theories. We must reject depictions of Israel as a spearhead of Western colonialism — a clash between ‘European’ and ‘brown’ people — and explain how that narrative depends on a stereotypical and caricatured image of the ‘Jew’ that ignores the diverse reality of Israel (which includes, not coincidentally, brown and black people who were either thrown out of or made miserable in a wide range of non-European, ‘post-colonial’ countries). And we need to keep reminding people that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is not anti-Semitic because it seeks justice for the Palestinians, but because it sees no place for the Jewish state or the Jews who live there.”
“Fight Anti-Semitism, Embrace Zionism,” by Andrew Silow-Carroll (New Jersey Jewish News) Continue reading ›

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