Abba Solomon: Until now American Jews have indulged in a rather charmed existence, able to both boost our “home country,” the State of Israel, and proclaim our Americanness.
Abba Solomon: As long as Jewish personal and group identity are bonded to salvation by a reconstituted Jewish commonwealth, Palestinians’ inconvenient presence and demand to be dealt with as human beings are dangerous wreckers of that vision.
Abba Solomon: Israeli parties and politicians are expressing aspirations for annexation, and there is higher and higher public approval in the Israeli public.
The resonance here for this Jew is double: applying Baldwin’s sensibility to Jews as “authors of devastation” of Palestinian Arabs — and the fact that a strong motivator for silence about Israel is to remain in the Jewish group.
Abba Solomon: In refusing to appear at a ceremony with Netanyahu to accept her Genesis Prize this spring, Natalie Portman has illustrated that the dilemma of the liberal Zionist remains bleak.
Murray Polner: The unitary peoplehood of Jews is a mirage, as well as the idea that there is a spokesperson or organization.
Abba Solomon: The film is a tribute to a richly isolated moment in Jewish American history, when, reputedly, the Lower East Side became the most densely populated place on earth outside Asia.
Abba Solomon: It is tragic comedy that much of Palestinian agony can be said to originate in an American Jewish identity crisis. Major funding and skilled organizing of the Zionist project came from American Jews.
Abba Solomon: It was only years later that I discovered that when one lost the Zionist sensibility, much data became visible that was not before — once Arabs were not the “enemy” of a self-evident right of Jewish sovereignty.
Agony of J Street
Abba Solomon: It’s a wise child that knows his own father. The state of mind of Israeli Zionists is now such that they feel Zionists of the wider world are alien to them.
Abba Solomon: Bigots are coming out of the woodwork, exposing American Jews to treatment that unprotected minorities have experienced but which Jews have only sporadically been exposed.
Abba Solomon: That quality of being “White, But” allowed fruitful cooperation and alliances of blacks and Jews in the post Civil War era, when Jews of eastern Europe came in flood quantities to America, and African Americans came to a problematic citizenship out from bondage.