The recent kerfuffle over the short play Seven Jewish Children predictably brought out the worst in the rightist organisations which rule the roost in the Jewish community. They specialise in several methods of political assasination of views it does not like 1) attack the messenger and get personal to divert attention from the message or action being taken 2) take no prisoners (they grew up admiring Daleks).
Obama's historic speech deserves to be watched in full by all - it pulls no punches but does break many previous taboos or no-go zones - this is especially so for Jews who uncritically support the State of Israel.
Ten Comments on Obama in Cairo – Still Accumulating, Not Expending Capital-- Daniel Levy
This piece was also published at TPM Café
The Obama team´s remarkable wordsmithery and the president´s unparalleled capacity for delivery were exquisitely on display again today in Cairo. But this speech should perhaps be remembered as much for what was not said. Gone was the arrogance and lecturing: there was no lavishing of praise on Egypt´s undemocratic leader – the word ‘Mubarak´ was not even mentioned once. Out too was the purple finger version of democratization and even the traditional American condescension toward the Palestinian narrative. But perhaps most remarkably of all, the words ‘terror´ or ‘terrorism´ did not pass the president´s lips. Here was a leader and a team around him smart enough to acknowledge that certain words have become too tainted, too laden with baggage, their use has become counter-productive, today the Global War on Terror framing was truly laid to rest.
Barack Obama: Israel's true friend
Gideon Levy Open Democracy
Gideon Levy is a journalist with the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz
The United States president’s meeting with Israel’s prime minister offers Israel a future it must grasp, says Gideon Levy. 25 - 05 - 2009 It's already clear: the United States president is a great friend of Israel. If Barack Obama continues what he started in his meeting with Binyamin Netanyahu on 18 May 2009, he might prove to be the friendliest president to Israel ever. Richard M Nixon saved Israel from the Arab states in 1973, and Obama is about to save Israel from itself.
Nixon sent Israel arms and ammunition at a critical time, and Obama is sending - at a time no less critical - the substance of a complete peace plan, a plan that would save Israel. All that remains is whether Obama stays determined and decisive as he was in the White House summit. In one moment he changed Washington's madness and the attitude toward the Israeli occupation. Now it will be seen if he succeeds in altering the same madness in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The Hermeneutics of Antisemitism by Keith Kahn Harris
in the UK Jounal New Jewish Thought is well worth a read.
The title may sound obscure, but the analysis of the way that the debate over anitsemitism is played out is not.
The following statement has been issued by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society: We write as supporters of the State of Israel and align ourselves with those who seek a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Though the current hostilities in Gaza and Lebanon are but another round in this long-standing conflict, we have no hesitation in unreservedly condemning those, chiefly in Hamas and Hezbollah, who have triggered the current escalation of hostilities.
I came across this speech--it is still highly relevant.
David Grossman's speech at the Rabin memorial - November 2006