Israel/Palestine

Israel/Palestine

Transfer in Israel: Who and to Where?

While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems in abeyance and “nothing happens,” it is really going on with full force in the only battlefield that matters: the settlement enterprise.
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Israel/Palestine

Building a Jewish and Democratic State: A Conversation with Peter Beinart

Rabbi Michael Lerner recently interviewed Peter Beinart, whose book– to its credit– has stirred considerable controversy within the American Jewish community.
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Gender & Sexuality

Boycotting Equality Forum’s Israeli Sponsorship

Palestinian gays and lesbians have urged the gay community in the United States to become more aware of how we have become an unwitting partner in Israel’s efforts to improve its much-criticized human rights record—especially with respect to the Palestinians. Through a policy that some have called “pinkwashing,” Israel has self-consciously sought to rebrand itself as less religious, less militaristic and less hostile, and in so doing wants to deflect attention from the International Court of Justice and UN Human Rights Council’s findings that many of Israel’s policies with respect to the Palestinians violate international law.
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War & Peace

Negotiations Between Iran and the West: An Opportunity for Compromise or Prelude to War?

It feels like war against Iran grows incrementally closer each day. Yet websites like Israel Loves Iran, Facebook pages like Israelis Against the War, and Twitter accounts are filled with a message sorely discomfiting Israel’s leaders. How does American presidential politics feature in the run-up to war?
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Israel/Palestine

The Makings of a Center-Left Alliance For Israeli Settlement Boycotts?

During a plenary session at last week’s third annual J Street conference, Raleb Majadele, a Palestinian Israeli member of the Knesset from the Labor party, may have broken an Israeli law. Responding to a question about whether he supports boycotts …
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Israel/Palestine

The Walls of the Reform Movement’s “Big Tent”

Why would the Union for Reform Judaism give a right-wing Jewish leader a prominent platform from which to make hurtful, dehumanizing, and simplistic comments about Palestinian “culture”? Does inviting such a speaker honor the Reform movement’s history of moral certitude against injustice and discrimination?
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Israel/Palestine

Obama, Palestine, and the United Nations

For those of us who hoped that President Barack Obama would usher in a new era supporting international law, the United Nations, and Israeli-Palestinian peace, 2011 proved to be a profoundly disappointing year. In order for his policies to change, he needs to be pressured.
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Israel’s Education Dilemma: Reflections from a Former IDF Soldier in Hebron

As an American, an Israeli, and a Jew, hearing about a new OECD report that ranks Israel as the second most educated country in the world is reason to celebrate, but the true picture is far more complex.
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Israel/Palestine

Debate on Safe-Haven Zionism

Ethan J. Leib and Rebecca Subar offer opposing takes on safe-haven Zionism.
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Israel/Palestine

A Zionism of Fear

Israel’s expansionism relies on the Zionism of Desire. Indeed, the building of settlements—and worse, the continued expansion and building of settlements in Palestinian territory in light of the current situation—is essentially unimaginable without it. A Zionism of Fear is a political philosophy that takes as its point of departure the credible threat of cruelty against individual Jews because of their Jewishness. It is the Zionism of Desire that fuels Hamas and Hezbollah—but is it also the reality of Hamas and Hezbollah that fuels a more palatable Zionism of Fear.
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Israel/Palestine

Why Safe-Haven Zionism Is Incompatible with Jewish Cosmopolitanism

The social-emotional-intellectual conundrum of reconciling universalist allegiances and Jewish safety leads to a sequence of challenges to safe-haven political Zionism that our intellectual and moral integrity require us to consider. Fear is an appropriate response to danger. But what lack of imagination would permit us as a progressive American Jewish polity to be driven solely by our fears, to limit ourselves to solutions that destroy the agency of non-Jews and the self-determination of a non-Jewish nation, in order to protect ourselves from possible danger?
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Editorial

The Brilliant and Short-Sighted Strategy of the Israeli Right

Ever since 1948, Israeli governments have undermined popular support for a fully socialist society by playing the national security card, forcing people to choose between a civil struggle against fellow Jews who benefit from economic inequalities and an outward-looking struggle against Arab enemies and Palestinians seeking to return to their place of birth.
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Justice & Prisons

A Populist Assault on Judicial Independence: Newt Gingrich, Recep Tayyip Edrogan, and Benjamin Netanyahu

It is not unusual to see politicians in the U.S. chastising courts for rulings that contravene their party’s interests or ideology, but the recent proposals from Republican candidates would undermine the critical and constitutional independence of the courts. Similar assaults on the courts being carried out by conservative governments in Turkey and Israel are important as cases of these Republican policies being executed.
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US Politics

Let’s End Our Wars on the “Other”: U.S. Interests, Israeli Fears, and the Demonization of Iran

Among the nations whose regimes it has demonized, the United States has gone to war with North Korea, North Vietnam, Panama, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, and sponsored a guerrilla war in Nicaragua and an invasion of Cuba. The current demonization by Western leaders of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has increased the chance of war in the Middle East by inflating Israeli fears that Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons with which to eradicate the Jewish state from its Muslim neighborhood.
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Activism

Israel’s Good Life Revolution

To live the good life, according to the dominant Israeli ideology, is to be sufficiently secure from physical threats, which is why each and every aspect of life in Israel is carried out under the tutelage of the notion of security. What this security is for, what higher end it serves, is a question seldom asked and never answered.
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