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  1. Ideas
29 November 2023

What it means to be Jewish now

With anti-Semitism rising and divisions on the left over the Gaza war, writers reflect on being Jewish now.

Fania Oz-Salzberger: This generation will never see Gazans and Israelis become fellow citizens

We are caught in three wars: against Hamas, against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, and against anti-Semitism.

Shlomo Sand: Left-wing Jews are torn between their values and the intensifying conflict

The IDF’s response against all Gazans has made it harder to only see in Israel a victim of immediate circumstance.

Celeste Marcus: The global left is the only force that has the power to stay Israel’s hand

It’s a tragedy that Jews had to see their transition from powerlessness to power come at the price of another people’s degradation.

Howard Jacobson: The founding of Israel wasn’t a colonial act – a refugee isn’t a colonist

That Palestinians have been indoctrinated with Jew hate is understandable. That Western students submit to the same indoctrination is not.

Ryan Ruby: As long as Palestine remains occupied, cycles of violence will continue

If there is one silver lining it is that the world has taken notice of the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and the diaspora.

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Yair Wallach: Jewish progressives are deeply critical of Israel, yet inextricably tied to it

The horrendous killing and abduction of Israeli civilians placed many Jewish activists in unfamiliar territory.

Susan Neiman: The universalist tradition has been forgotten, the Enlightenment betrayed

The Hamas attack has devastated progressive Jews not prepared to celebrate the carnage as an act of liberation by the Global South.

Omer Bartov: Both Netanyahu’s cabinet and Hamas see this crisis as an opportunity

The Israeli left’s turn to the right comes from its sense of betrayal by the world’s left, especially, by the Jewish left.

Alona Ferber: The innocent are innocent, whichever side of the Hamas-Israel war they are on

I am an Israeli that knows you can’t defeat an ideology with brute force – there must be a better option.

Sam Adler-Bell: Jews in the diaspora must resist the inhumanity being done by Israel in our name

Jewish history in the 20th century testifies that suffering is a meagre moral teacher – but we learn its lessons anyway.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein: Lessons of growing up black and Jewish

Many Jews of colour interpret Zionism through our experience with racism, and we recognise the supremacist logic that underpins it.

Katrina Forrester: We must refuse the currency of fear

Mourning is always political. The space for a form of grief that is not used to justify violence is shrinking.

Keith Kahn-Harris: The left fails to appreciate competing loyalties

Cooperation between Palestinian and Jewish Israelis is the only model for a peaceful future.

Samuel Moyn: Jews can be humanists

A lot of evil is done to people because of their particular identities, but that is no reason to entrench those identities in our responses.

Haggai Matar: There is little tolerance in Israel for dissenting feelings

Political beliefs are one thing, but to cry for friends in Gaza or pray for all slain children is now seen as unacceptable.

Steven Friedman: This is a time to insist on Jewishness

To abandon our identity, as left-wing Jews did in the past, would be to surrender to those who allow only support for Israel.

David Davidi-Brown: Pro-Palestinian protests have been intimidating and isolating

Those closest to the conflict have greater capacity for solidarity and recognition of complexity than keyboard warriors.

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This article appears in the 29 Nov 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Being Jewish Now

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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  • Arts and Culture
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  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
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  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
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Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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