Museum of Jewish Heritage Director Extends New Invitation to John Judis

New Republic Editor's Talk Cancelled Over Controversial Book

The New Republic

By Michael Kaplan

Published February 24, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

New Republic senior editor John Judis has been reinvited to speak about his latest book at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, after having been disinvited last week due to the controversial nature of his book, which portrays an overbearing U.S. Zionist lobby during the state’s early years.

The museum’s decision to rescind Judis’s invitation sparked an outcry on blogs and social media, who argued that the move amounted to censorship.

David Marwell, the museum’s director, announced yesterday that he had personally called Judis Friday afternoon to extend a new invitation.

In the blog post published on the museum’s website, Marwell claimed that he was unaware that the invitation had already been extended to Judis at the time he expressed his skepticism about hosting the speaking event.

He said that his initial concerns with the book related to the provocative tone and content. However, he acknowledged that rescinding an already-extended invitation is problematic.

“It naturally raises the ugly specter of succumbing to pressure and giving in to outside influence,” Marwell wrote. “I have worked very hard over the years to avoid precisely the kind of mess that we found ourselves in, and I am particularly concerned that the Museum should be accused of censorship or of being allergic to controversy.”

The event will be held June 1 and will be moderated by Marwell himself.

“This format will give me an opportunity to raise with him the very questions that gave me pause in the first place, and I look forward to discussing these important issues with him,” Marwell wrote.


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!
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • 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.