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Words of the Week

“During my time in Israel, I landed an internship with an Israeli non-profit that provided support services for foreign reporters based in Israel. For the most part, my job was to accompany members of the press on field tours, getting perspectives on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. I found to my surprise that much of the foreign press was ignorant and quite lazy in their reporting. They often had a less than limited understanding of the region, its history, and its politics. They tended to write stories that fit the preconceptions of their editors and producers. For the most part, this narrative consisted of the idea that Israelis are bad and Palestinians are good.”

Source: Zenobia Ravji, “Yes, Many Journalists Choose Sides in a Conflict—and Often for the Worst Reasons” (The Tower)

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Words of the Week

“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

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Words of the Week

“The voices of Jews and others whose positions are rooted in the right of Israel to exist as a state have been silenced. Following my remarks at the BDS round table, there was just one comment from the audience validating some of my points, but I received many private expressions of support and appreciation for my ‘courage.’ Several people told me it would be damaging to their careers to openly express opposition to the resolution.”

Source: Janet L. Freedman, “For the Women’s Studies Association, the BDS Vote Was Over Before It Began” (Forward)

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Words of the Week

I’m quite sure I no longer have the luxury of laughing off those who find anti-Semitism everywhere as misfits bringing the attitude on themselves, or about something not relevant to my life.

Source: Beth Kissileff, “Anti-Semitism and Me” (The Jewish Week)

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • In the latest New Yorker fiction podcast, Allan Gurganus reads and discusses (with Deborah Treisman) Grace Paley’s “My Father Addresses Me on the Facts of Old Age,” from a 2002 issue of the magazine.
  • “Seven Jewish Authors Get Personal About Anti-Semitism.” A roundtable from We Need Diverse Books.
  • Looking forward to reading through the new issue of Lilith magazine.
  • The Fig Tree Books blog takes note of the 20th anniversary of the passing of Henry Roth, author of the classic Call It Sleep.
  • You’ve never read a Sukkot poem like Chaya Lester’s “In Honor of the Murdered…and Their Orphans,” a response to recent events in Israel, on Hevria.
  • May it be a Shabbat Shalom for all.

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    Words of the Week

    On Thursday, Regent Norman Pattiz urged the body to take a real stand against the anti-Semitic incidents described by students and said that was the intent behind making such a declaration. UC is the first statewide university to consider adopting such a set of principles against intolerance.

    “To not recognize why this subject is even being brought up is to do a disservice to those who brought it up in the first place,” he said.

    His comments were echoed by other regents and welcomed by Jewish students and groups. They said they hope a new statement will address a rash of anti-Semitic incidents.

    Source: “U of California’s new tolerance rules fail to condemn anti-Semitism” (The Times of Israel)

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