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Words of the Week, II

Ellen Willis, z”l, “Is There Still a Jewish Question? Why I’m an Anti-Anti-Zionist” (essay originally published in 2003; reprinted online this week by Tablet):
And yet I count myself an anti-anti-Zionist. This is partly because the logic of anti-Zionism in the present political context entails an unprecedented demand for an existing state—one, moreover, with popular legitimacy and a democratically elected government—not simply to change its policies but to disappear. It’s partly because I can’t figure out what large numbers of displaced Jews could have or should have done after 1945, other than parlay their relationship with Palestine and the (ambivalent) support of the West for a Jewish homeland into a place to be. (Go “home” to Germany or Poland? Knock, en masse, on the doors of unreceptive European countries and a reluctant United States?) And finally it’s because I believe that anti-Jewish genocide cannot be laid to rest as a discrete historical episode, but remains a possibility implicit in the deep structure of Christian and Islamic cultures, East and West.

Oren Kessler, “Hamas Lies–and the Media Believed It” (U.S. News):
“It’s the Mideast equivalent of ‘Dog bites man,’ but it took the media nearly a month to recognize its sheer obviousness: Hamas lies.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

As has been the case lately, I’ve discovered so many words worth sharing that I’m compiling some of the most compelling–and I may be back again with more before this week has ended.

Joanna Chen, “The Silence Within Silence” (Los Angeles Review of Books):
“Yesterday there was a ceasefire. The night before, the booms did not stop. At 3 AM the house shuddered and the walls shook. At 8 AM, as the ceasefire began, silence fell upon the house. I stood at my front door with a second cup of coffee. The cat kept close, curling herself around my bare feet. At 8:05 there was a final crescendo, a deafening boom from the direction of Gaza. A bird lifted into the air, and before I saw the bird I heard its wings beating: one, two, three. I listened to the silence that followed as if I were listening to it for the first time. There are nuances to silence, there are degrees and shades to silence. This was a heavy, ominous one and it lay upon the air the whole day and did not move.”

Rachel Delia Benaim, “An Open Letter to Selena Gomez, from Two 12-Year-Old Fans in Southern Israel” (Jewcy):
“Noa’s family has lived in Yad Mordechai since the kibbutz was founded in 1936. They came here to escape anti-Semitism in Europe. They built the kibbutz up with their own hands. They defended it from Egyptian invaders in 1948—there were only fifty kibbutzniks with twenty outdated guns between them, facing hundreds of trained Egyptian soldiers. But the kibbutzniks, Noa’s family, persevered. They then lived in peace with their Arab neighbors in Gaza. Sure, there were tensions and flare-ups, but for the most part they lived in peace. And then just after Noa and Yarden were born, the rockets started.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, II

Another collection of noteworthy words:

Shimon Ohayon, “No Jews = No Outrage” (The Times of Israel):
“The feigned outrage on the streets of Europe is a peculiar cocktail of hypocrisy, ignorance and above all, hate.”

Noa Tishby, “Artists Without Borders. Or Facts.” (Jewish Journal):
“So if you prefer acting or partying to fact-checking that’s fine, but please just stick to that. With power (and millions of Twitter followers) comes at least some responsibility.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, “What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?” (The Atlantic):
“People wonder why Israelis have such a visceral reaction to Hamas. The answer is easy. Israel is a small country, and most of its citizens know someone who was murdered by Hamas in its extended suicide-bombing campaigns; and most people also understand that if Hamas had its way, it would kill them as well.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, V

More current-events items culled from the news (& the blogosphere).

John Ging, UN

From Terrence McCoy, “Why Hamas Stores Its Weapons Inside Hospitals, Mosques, and Schools,” in The Washington Post:
“During one short-lived lull in rocket fire, The Washington Post’s William Booth saw a ‘group of men’ at a mosque in northern Gaza. They said they had returned to clean up glass from shattered windows. ‘But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque,’ Booth wrote. He also reported that Shifa Hospital in Gaza City had ‘become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.

Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Casey tweeted an image of a Hamas spokesman giving an interview at a Gaza hospital. With the shelling, ‘You have to wonder … how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.’ The tweet was later deleted.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, II

It’s beginning to look as though I should rename this feature “words of the day.” I’m going to try to remain optimistic, though, and hope that current events will become sufficiently peaceful to allow for less frequent postings–and the end of compilations.

From Nick Dyrenfurth, “Gaza and Israel: Why I Will Not Be Silent,” The Age
“Enough is enough. Ignore the sirens calls of hate. If so inclined, donate to the International Red Cross’ Israel and Gaza Appeal. Get informed. Read and share Shavit’s meditation on his country’s condition. Read and share Izzeldin Abuelaish’s heartfelt plea for peace. This is a Palestinian man who lost his three daughters during the 2008-09 Israeli-Gaza war. Stand up and reject the extremists on both sides. Don’t fall silent when you see the hashtag #HitlerWasRight pop up in your Twitter feed, or when all Palestinians are tarred with the brush of Hamas. Support moderates committed to a two-state solution. As Abuelaish implores, ‘This is a moment in history that must be captured.’ Continue reading ›

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