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It’s the ‘spirituality,’ stupid

A few weeks ago I was having a Facebook “chat” with an ex-student of mine who graduated from an American university and moved to Tel Aviv. Michelle (not her real name) is, as far as I know, a non-Orthodox but “spiritual” Jew and a devoted Deadhead. She is also quite “right-wing” on Israel and, I [...]

Migrants in Israel and the persecuted majority

Some have written that the attacks against migrants in south Tel Aviv are an example of racism. While racism exists in Israel as it exists everywhere, I am not convinced this is the root of the problem. The problem, as I see it, is “otherness.” More precisely, how does an oppressed people became a true [...]

Bad Faith on Two States

A few weeks ago, Jewish Voices for Peace, a Jewish peace group that supports the boycott of Israeli products as a non-violent protest against the occupation rented a room at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan for a meeting. JVP has been marginalized for years even by Jewish leftist organizations such as J-Street. Under pressure [...]

What if the left abandoned Israel?

After the publication of my previous essay in The Times of Israel, ”Peace partners? A question for the ‘pragmatic’ right,” my sister asked me the following question: “Next time you write something, why not write about Greece?” This is a common response, received by many of us who write essays critical of Israel and its polices. My sister is [...]

Peace partners? A question for the ‘pragmatic’ right

Like many of us, I was both drawn in and disturbed by the rancor around Peter Beinart’s book “The Crisis of Zionism.” I noticed that much of the criticism did not come from the ideological rightist camp, e.g. those inside the settler community (who mostly ignored it), but from what I will call the pragmatist [...]

The Sad Saga of a Compromised Rabbi

Are the Jews in trouble? From the outside, things look quite good. Anti-Semitism is at an all-time low in the United States; the Obama administration seems to allow Israel to do what it wants, even as many of us disagree with what it is choosing to do; Jewish Day school enrollments seem to be on [...]

Peter Beinart’s Controversial “The Crisis of Zionism”: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Treatment

Not since 2007, when Stephen Walt and John Mearshimer’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy hit the shelves, has a Jewish book evoked so much ire and criticism from the American Jewish community as Peter Beinart’s The Crisis of Zionism. Sharp critiques were published even before the book was released. One could surmise some of these reviews could have [...]

The Price of Uncertainty

We can protest all we want about the ways in which the Haredim disrespect the pluralistic foundations of our vision of a free society. It will have little impact. They construct their world according to different rubrics. But our dissatisfaction with their certainty should also prompt us to reflect on the price we pay for [...]

An Open Letter to Rabbi Dov Linzer on Modesty and Jewish Law

If the Talmud really says it’s up to men to control their desires, why not dismantle those traditions that put the burden on women? Read more at Religion Dispatches

Peace Parsha: Moses as Israel

The Book of Exodus is arguably the beginning of the history of Israel as a people. It is here where the collective is born, where its covenant is transmitted, and where its identity is formed. It is therefore curious that the story begins with a deeply ironic episode of the birth and maturation of Moses, [...]