Slowly, the small group of demonstrators approached
the soldiers...

The Iran Deal & The Jewish Silent Majority

September 11, 2015   -   0 comments   -  

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler has done everything right. As an undergraduate at Columbia he led a chapter of the Zionist Organization of America. In 1981, while serving in the state Assembly, he drafted a resolution calling on Congress to block the sale of surveillance aircraft to the Saudis. As a member of the House of Representatives, he’s co-sponsored at least a dozen resolutions backing Israel in the last five sessions of Congress.

None of that mattered.

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World War 3 Revisited — Jewish Currents

November 22, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

I vaguely remember World War 3. Growing up, I was dimly aware of it lurking behind sleek curves and rippling muscles, spandex and tights and capes, the glossy sheen coating it all. World War 3 was all hard angles and contorted bodies, fists and teeth and spraypaint and blood. It was a dispatch from another world, seemingly distant and yet too close for comfort, somehow a lot more immediate than the one right in my face, and screaming for my attention. These days the headlines have made it feel imminent. Read more…

The Secret History of Palestinian Nonviolence

August 1, 2013   -     -  

Slowly, the small group of demonstrators approaches the soldiers. Around seventy-five people had turned out for this week’s protest, a mix of Palestinian villagers and Israeli activists, women and children, international fellow travelers, a handful of reporters. The crowd was chanting and clapping as they wound their way down the road leading to the spring the settlers seized; as they came around the last bend before the checkpoint the soldiers came into view, thirteen of them, fitted with rifles and riot gear and spread in a line across the road.

Quiet descends. Read more…

Nota bene: This one had a somewhat complicated publication history. It was first published in the Spring 2013 issue of Jewish Currents. Then it was reprinted by the Utne Reader. And then Currents published a revised, expanded version of the story online. So you can take your pick.

Sight & Fog — Jewish Currents

October 27, 2012   -     -  

Aeroport Mohammed Cinq, Morocco. We pass through security to the strains of a muzak cover of Hotel California. This is not really the song I want to hear at the airport where I’ve got a two-and-a-half hour layover. There’s flute involved. Later, the theme from The Godfather wafts across the departures lounge. Read more…

The Strange Case of Charles Taylor — The Brooklyn Rail

August 2, 2012   -     -  

Every day, shortly before 9:30, the curtain goes up — automated venetian blinds rising behind what must be bulletproof glass — and the players take the stage. The accused enters from the left, accompanied by two guards, sits down with his back to the audience, and awaits his judges. We watch through a long, rectangular window set into the back wall, a widescreen view of the cramped confines of the courtroom. There’s no shout, no bang of the gavel, only the plush voice of Rachel Irura, the court manager, almost whispering through the headset in your ear: “All rise.” Read more…

Firestone, A State Within a State — The Nation

July 9, 2010   -     -  

Take the long drive southwest out of the capital on one of the only paved roads in Liberia, and eventually you’ll hit one of the country’s few remaining traffic signs, announcing a fork in the road. The arrow pointing to the right is labeled simply ‘”Airport.” To the left: “Firestone.” Read more…

Still ‘Lost’ — The Awl

June 3, 2010   -     -  

Lost was a travesty. It was always a story of characters haunted and driven by their pasts, of absent fathers and shrewish mothers, of moral ambiguity in the guise of righteous conviction, of the struggle for free will in a universe in which your every action might be predetermined. And in the end, the writers went to extraordinary lengths to dispense with these complications. Read more…

J-51: Relief for Renters? — City Limits

June 22, 2009   -     -  

Come September, the state’s highest court will consider Roberts v. Tishman Speyer, a suit challenging rent deregulation at Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. If the Court of Appeals upholds the decision of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, mega-developer Tishman Speyer will be deemed to have illegally deregulated apartments, promising financial compensation not only for the residents of Stuy Town, but for tenants throughout the city. Read more…

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