BDS Goes To Church

To counter Israel divestment, JCPA organizes Presbyterian outreach.

Staff Writer

The public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community announced this week that it is intensifying a national “organizing” effort against a resolution, likely to be on the agenda of the Presbyterian Church’s national convention this summer, calling for divestment from three U.S. firms that do business with Israel.

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Blasts BDS Group For Barring Reporter


Philadelphia’s Jewish newspaper is in a flap with organizers of a boycott, divestment and sanctions conference over the disinvitation of one of its reporters from the event.

Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent published an article on its website Friday reporting that organizers of the National BDS Conference had barred the paper from covering the Feb. 3-5 conference at the University of Pennsylvania -- a charge that a conference organizer denied.

Protestors Rebuffed in Call For TIA-CREF Anti-Settlements Boycott

Staff Writer

Officials of TIAA-CREF, which manages pension funds for teachers and other non-profit employees, rejected demands from activists Tuesday that they no longer invest in companies that profit from the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank.

At its annual shareholders’ meeting in Charlotte, N.C., CEO Roger Ferguson said the company had considered the request of the activists, which included some shareholders, and did not believe it would achieve the protestors’ goal.

Film Reviews: "Between Two Worlds" and "Love Etc."

Two documentaries attempt to address complex issues through the experiences of a few, with mixed results.

Jewish Week Film Critic

If you questioned everyone on the No. 4 bus in Manhattan, you might find enough common threads in their stories to draw some larger conclusion about the lives of New Yorkers, their hopes, dreams, loves, hates and so on. At the very least, you might learn something about mass transit. There is a certain hybrid type of documentary that combines several different storylines in almost that fashion, trying to find some deeper truth reflected in the experiences of the multiple protagonists.

A scene from "Between Two Worlds."

Response To Delegitimizers Starts From Within

We need a community-wide deliberation on the definition of 'delegitimization' and 'pro-Israel' that can shrink the former and expand the latter.

Special to the Jewish Week

The assault on Israel's legitimacy has taken the Jewish people by surprise and driven a wedge between Israelis and many Jewish communities. Commonly referred to as delegitimization, its aim is to negate the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and that of the State of Israel to exist. Yet like most challenges, this one also presents a new opportunity: to reconnect across the dividing lines in our communities and to reengage with Israel in new ways.

As Israel Debates Rage, Jewish Professionals Face Employment Repercussions


WASHINGTON (JTA) – The speaker invited then uninvited. The signature on the petition removed. The activity joined, then unjoined.

The job threatened.

Rabbis and Jewish professionals increasingly are being faced with a dilemma over discussing divisive topics -- especially regarding Israel -- central to how they see their Jewish missions without losing their professional mission.

Nuance in the delegitimization debate: why is the Jewish establishment so scared of it?

You want to know what bothers me the most about Jewish communal life?

In our zeal to protect Israel and our anger at a world that is habitually unfair to the Jewish state, we insist on rigid orthodoxies that can only undermine the cause we say we believe in.

There's no place for thoughtfulness and nuance in this world, only slogans, litmus tests and exclusion of those who disagree with specific ideologies about what's best for Israel.

Kiss’ Gene Simmons: Israel Boycotters are “Fools”


(JTA) -- Shout it out loud: Gene Simmons thinks Israel boycotters among his rocking colleagues are "fools."

Simmons, the Kiss co-founder known for his seemingly endless tongue, returned to Israel this week as part of his reality show, "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels."

Simmons, born Chaim Witz, left Israel 50 years ago as a child with his mother, and settled in New York.

Advocacy Gone Awry

Bid against JCC in Manhattan film festival part of disturbing trend.

Editor And Publisher

Theodore Bikel, the 86-year-old actor most famous for his role as Tevye in “Fiddler On The Roof,” considers himself “a Zionist and ardent supporter of Israel.” But he is one of a number of Jews in the arts who will not perform at theaters in the West Bank, believing that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.

Does that place him inside or out of the pro-Israel tent?

Gary Rosenblatt

Anti-Israel, Pro-Israel Weeks Compete on U.S. Campuses


BERKELEY, CALIF. (JTA) -- Competing anti-Israel and pro-Israel weeks are getting underway on more than two dozen North American college campuses.

The seventh annual Israel Apartheid Week officially launches Tuesday, March 1 and continues through the end of the month. Campuses in 12 United States and six Canadian cities are planning events and hosting speakers protesting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Some campuses have scheduled similar events at other times during the school year.

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