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About Eric Yoffie

Stop the rockets, stop the settlements

Stop the rockets, stop the settlements
Progressive Jews in America need to be doing two things right now:  Supporting Israel’s campaign to stop the Hamas rockets, and calling on Israel to freeze settlement building. Jews who are dovish on Israel are confused.  They refuse to give up their hopes of peace and are encouraged by signs of moderation from PA President Mahmoud Abbas.  But they are distressed that the Kerry initiative has collapsed; appalled by the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teens; revolted by the torture and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir; and dismayed by the militant radicalism of Hamas.    And they are...
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Why I’m Thankful for America’s Immigrants and Religion

Why I’m Thankful for America’s Immigrants and Religion
The Fourth of July is nearly upon us. As always, we Americans will barbeque in our backyards, watch fireworks, and celebrate America. And there is much to celebrate. Americans are informal and down-to-earth. We introduce ourselves by our first names to practically everyone. We say “hi” on elevators to people that we have never laid eyes on. We don’t like folks who put on airs. We are unfailingly helpful and friendly. And if you think everyone is like that, spend a few weeks in Europe. We talk a lot about freedom in America, and we mostly mean it. Rich, poor, or in between, we are assertive about...
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Anti-Israel Jewish group colluded with U.S. Presbyterian Church

Anti-Israel Jewish group colluded with U.S. Presbyterian Church
Like virtually all Jewish leaders, I am not too happy at the moment with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for its profoundly unfortunate and mistaken decision to divest from three companies that it claims “further the Israeli occupation in Palestine.” But I am not any happier with Jewish Voice for Peace, a small Jewish activist group that was only too happy to help the Presbyterians along. I could see their success on Sunday morning, June 22, when Heath Rada, the church’s moderator, appeared on CNN with Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism. When Rabbi Jacobs noted that the...
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Anti-semitism isn’t to blame for Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat

Anti-semitism isn’t to blame for Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat
Eric Cantor’s primary defeat by David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, sent the pundits scurrying. Shocked and bewildered, they searched around for theories to makes sense of what they had not anticipated happening. Hundreds of articles were written and dozens of explanations were offered. One of the more fascinating threads that emerged from the cacophony of ideas put forward in the days following the primary was the effort to find a Jewish dimension to the story. Cantor, the House Majority Leader, was the highest ranking Jewish lawmaker in American history, with aspirations...
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Getting Jabotinsky Right

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 state alongside Israel—would remain the same. Writing in...
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Yoffie on Rivlin: I hope his views have really changed

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 refused to call him rabbi. He challenged Rivlin to clarify if...
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Brandeis Gets it Right on Islam

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 values.” In this case, Brandeis got it right. Ms. Ali has referred...
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The Pope Francis Phenomenon and America’s Yearning for Values, Leadership and God

The Pope Francis Phenomenon and America’s Yearning for Values, Leadership and God
There is much vigorous discussion about what the election of Pope Francis will mean for the future of the Catholic Church. Speculation about such matters and all matters of Church doctrine and theology are best left to Catholic believers to address. But of interest to us all is the impact that the Pope has already had on our country, and what the response to him says about religion in American society. This is a difficult time for America. Ours is a discouraged and disheartened country. Many of our citizens are experiencing what Martin Luther King called “the dark and desolate valleys of...
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