One State Will Never Fit All

While I was attending a youth conclave for the Society of Humanistic Jews in Washington, there was another gathering at Harvard making headlines.  At our conclave a young woman asked me what I thought about the One-State Conference hosted by Harvard’s Kennedy School.  The answer is not much.

The idea of a one-state solution supported by real antisemites and deluded utopian left-wingers is one of the most unrealistic non-solutions ever proposed to any conflict.  Such a “solution” would result in nothing but more – and worse – conflict and bloodshed. Continue reading

Some Thoughts About Islam (And The Israeli-Arab Conflict)

These days, it seems that most critiques of the Islamic world come from American and European wingnuts.  Pamela Geller literally makes my skin crawl with her imbecilic bombast about a Sharia takeover of the U.S. and the dangers of a mosque near Ground Zero.  David Horowitz hypocritically names his anti-Islamic organization “The Freedom Center” while he endorses a U.S. constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.  And don’t get me started on the fundamentalist Christian right and their ongoing religious war with Islam.  Up until now it is these folks and their knuckle-dragging followers who have shouted the loudest about the problems with Islam. Continue reading

Hitchens Comments On The Gaza Flotilla

Christopher Hitchens has an outstanding piece on Slate.com about the slowly gathering “Free Gaza Flotilla.”

It seems safe and fair to say that the flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leadership of this organization is headquartered mainly in Gaza itself. But its military coordination is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population. Refugee camps, some with urgent humanitarian requirements, are making their appearance on the border between Syria and Turkey (the government of the latter being somewhat sympathetic to the purposes of the flotilla). In these circumstances, isn’t it legitimate to strike up a conversation with the “activists” and ask them where they come out on the uprising against hereditary Baathism in Syria? Continue reading

Rabbi Lior’s Arrest Is The Price Of Entangling Religion & State

For those of you who haven’t been following the latest religious follies in Israel, I should probably update you about the arrest of Rabbi Dov Lior.

Lior is the chief rabbi of the Hebron-adjacent settlement known as Kiryat Arba.  It is one of the most ideologically hard line settlements, full of the most intransigent nationalistically religious opponents of a two-state solution.  Here’s the gist of what happened from Ynet: Continue reading

Arrests In The Itamar Murders

Yesterday Israeli officials announced the arrests of two young men who will be charged with the brutal knife and gun murders of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, a West Bank settlement.  The killers, 18 and 19-year old men, are from a nearby village, Awarta.

The brutality of these murders shocked Israelis and Palestinians alike.  I was taken aback at the many Palestinians who rushed toward Israeli news cameras to condemn the murders.  Their own families are so embarrassed by the crimes that they’d rather deny their sons’ guilt than embrace them as heroes of the resistance.  They deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. Continue reading