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What was the most ignored story of 2010?
Only a handful of mainstream newspapers covered the Palestinian claims to the Western Wall and Rachel’s Tomb; or that Palestinian rockets were still landing in Israel; or the 1930s level of anti-Semitism in the official Palestinian media; or the Palestinian claims that Haifa and Sderot are occupied territory; let alone not covering the transcendent beauty of daily religious life and Jewish culture in Israel.
These words and phrases recall some of the challenges and controversies that cropped up for Israel and the Jewish community in 2010, a year of increasing assaults on Jerusalem’s legitimacy on an international scale, and blame from Washington for the lack of progress in Mideast peace efforts.
How Zionist education, Birthright can strengthen Israel support.
Editor And Publisher
Is it true, as Peter Beinart suggested in his widely read New York Review of Books essay in June, that young American Jews are increasingly alienated from Israel because of its allegedly declining commitment to democratic ideals?
Agree with him or not, the former New Republic editor hit a raw nerve among many Jews when he wrote “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” setting off a discussion that continues to stir debate six months later.
Centrist players now calling for more open, critical approach to teaching about Jewish state.
Two years ago, when the Gaza war began, Moriel Rothman felt caught in the middle.
Then a sophomore at Middlebury College, he was distressed by what he saw as the “disproportionate” number of Palestinians killed.
“The statements coming from Israel advocacy groups weren’t resonating for me,” he recalled. At the same time, the pro-Palestinian rhetoric was “falling flat,” with its claims that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.
Well, the 92nd Street Y debate I went to on Tuesday was not quite as contentious as the flubbed Steve Martin one happening in the night before, but it still got pretty heated. A sold-out audience came to see Peter Beinart and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen debate former AIPACer Steven J. Rosen and Wall Street Journal editoral page editor and former Jerusalem Post editor Bret Stephens.
In preview of tomorrow night's debate at the 92nd Street Y featuring Peter Beinart, I'll engage in a small bit of self-promotion. My story in last week's paper profiled Beinart, whose essay attacking American Jewish leadership for failing to attract young American Jews to support Israel created a firestorm this spring. If you cannot make the debate (at 8:15 pm Tuesday night) I hope my story catches you up on the discussion's general parameters.
From inside the Orthodox fold, Peter Beinart is honing his critique about why young Jews are ditching Israel.
In America, the lines of debate on Israel are starkly drawn; respected intellectuals cross them at their peril. You need only look at the reputations of the late Tony Judt or Alan Dershowitz — accomplished scholars in their respective fields — whose outspoken views on Israel have become caricatures for either side of the debate: Judt, the anti-Zionist; Dershowitz, the pro-Israel hawk.
The same type of thing might have happened to Peter Beinart.
I was trying to figure out exactly why Jon Stewart's “Restore Sanity / Keep Fear Alive” rally in Washington on Saturday made me so uneasy, and then the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart neatly put his finger on it.
On one hand, the good spirits and humor of the rally – look at sideshows to get a good chuckle – were a welcome balm after months of vicious attack ads and years of talk-show venom, most of it coming from an increasingly extreme right.
If you want to understand the maddeningly complex debate over Israel's West Bank settlements and U.S. policy, check out these two op-eds that articulately outline two opposing positions.
In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen took the Obama administration to task for what he says is its counterproductive focus on stopping settlement construction as a necessary precursor of a viable peace process.
Cohen accurately laid out the emotional punch the issue carries for both sides: