- Mitchell Plitnick is the Program Director at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is the former Director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and was previously the Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace. He is a widely published and respected policy analyst.
- Born in New York City, raised an Orthodox Jew and educated in Yeshiva, Mitchell grew up in an extremist environment that passionately supported the radical Israeli settler movement. Plitnick regularly speaks all over the country on current issues.
- His writing has appeared in the Jordan Times, Israel Insider, UN Observer, Middle East Report, Global Dialogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Die Blaetter Fuer Deutsche Und Internationale Politik, Outlook, and in a regular column for a time in Tikkun Magazine. He has been interviewed by various outlets including PBS News Hour, the O’Reilly Factor and CNBC Asia.
- Plitnick graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in Middle Eastern Studies and wrote his thesis on Israeli and Jewish historiography.
- This bio was created for my nom de plume, Moshe Yaroni
Moshe Yaroni is the nom de plume I’ve chosen. I am an American Jew who has spent his life engaged in study and work to bring about a peaceful future for Israel and the Palestinians.
The photo I use for my columns is obviously not of me. Rather, it is Asher Ginsberg, better known as Ahad Ha’am, one of the founders of Zionist ideology. If you don’t know who he was, you should. Go look him up. The choice of his photo is meant to give some more insight into the orientation of this blog.
My background is in history and political analysis. Over the years, I have amassed a great deal of experience with many communities involved in this question, from the most zealous proponents of Greater Israel to absolutists insisting on the abolition, violent or otherwise, of the Jewish State. I have studied these decades both in and out of the academy and have consulted with politicians, diplomats, scholars, and community leaders from all sides, Israeli, Palestinian, other Arab states, the United States and Europe as well as the United Nations.
My approach begins with the idea that Zionism was an entirely justified national movement, and that Palestinians also are deserving of the same human, civil and national rights as anyone else. Reconciling these two things is not simple, as they clash in essential and inherent ways. But finding that reconciliation is the only way, in my view, to get us out of the murderous quagmire that has existed in the region for more than a century.
And, as a Jew who, though secular, has extensive religious training, it is my deeply held belief that finding peace for Israel is crucial for the Jewish future. Whether one agrees with Zionism and Israel or not, it cannot be denied that Israel is now a central component of the Jewish existence. If we don’t find a peace that can endure and be accepted by all concerned, it will be conflict that dictates the Jewish future.