Responsive Reading from the NJJN March 23, 2012



In each edition of “Responsive Reading,” we scour the Web for provocative essays on Jewish life, Israel, spirituality, culture, and politics, and match them with equally provocative responses. Subscribe to the New Jersey Jewish News here.

AJC Criticizes Ashton Remarks on French Jewish School Attack

By David Harris (PR Newswire)

The executive director of the American Jewish committee asks the European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to clarify remarks that seemed to lump  together the murdered Jewish children of Toulouse with Arab civilian war victims in Gaza. “We were dismayed by the impression – left by your remarks – that the murders in Toulouse can be compared in someway with the plight of children living under the rule of a terrorist regime in Gaza that uses them as human shields while firing missiles at Israeli civilians.” Read more

Ashton’s False Equivalency That Wasn’t

By J.J. Goldberg (The Forward)

A close viewing of Ashton’s actual remarks reveals she wasn’t trying to stir sympathy for Gaza children by comparing them to the murdered kids in Toulouse. “She was asking her audience, Palestinian youngsters, to see themselves and their problems in the context of a larger world where children much like them are suffering in Belgium and Norway and, yes, Toulouse and Sderot.” Read more

Pushing Morality, A Victim Of Myopia

By Gary Rosenblatt (N.Y. Jewish Week)

Peter Beinart’s new book, The Crisis Of Zionism, is disappointingly one-sided, writes Rosenblatt. While Beinart is right to worry about the tension between Israel’s Jewish mission and its commitment to democracy, he talks past the issue, viewing the Mideast crisis through the narrow prism of the settlements.  “He has little to say about the very real concerns of Israelis or about the history and context of a problem that goes back decades, if not centuries.” Read more

Is archliberal Peter Beinart good for the Jews?

by Chemi Shalev (Ha’aretz)

In an interview with the Israeli daily, Peter Beinart denies that he pays “lip service” to the effects of terrorism and to the rejectionism of the Palestinians. “I don’t think that’s fair,” he says. “In my own narrative of what I think happened through the Oslo Process and going through the second intifada, you will find again and again references to Palestinian culpability… But people are used to hearing a narrative in which there’s never much recognition of the fact that there is culpability on both sides. I genuinely believe there is very serious culpability on both sides for the failure of Oslo, for what happened at Camp David and for what happened in the Gaza disengagement.” Read more

RJC Denounces Axelrod’s “Mittzkrieg” Comment, Calls On Democrats to Do the Same

By Republican Jewish Coalition

President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist, David Axelrod, referred to a “Mittzkrieg” of campaign ads in Illinois. The Republican condemns this isage of “Nazi imagery” and insists Holocaust and Nazi imagery are always inappropriate in the political arena. Read more

Blitzing the ‘Mittzkrieg’ melee

By Ron Kampeas (JTA)

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) used the actual term “blitzkrieg” in 2009 to describe Nancy Pelosi’s legislative agenda, and there was no outcry. The dictionary tells us the term is a purely military exercise — “one originated by the most monstrous regime in history, but one that has become commonplace.” Read more 


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