Tuesday, January 31, 2012

american jews confront internal rancor over israel



CNN | When the editor of a Jewish newspaper here wrote this month that the Jewish state might consider assassinating an American president, his column made national headlines and provoked a Secret Service inquiry.

The most striking criticism came from the Jewish community itself, which collectively held its nose and harshly denounced the column by Andrew Adler, who is also the owner of the weekly paper, the Atlanta Jewish Times. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman called Adler's words "irresponsible and extremist."

Adler apologized and resigned as editor, but some see the episode as the latest example of an increase in divisive, over-the-top rhetoric within American Jewish communal life, revolving largely around the hot-button issue of Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians.

The tensions have provoked Jewish groups across the country to launch programs aimed at lowering the political temperature in their own religious communities.

Israel is not "one of the great unifying factors" that it once was in the Jewish community, said Samuel Freedman, author of "Jew vs. Jew: the Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry.”

"Since the Lebanon invasion and the First Intifada, it has become a dividing line,” he said, referring to the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation in the late 1980s. “It's probably deeper now than I've ever seen it."

Tensions within American Judaism are rising as some Jews detect an "existential threat" to Israel, with Iran's nuclear aspirations and Islamist parties coming to power during the Arab uprisings, he says.

Freedman also sees broader trends at work, including the fading line between private and public talk dissolving in the era of blogging and tweeting. The Atlanta Jewish Times incident, he says, is a reminder that words that sound bold in private will "resonate really differently when they are out in public."

Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, says emotions have been much more "intense and destructive" lately as ideological camps within the American Jewish community harden their views over the contentious U.S. presidential campaign, tensions between Israel and Iran, and issues from health care to marriage.

"This is going to be a brutal year," he says. "We're looking at a scorched earth political environment."

5 comments:

nanakwame said...

Good - add Syria and Iran, love it that the right to be naked by a women is pushing youth in Iran to support her against be banned from the nation. They twitting naked pics. Love it, always the small stuff that augments big s_t. Vive et vivas -Horace

Makheru Bradley said...

No need for them to worry. Here comes Eddie Long to the rescue.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVkoQHCXSK8

CNu said...

rotflmbao..., from whence did you dredge this awfulness Bro. Makheru? Dayyum, dayyum, dayyum..., I'm scarred just from Messer's atrocious pimp suit and the bishop's even worse toupee!

Makheru Bradley said...

Bro. Fisher sent it to me. I guess it was hot news in the ATL.  I was hoping they would drop his ass.

Big Don said...

...Thanks for today's "culture" lesson....