Archive by Author: Ralph Seliger

Progressives need to ‘punch’ in 2 directions

By Ralph Seliger

Drawn in by a Haaretz alert about a lethal attack on Israelis in Beersheva, I found another story about a threat against Palestinian homes.  This is from the Haaretz article about the attack by an ISIS supporter who murdered four (pictured here) and injured two, including mothers of young children and a Chabad rabbi: Hamas and Islamic Jihad […]

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The Evil We Should Remember on Purim

By Ralph Seliger

I’m not especially religious, but I belong to a synagogue, and a virtual religious Jewish community during the pandemic.  Much of this post is drawn from my Dvar Torah (sermon) last Saturday.   The Sabbath before Purim is called Shabbat Zachor; zachor (also transliterated as “zakhor”) means “you shall remember.”  What we are to remember is to “blot […]

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Disturbing Increase in Settler Violence

By Ralph Seliger

On Sunday, Feb. 13th, the Indiana University Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism hosted a talk by Irwin Cotler, a retired law professor and former Canadian Member of Parliament, Justice Minister and Attorney General who remains active battling antisemitism.  Politically, he’s a stalwart of Canada’s Liberal party, basically a centrist who has represented clients […]

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Debating Zionism as ‘Settler-Colonialism’

By Ralph Seliger

On Dec. 20th, Alan Johnson, editor of the British online journal, Fathom, debated Prof. Leila Farsakh (a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts-Boston) in a webinar hosted by Peter Beinart.  Despite Beinart’s public preference for one binational state in Israel/Palestine, he moderated the discussion fairly, as is his custom.    One of Johnson’s effective […]

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How NOT to Explain the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Ralph Seliger

As a perk for signing up for at least one session of this year’s PPI Digital Israel Symposium, I watched “The Tinderbox“ by an English-Jewish filmmaker named Gillian Mosely.  She tried to show “both sides” of the conflict, but what she really did was to mostly present hardline Israeli views alongside understandable grievances from a number of […]

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Gaza Tests Limits of ‘Both-sides-ism’

By Ralph Seliger

I always wince at Israel’s response to attacks from Gaza, but it’s important to note that the hostilities were initiated by Hamas [photo of dueling rockets and missiles — Anas Baba/AFP].  Israel did make some effort to limit civilian casualties (calling people to get out of targeted buildings), yet I wish that Israel would have […]

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Labor Resurrects; Will Meretz Die?

By Ralph Seliger

On March 23rd, Israel will hold its fourth national election in two years.  The multi-party contending field is even more chaotic than usual, but one dramatic change has occurred almost instantaneously with the Jan. 24th primary election of MK Merav Michaeli (pictured) to lead the Labor Party (Avodah).  Of the merely three Laborites elected to […]

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