Every Friday, the My Machberet blog presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›
“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, until I returned to language study well into adulthood, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remembered), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.
“Omar is not the only one for whom some clarity would have been useful before she chose to take to Twitter without the requisite historical depth and sensitivity. The entire episode demonstrates that some clarity around issues of anti-Semitism, Israel, public discourse, and why public policy looks like it does is sorely lacking across the board. Between the defense of anti-Semitic comments as simply questioning Israel, the insistence that Omar must be intentionally dog whistling, the allegations that the big bad Israel lobby is shutting down discourse, and the arguments over who gets to define anti-Semitism and what constitutes an acceptable form of Judaism, the only thing that seems clear is that many people aren’t clear on how to talk about these issues.”
Michael Koplow, “Ilhan Omar and the Power of Clarity” (Israel Policy Forum)
“When it comes to Hillel’s famous quote, selective memories prevail. The Jewish left has a tendency to forget the first clause—if we don’t stand up for ourselves, no one else will. And the right tends to ignore the second—if we’re only concerned about our own needs, what happened to our essential human empathy? Hillel knew that living in tension with these two values was the jumping-off point for much of Jewish ethics.
This tension surfaced on Thursday evening, as the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston voted to prohibit Council member-organizations from partnering with or co-sponsoring events with ‘self-identified Jewish organizations…that declare themselves to be anti-Zionist’. This is a good and proper decision.”
Source: Neal Gold, “Saying No to the Neturei Karta of the Left”