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The AIPAC Wars are Underway Again

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Time | 0 comments

The AIPAC Wars are Underway Again

AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—is a lobby created by American Jews and devoted to improving relations between the United States and Israel. Every 5 or 6 years a book or major article is published, containing an “exposé” on how AIPAC operates. The latest version, a 12,000-word article written by Connie Bruck and entitled “Friends of Israel,” appears in the September 1 edition of “The New Yorker.” The problem with this most recent effort, like the ones that precede it, is that it tells us very little we don’t already know....

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The Three Mistakes Atheists Make

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Huffington Post | 1 comment

The Three Mistakes Atheists Make

The God Wars mostly bore me. In my younger days I enjoyed, at least for a while, the intellectual back-and-forth of the God debates. For me, these exchanges had a game-like quality, and it was fun to play the game. How can a student of religion ignore the rational argumentation of Nietzsche or the psychological insights of Freud? And from time to time, I still find myself intrigued by the God-debunking that serious atheists offer. When Richard Dawkins claims that biology and evolution demonstrate that God does not exist, I must take notice,...

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Responding to liberal Jews who are critics of Israel

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Responding to liberal Jews who are critics of Israel

As the war in Gaza has progressed, the American media has been increasingly critical of Israel. And I am not referring to biased TV coverage, with its preference for gruesome pictures of devastation in Gaza, or even to publications like The Economist, which provides solid reporting with a somewhat anti-Israel slant. I refer rather to insightful and widely-read liberal commentators, such as Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein, and Roger Cohen. All are Jewish and have a significant measure of sympathy for Israel. And all have written very tough articles...

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“Too many Arabs”

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in By Eric | 0 comments

“Too many Arabs”

An article in a central Massachusetts newspaper quotes me as saying that there are “too many Arabs” in Israel.  The only problem is that I never said this. I have said, many times, that demographic factors are one of the reasons why Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and why there must be a two-state solution to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Calling for a two-state solution does not mean there are "too many Arabs" in Israel. Click To TweetPowered By CoSchedule It means that there are two groups, Israelis and...

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Why American Jews are standing with Israel

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Haaretz | 1 comment

Why American Jews are standing with Israel

American Jews stand with Israel. At times of war and crisis, that’s the way it has always been, and this time is no different. Despite gruesome pictures of civilian casualties in Gaza, media coverage that is frequently critical of the Jewish State, and shrill and accusatory statements about Israel from UN officials and foreign diplomats, American Jewish support has been unwavering. It is not only the Jews who support Israel, of course. According to the most recent CNN poll, a majority of Americans believe that Israel’s actions in Gaza are...

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Bizarre Criticism of Israel: “Disproportionate” Casualties

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Time | 0 comments

Bizarre Criticism of Israel: “Disproportionate” Casualties

On “NBC Nightly News” on July 12, David Gregory spoke of growing pressure from the United Nations for a ceasefire in Gaza. He noted that the United States and many other nations believed that Israel had a right to self-defense. Nonetheless, Gregory reported, these countries were likely to be sympathetic to calls for a ceasefire because of the “disproportionate” number of casualties between the two sides. Among the residents of Gaza, the death toll then exceeded 100, while Israel had suffered dozens of injuries but no casualties. Mr. Gregory...

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Getting Jabotinsky Right

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Jerusalem Post | 0 comments

Getting Jabotinsky Right

Jabotinsky was a true democrat. Those in the settler movement who profess to embrace his principles must embrace the democracy that he championed. And that means real democracy, and not the pseudo-democracy that lies at the heart of Dani Dayan’s recent political plan, published in the New York Times on June 9. The heart of the Dayan plan was that the separation barrier should be taken down and the material circumstances of West Bank Palestinians should be improved. However, their political status—no citizenship in Israel and no Palestinian...

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Yoffie on Rivlin: I hope his views have really changed

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Jerusalem Post | 0 comments

Yoffie on Rivlin: I hope his views have really changed

Yesterday, in my Haaretz article, I called on Israeli Presidential candidate Ruby Rivlin to answer the following question: If he is elected president of the State of Israel, will he address Reform rabbis by the title “rabbi”? How he — and other candidates — responded to this question is in today’s Jerusalem Post. Here is an excerpt from that article.    “Former Union for Reform Judaism president Rabbi Eric Yoffie attacked Rivlin in Haaretz Monday, complaining that when Rivlin ran for president seven years ago, he...

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Brandeis Gets it Right on Islam

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Huffington Post | 4 comments

Brandeis Gets it Right on Islam

Brandeis University, a Jewish-sponsored university and my alma mater, has withdrawn its offer to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. As reported in The New York Times and elsewhere, Brandeis changed its mind eight days after announcing the honor to Ms. Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia and served in the Dutch Parliament. The president of Brandeis, Fred Lawrence, said in his announcement of the change that “we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core...

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