Nascent effort to combat anti-Islam sentiment running into strong headwind.
James D. Besser
The New York Islamic center controversy — and what some analysts say is the worst surge of nativism and bigotry since the Red Scare of the 1950s — is sharpening longstanding rifts in American Jewish life.
More Jewish groups are getting the message that the epidemic of Islam bashing isn't ...well, good for the Jews or any other religious minority.
Yesterday a broad spectrum of religious leaders gathered in Washington to discuss the rising tide of anti-Islam bigotry. Representing the Jewish community at sessions hosted by the Islamic Society of North America: Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).
Update: Now we've heard from the Conservative movement. In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Assembly and eight other movement groups said this: "As leaders of the Conservative/Masorti movement, we deplore these recent comments of Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that, like many of his comments over the years, constitute irresponsible incitement to violence.
There have been many mischaracterizations of the position of the Anti-Defamation League with regard to the proposed Islamic center/mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. In fact, we believe that our position is completely consistent with ADL’s historic posture on a number of themes.
I live in Virginia, so it's a little embarrassing to report that our attorney general, who's been a dream come true to the state's active Christian right since taking office in January, is at it again – in a way that will undoubtedly impact Jewish groups across the state, not to mention my tax bill.
I remember reading Tony Judt's much maligned essay "Israel: The Alternative" when it was first published, in 2003, and not thinking much of it. I had known Judt's work since my college days, and even interviewed him at his NYU office for a project I was then working on. But like most, I got to know him through his books and The New York Review of Books, where he published his Israel essay.
Many Jewish journalists, myself included, spent a good deal of this past spring discussing Peter Beinart's provocative essay on liberal Zionism. If you thought that horse died, think again: Publisher's Weekly just announced that Beinart struck a deal with Times Books to
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Friday against the building of a mosque near the World Trade Center memorial site. And on Monday, the American Jewish Committee entered the fray as well, saying the Cordoba Initiative's $100 million cultural center on Park Place "has “has a right to be built.” But the organization urged the founders of the center to "urgently address concerns about funding and support for terrorism."
Watchdog group adopts new, conservative reporting
of incidents against Jews.
Assistant Managing Editor
The painting of a swastika — that dark, ubiquitous signature of hateful vandals everywhere — is no longer automatically considered an act of anti-Semitism under new guidelines for recording attacks against Jews announced this week by the Anti-Defamation League.
The most prominent Jewish defense agency in the country, perhaps in the world, announced on Tuesday that it has revamped its guidelines for recording anti-Semitic incidents in its annual survey for the first time in 30 years, taking a more conservative approach.