Words of the Week

“Anyone still wondering whether Salaita ought to have a teaching job should play the parlor game of reading his tweets and replacing references to Jews and Israelis with blacks, gays, or women. Should an American institution of higher learning employ someone who tweeted, say, that black Americans were ‘transforming “racism” from something horrible into something honorable since 1964’?”
Liel Leibovitz, “Tweets Cost Professor Steven Salaita His Tenure, and That’s a Good Thing” (Tablet)

“Prof. Salaita is entitled to his political views. However academic freedom is not a license for all possible speech: it does not protect hate speech or harassment, it does not legitimate the dehumanization of political opponents, and it certainly does not excuse incitements to violence. Institutions of higher education have a vested interest in protecting an atmosphere of reasoned discussion. Incendiary speech destroys that discussion.”
Russell Berman, “Academic Freedom and Academic Standards” (Hoover Institution) 

“Liberal Zionists need to stop whining about how they feel about Israel, and, assuming they really care, work to assist the indigenous institutions fighting for their values. Otherwise, they’re not Zionists — they’re quitters.”
Andrew Silow-Carroll, “The Liberal Zionist Surrender,” New Jersey Jewish News

“What drove me away was the paper’s incessant denigration of Israel, a torrent of articles, photographs, and op-ed columns that consistently present the Jewish State in the worst possible light.”
Rabbi Richard Block, “Why I’m Unsubscribing to the New York Times,” Tablet

“The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.”
Matti Friedman, “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” Tablet

“Israelis know that the IDF does not deliberately kill civilians. We know this because we are the IDF—because our sons, our neighbors’ sons, have been fighting in Gaza. We know that dead Palestinian civilians serve the interests only of Hamas, not Israel, whose military operations in the past were either curtailed or halted altogether by an errant shell that exploded in a classroom or a refugee shelter. We know that mistakes happen in war because, unlike many of Israel’s critics in the West, Israelis know war. We know that houses in Gaza were booby-trapped, that schools and mosques concealed arms caches and entrances to tunnels and were repeatedly used as launching pads for rockets.

And we knew, from previous experience, that the Hamas figures of civilian casualties, uncritically adopted by most of the media in the first weeks of the war, would turn out to be lies, and that the real proportion of civilian to combatant deaths would become clearer. In early August, The New York Times and the BBC noted the disproportionate number of combat age males among the almost 2,000 deaths then recorded in Gaza. But those predictable revelations have come too late to change widespread perceptions about Israelis as baby killers.”
Yossi Klein Halevi, “I Have Two Nightmares About a Palestinian State,” The New Republic