Words of the Week: Theo Baker

Across the many conversations and hours of formal interviews I conducted for this article, I’ve encountered a persistent anti-intellectual streak. I’ve watched many of my classmates treat death so cavalierly that they can protest as a pregame to a party. Indeed, two parties at Stanford were reported to the university this fall for allegedly making people say ‘Fuck Israel’ or ‘Free Palestine’ to get in the door. A spokesperson for the university said it was ‘unable to confirm the facts of what occurred,’ but that it had ‘met with students involved in both parties to make clear that Stanford’s nondiscrimination policy applies to parties.’ As a friend emailed me not long ago: ‘A place that was supposed to be a sanctuary from such unreason has become a factory for it.’


Words of the Week: Tova Kramer

As Jews we keep running. Step by step – one step at a time. Up hills, down hills, through life, through the ages – we don’t give up. That is why we are still here. We run for and with each other, we stop and rest with each other and we help each other get up and continue running. We do it together. Step by step- one step at a time.

Source: Tova Kramer, “The Jerusalem Marathon 2024: Running Through Our Tears” (The Times of Israel)

Words of the Week: Model Language for Wartime Reporting

Having observed this language, more than once, in reporting from The Times of Israel, I share it here as a model for how such statistics should be presented.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says over XXX people have been killed in the fighting, though these figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over XXX operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

I wish that that Hamas would surrender this minute. That they would return the remaining hostages (including, as awful as this sounds, the bodies of the dead). No more people would die.


Words of the Week: Mitchell J. Kaplan

“In the narrative war between Israel and Islamism (obviously not the same thing as Islam), the views of one side – the side that has the oil, the side that funds Middle East Studies programs at U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and many other universities in the United States – are generally given more credence than the views of the other side. Antisemites claim that Jews control the media and even the government. This is of course a lie, and a very old one. The narrative truth of Jewish experience – and of my experience personally – is that Jewish identity is the identity of a tiny minority, struggling to survive in a world of cultural bullies.