I suppose I should be pleased that Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, whose blog I occasionally read with pleasure, contrasted favorably the Magnes Zionist’s posts with Avraham Burg’s recentop-ed in the New York Times. Burg was indirectly admonished by the rabbi for criticizing Israel harshly to an external audience, whereas he singled out the Magnes Zionist for his harsh criticisms of Israel to an internal audience. Since the subject of Rabbi Rosen’s blog was “Ahavat Yisrael,” love of one’s fellow Jews, one can reasonably infer that he thought that Mr. Burg was more deficient in that trait than is Jeremiah Haber.
I certainly hope that wasn’t his point!
For one thing I write a blog that, while having a tiny fraction of the circulation of the New York Times, is addressed to anybody who can read it, and I have a lot of readers who are gentiles. True, I have a tendency to talk insider language, but that is just because blogs are “unbuttoned” affairs, with scads of spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. I do want to address Jews, of course, but not just. At times I am very happy to be seen in other company.
For example, I just published an essay in an anthology called, After Zionism, ed. by Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor. Among the other contributors were Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy, Diana Bhuttu, Jeff Halper, Joseph Dana, Ahmed Moor, John Mearsheimer, Phil Weiss. The audience of this book is not mainly a Jewish one, and I would not be surprised if those individuals fail to make most people’s Ahavat Yisrael list. (Some of them WILL make mine.) I wrote in my essay that not all forms of Zionism are treif (there I go again), and that there is a place for a certain kind of Zionism in a transformed Israel/Palestine. My essay sticks out like a sore thumb in this company, but the editors accepted it because they felt that this book is about trying to envision a more just Israel/Palestine than is the horrible state of affairs today.