“Nothing about this is remotely pro-Israel. It is precisely the opposite. In a country where Israel is already facing an uphill battle with younger and more progressive Americans, where minorities are becoming a larger percentage of the population, and where Trump is the most unpopular president of modern times, bringing Israel out of the blue into his racist demagoguery is one of the most anti-Israel acts that he could possibly commit.”
Source: Michael Koplow, “Trump Is Using Israel to Shield His Racism” (Forward)
[Update, 8:00 AM, July 12: Shelf Awareness has included a clarification in today’s newsletter and added one to the archived version of the original interview. I’m grateful.]
As noted below, I’m an avid reader of the Shelf Awareness newsletters. I was especially intrigued as I began reading this Q&A in the “Pro” issue that I received yesterday morning. (The “Pro” newsletter “provides booksellers and librarians the information they need to sell and lend books. It appears every business day and is read by people throughout the book industry.”) And the featured novel still intrigues me—I’ve placed it on my tbr list, especially as I prepare to teach a course this fall on 21st-Jewish literature (the course will feature a unit on “Newer Immigrant Voices,” including voices that originate in the former Soviet Union).
But I was troubled by something in the author’s very first published response to a Shelf Awareness question. Below is the text the letter (well, the email) that I sent to Shelf Awareness right away. That was 24 hours ago.
I don’t yet see any corrections or clarifications online. Nothing was mentioned in today’s newsletter. But I said what I needed to say. And I’m sharing it. Continue reading ›
“Let’s parse that last sentence—’I know the star itself is deeply meaningful to Jews no matter where they stand on Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.’ John, I don’t deny the Israeli occupation is wrong in many ways. I’m not alone in my thinking, which should tell you that my fellow Jews are not monolithic, and neither are the Palestinians. But it must be said that Israeli citizens have died in Palestinian suicide bombings on buses, in malls and cafes just because they were Jews. There are frequent rocket attacks out of Gaza. Don’t misunderstand me; I very much support a two-state solution. But let’s acknowledge that at this moment the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a highly complicated situation, and we’re out of our depth.”
Source: Judy Bolton-Fasman, “An Open Letter to John Cusack” (JewishBoston.com)
In which the My Machberet blog presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›
One of my guiding principles in life is to catch as many of Yossi Klein Halevi’s books, articles, and presentations as possible. (A secondary principle: to do what I can to get others to do the same.)
Here’s a new presentation, delivered yesterday in Washington at the Anti-Defamation League’s National Leadership Summit. Continue reading ›
“Ask why she feels confident in asserting that I often speak out against justice for Palestinians—when I never have—and we quickly run into the rigid dualism of the activist, where whatever isn’t wholly good in their eyes must be wholly evil. According to this febrile logic, those who don’t support the cause must of necessity oppose it. Thus, while she is right that I am unlikely to be a friend of Palestine Live, she is wrong to suppose that a hostility to Palestinians is the reason. Continue reading ›