Group of scholars pressing idea of cultural Zionism, amid pushback.
From the United Nations to the capitals of Europe to the pages of the New York Review of Books, Zionism — and the Israeli policies that undergird it — have lately come under withering attack.
Israel is reeling from the international condemnation following the failed flotilla attack. And Peter Beinart’s essay in the NYRB — which attacked Jewish leaders for failing to inspire a new generation of Jews committed to Israel — urged a more liberal Zionism as a way to get young Jews back in the fold.
College students, recent grads hopeful and fearful about taking Israel plunge.
Special To The Jewish Week
They came from all over the United States and Canada — college and graduate students, ready to embark on a whirlwind tour of Israel.
This wasn’t a Birthright trip, though. The 33 students who participated in the Jewish Agency’s Campus Aliyah Fellowship pilot trip had all been to Israel before. Now, they came with practical goals — and big dreams.
In recent weeks, the Jewish blogosphere has been in a state of collective shpilkas. Even before the flotilla incident, Jews in America and Israel were hotly debating two essays, Danny Gordis’ “The Storm Ahead” in the Jerusalem Post and Peter Beinart’s “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” in The New York Review of Books.
I’m afraid Eric Herschthal misunderstood, and consequently misrepresented, some of what he quotes me as saying in his “Changing Images Muddy Picture of Zionism, Israel”. One point in particular is worthy of clarification:
We've established previously that Peter Beinart lied about Netanyahu not supporting the Oslo accords, when he did support the Oslo accords, and that Beinart, when not lying is distorting, such as claiming that Netanyahu opposed a Palestinian state -- which he did oppose in 1993, without Beinart adding the all-important fact that Netanyahu supports a Palestinian state today.
No humanitarian aid to Shalit, and no story either.
Even before the facts were clear about the battle between Israeli commandos and the pro-Hamas flotilla, we were told by The New York Times website, and dozens of other online media, that Israel was being “condemned.” Indeed it was.
Peter Beinart dispensed harsh criticism for Israel replete with phrases I have heard before from people who think they are pro-peace (“Beinart’s Blast,” Editorial, May 21). I agree that Jews in the U.S. face crucial challenges. Many of our young people no longer feel a connection to Israel and organized Jewish institutions.