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Words of the Week: Frank Bruni

“When hatred is loosed, we’re all in the crossfire.”

Source: Frank Bruni, “The Oldest Hatred, Forever Young” an opinion piece following Sunday’s terrible events in Overland Park, Kansas, in The New York Times

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Words of the Week: Matthew Weiner

“The driving question for the [Mad Men] series is, Who are we? When we talk about ‘we,’ who is that? In the pilot, Pete Campbell has this line, ‘Adding money and education doesn’t take the rude edge out of people.’ Sophisticated anti-Semitism. I overheard that line when I was a schoolteacher. The person, of course, didn’t know they were in the presence of a Jew. I was a ghost. Certain male artists like to show that they’re feminists as a way to get girls. That’s always seemed pimpy to me. I sympathize with feminism the same way I identify with gay people and with people of color, because I know what it’s like to look over the side of the fence and then to climb over the fence and to feel like you don’t belong, or be reminded at the worst moment that you don’t belong.”

Source: Matthew Weiner, quoted in “The Art of Screenwriting No. 4,” The Paris Review.

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Words of the Week: Cynthia Ozick

ozick1“The subject is vile and searing and omnipresent, but one cannot address it in a 15-minute interview; or, in fact, in an interview of any length; nor, indeed, can one have the heart just now to address it in any superficial form or forum at all. Jews and the Jewish state are once again under siege everywhere: by the United Nations, world headquarters of anti-Semitism; by, it goes without saying, the religious leaders of Islam and their constituents; by the European Union; by the Obama/Kerry vise, including the appeasement of Iran, a regime sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, to which the West is by its silence wholly indifferent; by the so-called Human Rights movement; by the BDS assaults; by, in America, our own innocently deluded voting pattern; by, in America, our distancing from and growing indifference to the State of Israel; by, in America, our ignorance, our triviality, and our lack of any historical sense; and by much, much, much more.”

Cynthia Ozick, in “Anti-Semitism: Where Does It Come From & Why Does It Persist?”, a free e-book from Moment magazine. (You don’t need to agree with Ozick’s every point to admit awe with the writing here. And you’ll find more than three dozen individual perspectives within the e-book itself.)

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Words of the Week: Matti Friedman

tablet“‘Censorship’ is a word largely devoid of meaning, one trotted out for use because no one wants to support it, just like ‘openness’ is a word used because no one wants to oppose it. The fact is that not only do we tolerate censorship every day, we expect it. We censor racists, for example, and other views considered beyond the pale. The idea that the world’s only Jewish country should be dismantled and its people once again rendered homeless – that’s ‘anti-Zionism,’ however skillfully it cloaks itself – is a morally repugnant idea linked to other morally repugnant ideas better left unmentioned. Let’s leave aside the question of whether this should be discussed anywhere at all. For a Jewish community to decline to make room for this idea is as understandable and healthy as it would be for an African-American community to decline to devote an evening to debating the merits of the Klan.”

Source: Matti Friedman, “In Praise of ‘Censorship’ at Hillel,” in Tablet

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Words of the Week: Hen Mazzig

My experiences in America have changed me. I never expected to encounter such hatred and lies. I never believed that such anti-Semitism still existed, especially in the U.S. I never knew that the battlefield was not just Gaza, the West Bank, and hostile Middle Eastern countries wanting to destroy Israel and kill our citizens and soldiers. It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies.

I implore American Jews: do more.

Source: Hen Mazzig, “An Israeli Soldier to American Jews: Wake up!”

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