Archive by Author: Ralph Seliger

What About Those Syrian Kurds?

By Ralph Seliger

There are at least 30 to 40 million Kurds living in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.  They are the largest ethnic group whose aspirations for self-determination were ignored by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that officially ended World War I.  They’ve gone through more than their fair share of conflict and persecution since, including the […]

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Remembering Rabin — 24 Years Later

By Ralph Seliger

On Sunday, November 3rd, the Manhattan JCC commemorated the 24th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination (Nov. 4, 1995) with a public event featuring  Yossi Klein Halevi, an American-Israeli writer.  Yossi Klein (as he was known when growing up in the US) began his activism in New York as a teenaged disciple of rightwing […]

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Jewish Bund’s Anti-Zionism Idealized & Idolized

By Ralph Seliger

On the evening of Sept. 16, New York’s YIVO Institute sponsored a massively attended panel discussion called “Bundism’s Influence Today.”  The panel was diverse in age, but less so in viewpoint.  The audience included an impressive number of engaged young Jews, but apparently few with sympathy for the Jewish state.  Although the panel’s moderator, Prof. Jack Jacobs […]

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Blaming Israel/Jews for 9/11 and Iraq

By Ralph Seliger

The following revisits debates from recent decades that still weigh upon American Jews and supporters of Israel, but leaves aside blatant antisemitic conspiracy theories.  How do we fairly assess the impact of the “Israel Lobby” and the neoconservatives on the al Qaeda attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and on the US response — including its misadventure in Iraq?  […]

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Is Anti-Israel Left Antisemitic?

By Ralph Seliger

As I explained in my post this past February on NY Times opinion editor Bari Weiss, “I don’t see her adequately confronting the fact that the ongoing injustices inflicted upon Palestinians and the deepening occupation are what’s driving support for the BDS movement and explicit anti-Zionism that sometimes spills into antisemitism from the left.”  On the […]

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A Left-Zionist’s Very Bad Day (Iran)

By Ralph Seliger

This is the second of two posts.  Click here for the first.   Late in the afternoon, I received a second shock which pulled me in the other direction, to feel protective of Israel.  I often participate in a “meetup” to discuss history, current events and political philosophies.  A session that I attended that day discussed […]

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A Left-Zionist’s Very Bad Day (Haaretz)

By Ralph Seliger

On Saturday, July 27th, my lifelong Zionist convictions were emotionally whipsawed in opposite ways.  First, a lengthy article in the Haaretz weekend magazine (“When Arabs Were Invited to Live the Zionist Dream“)  opened a hole in my heart by illuminating Israel’s historic failure to integrate its pre-1967 Arab minority as equal citizens.  Later that day, […]

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