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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • Poems and thoughts “written by some of Hevria’s writers in reaction to the terror attack…in a Jerusalem synagogue” this week.
  • Among this week’s book reviews: Judy Bolton-Fasman on Sarah Wildman’s Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind and Harvey Freedenberg on Adam Kirsch’s Rocket & Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas.
  • Here’s a “theme” for a Bat Mitzvah celebration that I think we can all get behind.
  • It’s time to apply for the summer 2015 Great Jewish Books program. (Interested? Might know a high-schooler who could be? Read 2014 participant Hannah Elbaum’s reflections.)
  • Finally, this week brought the release of the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books. Check it out!
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “It is not enough for Kerry to listen to what Abbas or Erekat are telling him in English. Instead, Kerry and Obama must also start listening to what Palestinian leaders and activists are telling their people in Arabic.

    Moreover, it would also be a good idea for Obama and Kerry to go online and view the most recent Palestinian campaigns that encourage and applaud terror attacks on Israelis. Perhaps then they will understand that as long as the incitement continues, there is no chance — zero — for the success of any peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.”

    Source: Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinians’ ‘Car Intifada’ and Obama’s Peace Process” (Gatestone Institute)

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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

    “That cartoon was irresponsible and has great potential to ultimately do far more damage to Israel and [to the] Jewish people in general than it does to the policies Netanyahu or Likud.”
    –Derek Kwait, “Collapsing Towers: Liveblogging My Quarrel with Haaretz” (New Voices)

    “It is tough to say what is the most stomach-turning aspect of this. Is it that Hamas managed to bully and intimidate foreign journalists en masse for almost two months and get away with it? Is it the fact that this bullying and intimidation successfully prevented the world from receiving an objective picture of what this awful war was really all about? Or is it the fact that the principal correspondent of the New York Times either had no clue about what was happening, or instinctively desired to deny it, or both?”
    –Jeff Robbins, “A Willful Ignorance on Israel” (The Times of Israel) Continue reading ›

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Part-time job for a PJ Library Coordinator in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • I’ll admit that I have resisted reading all the terrible details of the sickening Rabbi Freundel story. But I’m glad that I read Matthue Roth’s essay-post on the subject for Hevria.
  • A gorgeous–and haunting–meditation from Richard Chess on the “Good Letters” blog.
  • A review of Meyer Levin’s literary thriller Compulsion–from October 1956.
  • On my weekend listening agenda: the latest “Israel Story” podcast. (It’s book-themed.)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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