Circle of Pro-Israel Writers Rises

Shalem Center Boosted Right-of-Center Journalists

By Naomi Zeveloff

Published July 31, 2012, issue of August 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

They’re under 30, mostly right-of-center on Israel and writing for some of the pre-eminent publications in America.

A new crop of young pro-Israel writers is on the ascent. And many of them got their start at the same place: a collection of small university journals seeded by the Shalem Center, a prominent Zionist think tank in Israel.

The rising Middle East commentators include several alumni of Columbia University’s quarterly journal, The Current. Armin Rosen, for instance, is a fellow at Atlantic Media, where he recently penned an article attacking the anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss for having the “appearance of an anti-Semitic enterprise.” David Feith, son of George W. Bush Pentagon appointee Douglas Feith, is an assistant editor at The Wall Street Journal, where he has inveighed against the Palestinian Fatah party, Israel’s negotiating and security partner in the occupied West Bank. Jordan Hirsch is an editor at the prestigious quarterly Foreign Affairs and recently defended the legacy of right-wing Zionist ideologue Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky in Tablet, an online Jewish magazine. And Bari Weiss, a senior editor at Tablet, has written for The Wall Street Journal about the Middle East and Israel.

All of these former Current editors declined to speak to the Forward.

Alumni from other Shalem-supported journals — who did speak to the Forward — have also made names for themselves writing about Israel and Judaism, though not always from a right-of-center perspective. Zvika Krieger, founder of the Yale Israel Journal, is senior vice president of The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace and is a correspondent for The Atlantic. And Sarah Breger, who started a journal called Kedma at the University of Pennsylvania, is the managing editor of Moment magazine.

“In a sense, these people have become young, influential voices in their communities,” said Tanya Strusberg, who ran the campus affairs program at Shalem from 2007 to 2008.

That the Shalem Center was the early nurturing ground for a cohort of rising stars of pro-Israel journalism is a happy coincidence, Strusberg said. The goal of Shalem’s student journals program was to provide an outlet for Jewish pro-Israel voices on college campuses, not necessarily to spawn a new generation of professional Israel advocates.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.