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Jewish Currents’ ‘Third Narrative’ View


Lawrence Bush, the editor of Jewish Currents (originally a creation of Jewish veterans of the Communist Party) is almost Zionist in his lament over BDS and the Chicago Dyke March incident: “As the Jewish Left Moves Left . . .Do We Have to Be Anti-Zionist to Be Progressive These Days?

Bush’s view is not exactly new for Jewish Currents, a 72 year-old publication that has long maintained an editorial line defined as “non-Zionist” but defending Israel’s creation and welfare.  For the most part, this has meant support for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, while very much opposing Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

It identifies with progressive movements on a gamut of issues; yet to its credit, its website and print publication has been a forum for a remarkable range of views, especially regarding Israel and Zionism.  Its new associate editor is Ron Skolnik, the former executive director of the left-Zionist Partners for Progressive Israel (originally Meretz USA), who spent most of his adult life as an oleh (immigrant) in Israel, including as a kibbutznik.

Still, it remains open to viewpoints that are quite hostile to Israel and Zionism.  For example, there’s this very different view of the Chicago Dyke March than what was written by Bush, published on July 11: “QUEER JEWS: WHAT KIND OF ANCESTORS WILL WE BE?”  There’s one dissent on JC’s editorial, “Supporting the Black Lives Matter Platform, Its Slander of Israel Notwithstanding” (regarding the Movement for Black Lives platform accusing Israel of “genocide”); “IF IT’S NOT GENOCIDE, WHAT WORD SHOULD WE USE?,” argues Dorothy Zellner, in opposition on its editorial board.  But our bottomline point here is that a publication that has literally and figuratively come out of the Stalinist/Communist left is open to a variety of views on Israel, including those of Zionists and others who sympathize with Israel — although similar to our own Third Narrative, all would tend to be dovish and to favor an accommodation with the Palestinians.

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