Posts Tagged ‘The Forward’

The Irish Senate passed a bill last week that would criminalize doing any business, in goods or services, with Israeli settlements. As with most legislation that concerns Israeli settlement activity, the

Irish Senator Frances Black, who first proposed the anti-settlements bill

bill is already highly controversial. Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement have hailed it as a great victory while the usual suspects in and outside of Israel have leveled baseless accusations of anti-Semitism at Ireland and made disingenuous arguments to oppose any action against Israel’s blatantly illegal settlement program. Read more at LobeLog


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By now, many of you are surely aware of the fact that the Washington, DC Jewish Community Center’s Executive

Ari Roth

Ari Roth

Director fired the artistic director of Theater J, Ari Roth. This has been coming for some time, as Roth has insisted on exercising artistic freedom and bringing quality performances to the Theater J stage, even if those sometimes make some on the JCC board uncomfortable because they don’t jibe with the positions and narrative of Israel.

The JCC’s statements about Roth’s dismissal have been unfortunately spinnish. They first tried to characterize it as a mutually agreeable parting. When that failed, they tried to blame it on Roth having publicly disputed a report back in November that claimed that Theater J had “moved to cancel” a controversial program called “Voices From a Changing Middle East.” In fact, Roth is quite dedicated to that program (so much so, that he will be working to continue it outside of Theater J) and made that clear to the reporter who wrote the story in The Forward about the incident.

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This article originally appeared at LobeLog.7490913460_db2a152742_b

On June 14, members of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) will gather in Detroit, Michigan for their biennial General Assembly meeting. A lot of eyes will be focused on this gathering, particularly those who have managed to maintain interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict in the wake of the collapse of the “peace process.”

The Presbyterians are going to revisit a vote on divestment from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation that failed in 2012 by a mere two votes. Given that narrow margin of victory (the final tally was 333-331 with two abstentions), many believe it might just pass this time. As a result, pro-divestment groups have reinvigorated their efforts to support Presbyterian divestment, while opponents have redoubled their efforts to oppose the resolution. (more…)

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Several readers asked why I left Zeek Magazine. In general, this is the sort of thing I’m loathe to write about. However, since the Tikkun Olam blog posted an article about the goings on at Zeek, I thought I should say just a few words, even though the article only barely mentions my departure.

As I told Richard Silverstein, the author of the piece in question, my departure from Zeek was entirely my own decision. I was neither let go nor was I in any way pressured to leave. In fact, I declined a request to continue there on a monthly basis, but with a mutual agreement that I might submit articles there on an ad hoc basis in the future.  The parting was totally amicable.

Like Silverstein, I was dismayed to say the least that The Forward decided to publish an op-ed piece by John Hagee, giving him an opportunity to cover activities which are detrimental to a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict with friendly words to Jews which I believe were disingenuous. But this had nothing to do with my departure.

I also have nothing to add to the issues Silverstein raises regarding Rachel Tabachnik and her departure from Zeek. Both sides in that argument have presented their views and will, I’m sure, continue to do so. As I was not privy to any of the internal discussions involved there between Rachel and Jo Ellen Kaiser at Zeek, I have nothing to offer on either side. I can only say that I hope these things do not escalate as, at the end of the day, we all have the same ultimate goals and we only help the conservative forces in our community when we fight among ourselves.

As Silverstein mentioned, Zeek editor Joel Schalit departed Zeek last week.  Joel was the person who brought me into Zeek and has been working closely with me as my editor for years, long before we both came to Zeek.  I expect that Joel and I will continue to pursue mutual projects. Due to other personal changes that I am working with at this time, Joel’s departure seemed a good time for me to leave as well. That was all there was to it. In no way did anyone at Forward or Zeek encourage my departure, but to the contrary, asked me not to. I did not leave in protest or under pressure.

I hope that Zeek will continue to produce its unique material, I wish Jo Ellen and everyone there only the best, and I hope we will work together again in the future.

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