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Author Archive

So Wrong

June 28, 2017

At a recent gay-pride march in Chicago, organizers asked a number of women to leave because they were carrying Jewish Pride flags. The flag—a rainbow with a Jewish star—was deemed “offensive” and made other participants feel “unsafe.” The reason? Besides being about LGBTQ rights, participants were told, the march was also “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.” This is so wrong on so many fronts. Let me count the ways. Read the rest of this entry »

Jewish and Democratic

March 3, 2017

Many people, motivated by genuine love and concern for the State of Israel, have urged Israel to reach a territorial accommodation with the Palestinians. Their goal is to ensure that Israel can maintain its identity, so central to the Zionist dream, of being both Jewish and democratic. Ruling over a non-Jewish population, the argument goes, places these two ideals at odds with each other. If Israel annexes the West Bank it must either absorb a sizable Arab population, becoming a bi-national state rather than a Jewish one, or deny these people the full rights and privileges of citizenship, thus sacrificing its democratic character. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New in UNSC 2334

January 7, 2017

On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334 condemning Israel and its settlement policy. Justifying American acquiescence to this shameful pronouncement, administration officials and apologists argued that the U.S. has always allowed, or even supported, anti-Israel resolutions in the Security Council. This claim is not only false, it’s preposterous: Since 1973 the United States has vetoed at least 30 Security Council resolutions regarding “occupied Arab territories” and “the Palestinian question.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why We Lost

[Note: I don’t normally publish here my writings on American domestic politics, especially partisan politics, but I have not found another forum for these comments, so am offering them here in the hope of prompting self-reflection and discussion among Democrats and their supporters.]

November 18, 2016

Like millions of Americans who supported Hillary Clinton for president, I woke up on November 9 dismayed by the news, deeply disappointed by Donald Trump’s victory, and profoundly anxious about the future of our country. Others have described their emotions in stronger terms: shock, grief, fear, or post-traumatic stress. But we’re not hearing enough critical introspection or serious analysis of the economic and social forces that brought us president-elect Trump. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Anti-Israel Activist

September 23, 2016

Dear Anti-Israel Activist,

I don’t know you personally, but I know what you do. You demonstrate on college campuses, in front of stores that sell Israeli products, at co-op grocery outlets, and in the town squares of liberal places like my community of Seattle. You wear a keffiyeh and carry signs that say “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free” and other slogans that deny Israel’s right to exist. I see your swastikas and other classic antisemitic images. Read the rest of this entry »

Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism

April 3, 2016

The University of California has almost a quarter of a million students, making it the nation’s largest institution of higher education. In recent years, it has also become the “epicenter of the campus war against Israel.” Realizing that the problem has gone well beyond student politics or protests, the UC Board of Regents—the governing body of the 10-campus system—finally decided to take action. The Regents recently issued a statement denouncing “antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism” along with antisemitism. Many have hailed this as a major achievement for Jewish students and the broader community; others lamented that it didn’t go far enough. Perhaps at the University of California, with its pervasive intimidation and toxic environment for Jewish students, the statement of condemnation is indeed a significant accomplishment. But it the wording is also highly problematic. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Support Israel?

February 22, 2016

I recently asked a number of friends—and members of social-media groups—why they support Israel. The responses I received are as varied and diverse as the supporters themselves.

Israel supporters come in many shapes and forms, and are driven by a wide range of motivations. Read the rest of this entry »

Attitudes and Affiliations

September 19, 2015

Since the Iranian nuclear agreement was announced on July 14, I have been collecting survey reports and poll data regarding public opinion about it. Depending on how the questions are worded—especially how the deal itself is described—Americans generally oppose it by about a two-to-one margin. American Jews seem to be more evenly split, probably reflecting their partisan loyalties. (In general, Democrats support the agreement while Republicans oppose it, and Jewish Americans tend to lean Democratic.) Read the rest of this entry »


September 17, 2015

A few weeks ago I challenged the notion that the alternative to the nuclear agreement with Iran is war. The deal, I argued, makes the Iranian regime and the Middle East more dangerous, not safer. In the aftermath of the debate, it is becoming clearer that implementing the nuclear accord will indeed increase the likelihood of violence, military action, and even all-out war, not decrease it. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Senator Cantwell

September 8, 2015

Dear Senator Cantwell,

I have known and admired you for almost two decades, since we were both in high-powered, high-tech business careers. We were at two different companies then, sometimes friendly, sometimes adversarial, but always a respectful relationship.

Your first run for the U.S. Senate was the first political campaign I ever supported, before I was a “pro-Israel” political activist, or any other kind. You took on an incumbent, and you impressed me as being both smart and principled, just the sort of person I wanted to represent me in the “other” Washington. You haven’t disappointed, and I have remained an admirer and supporter ever since. Read the rest of this entry »