James Kirchick


South Africa's ANC Lurches Into Anti-Semitism

By James Kirchick

South Africa's ANC Lurches Into Anti-Semitism
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party is slipping into anti-Semitism, tarnishing the legacy of iconic leader Nelson Mandela, James Kirchick writes.Read More


Transylvanian Drama Over Fascist's Ashes

By James Kirchick

Transylvanian Drama Over Fascist's Ashes
In enchanting Transylvania, the ashes of a Nazi collaborator have sparked a diplomatic incident. Why is Hungary intent on reburying Jozsef Nyiro in Romania, James Kirchick asks.Read More


Havel Was Friend of Israel and Jews

By James Kirchick

Havel Was Friend of Israel and Jews
Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright-turned-president, was a vocal enemy of anti-Semitism and stood up for Israel in a region emerging from totalitarianism.Read More


The Obama Lobby

By James Kirchick

When the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street was founded over a year ago, many in the Jewish community predicted that it would have little to no influence in the shaping of American foreign policy. While American Jews are indeed overwhelmingly left-of-center in their political orientation, they also happen to hold rather hawkish views on Israel. A 2007 American Jewish Committee survey found that the overwhelming majority of American Jews believes that Israel “cannot achieve peace with a Hamas-led, Palestinian government” and that “the goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel” — views sharply at odds with J Street’s support for engagement with Hamas and its tendency to accuse Israel of hindering the peace process.Read More


Bad Samaritans

By James Kirchick

Bad Samaritans
A recent news item in The New York Times highlighted the matter of collective indifference. Time-lapse pictures from a security camera showed a woman collapse onto the floor of a Brooklyn hospital waiting room. Though there were a number of people around, no one tried to resuscitate her or to ask for help. For more than an hour, the woman’s body lay on the ground. People passed by, unaware or unconcerned that a human being was expiring before their eyes. Eventually, the 49-year-old mother of six died of blood clots that traveled to her lungs.Read More






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  • 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?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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