When Peter Beinart's new book, "The Crisis of Zionism," was published earlier this year, it was met with a tsunami of responses -- from reviews, to op-ed pieces and a fury of blogging.
Can you “sell” Judaism in a few minutes? This question came up in a piece in The Forward by Leonard Fein, who was commenting on a recent debate in New York City between Daniel Gordis and Peter Beinart. In the debate, as Fein quotes, they were asked this question: “Both of you have written about the tragedy of young American Jews who have no connection to Judaism and the fate of the Jewish state. So let’s say you were stuck in an elevator with one of the people from that demographic, and you had two minutes to sell them about why they should re-engage with Jewishness and Zionism and the Jewish people. What would you say?”
On Wednesday, May 16 JewishJournal.com will live stream a debate between Peter Beinart and David Suissa, "Is Zionism in Crisis?" at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
Peter Beinart’s new book showcases its deepest flaw on the very first page, courtesy of his grandmother. From her home in South Africa, she says to her American grandson who is boasting about his country, “Don’t get too attached. The Jews are like rats. We leave the sinking ship.”
In your essay, you wondered “what Israel’s leaders would have to do or say to make the heads of AIPAC and the Presidents’ Conference scream ‘no.’“ Take the Israeli response to the first aid-bearing flotilla in the waters off of Gaza. Should American Jewish leaders have screamed “no” to that?
I went to the pro-Israel rally in front of the Israel Consulate last Sunday for two reasons. First, to support Israel. Second, to see whether Peter Beinart was right.
Helen Thomas is American journalism's crazy old aunt in the attic. Peter Beinart is a starry-eyed nephew. She loathes the state of Israel; he claims to love it--though both sided with the so-called Free Gaza flotilla that tried to break Jerusalem's naval blockade and allow the arming of the terror group Hamas, which has been firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Both Thomas and Beinart have caused a stir in recent weeks with their comments about Israel--not about the flotilla episode in particular but about the Jewish state more generally.