DC Jewish Blog Round Up — Discussing Israel

In case you weren’t able to read the other local Jewish blogs this week, here are a few of my favorite posts:

  • InTheMoment (Moment Magazine)

Should We Remove the “Israel Filter” When Studying the Middle East? It’s Worth Trying. Leigh Nussbaum – now a regular writer for InTheMoment – argues that discussions of the Middle East need to let go of their obsession with Israel.  Not every action in the Middle East relates to the Middle East.  Not every event should first be analyzed through the lens of:  “How will this affect Israel?

I agree.  And I agree even more with the absurdity of the story that one commenter posted:

Old joke from the 1930s. A young Jewish kid runs into the house and tells his grandfather: “Babe Ruth just hit a home run.” The grandfather pauses and then asks: “Is that good or bad for the Jews?”

The Arab countries have so many enormous problems that have nothing to do with Israel, but by fixating on Israel’s relationship to every action in the Middle East, we allow Israel’s detractors to easily manipulate this narrative and blame everything on Israel:  “If Israel would stop building settlements, flowers would bloom in Yemen, the Nile would be sanitary, and Syria would have a GDP per person of $25,000.”

That being said, Nussbaum’s exasperation with Israel-obsession merits the question:  “What did you expect?”  After all, Nussbaum is taking Middle Eastern classes at Brandeis University.

  • Shalomnova.org

Dating Dilemma:  Deciding where to Dine

Do you have conversations like this with your date or girlfriend/boyfriend?

Guy:  “What do you want to do?”
Girl:  “I don’t know.  What do you want to do?”
Guy:  “Well…  What would be fun?”
Girl:  “I don’t know…”

Probably so.  But you’re in good company.  Samantha – the dating guru from Shalomnova.org – also occasionally struggles to choose an event.  But now she’s determined to help you by providing a list of good dates in Northern Virginia.

  • Washington Jewish Week:

Should Israel be a partisan issue in American politics?

Writing for Washington Jewish Week, Adam Kredo nicely summarizes the different perspectives on the Israel Unity Pledge.  The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) argue that Americans should refrain from inserting Israel into the 2012 U.S. elections – to do so would only create more partisan animosity and it would make Israel into a political football.  The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and the Emergency Coalition for Israel (ECI) oppose the AJC and ADL on this matter, arguing that free discourse about a candidate’s stance on Israel is best for all voters/parties involved – no attempt should be made to stifle the debate.

But more interesting to me than the reasoning on both sides of the debate is the fact that some in the community felt the need for a unity pledge in the first place.  What does it say that Israel is a hotter topic now than it was 4, 8, 12, or 16 years ago?


Want to recommend a DC Jewish blog that we should be reading? Email stephen@gatherthejews.com

Local Jewish blogs we’re reading: