Touching base with a friend recently, she asked what I was up to, and having just returned from the pool of a local Jewish community center, I whimsically replied, “I’ve been swimming with Jews.” This inside joke became a bit more pertinent as we discussed the New York Times piece “On Israel, Jews and Leaders Often Disagree,” a roundtable discussion regarding the discomfort many Jews feel about Israel and the pressure not to go against “acceptable” currents on the matter.
In the piece, Times writer Paul Vitello quoted Philip Moore, a Detroit-area teacher, who gave voice to the ambivalences common to many Jews, myself included. Moore expressed it perfectly when he said, “You raise a question about the security forces or the settlements and you are suddenly being compared to a Holocaust denier ... It’s just not a rational discussion, so I keep quiet.”
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