• Israel

    Lessons from Brooklyn College BDS, Barghouti, and Butler

    . This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on February 22, 2013. Reader and correspondent David Lurie has directed me to some not well-publicized revelations about the Brooklyn College BDS event. To begin, the campus BDS chapter defended itselfagainst various accusations of selective and prejudicial admission to the event and other claims, including the discriminatory eviction of four Jewish students. On the face of it, the account of circumstances surrounding admission is conceivable. One can easily imagine the organizers having become overwhelmed by the notoriety and numbers drawn by the event. One can imagine, but since there is no video record of events, we have only the current claims and counter…

  • Uncategorized

    Why Obama Hearts Hagel

    . This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 11.  The last time I wrote about President Obama’s then only rumored selection of Chuck Hagel I said two things I knew I would wish to revise. The first, rhetorically, was the question: “What was he thinking?” The second was a quotation from Gil Troy’s generally very good writing on this subject, which I qualified then as “[p]erhaps overstating the case.” In attempting to answer the rhetorical question, I need to begin by deepening my critique of the passage I quoted from Troy. Troy wrote, The question of where Obama stands regarding Israel has often pivoted on this deeper question of which Obama shows up…

  • Israel

    The Israeli-Palestinian Enthymeme

    . This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on on October 18, 2012. In rhetoric, an enthymeme is an argument that contains an unarticulated premise. Commonly this is because the conversation is among a group of people with shared values, among whom one or more of those values — premises to an argument — it is assumed, requires no expression. Among a collection of crime–busting DA’s in a death penalty state, the argument “it was a coldblooded, premeditated murder — he should be executed” does not require expression of the major premise “people who commit premeditated murders should receive the death penalty.” That commonly-held belief is understood. Sometimes people assume too much.…

  • Uncategorized

    Playing Politics with Jews

    . This post previously appeared in the Algemeiner on August 1, 2012. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in his best Captain Renault form – which includes being entirely insincere and unconvincing – is shocked, shocked to discover that there is politics going on in the U.S. of A. Never played any of that sort of thing himself. Though, actually, feigning shock at the discovery of politics going on right there in the city of the Casa Blanca is, well (cover the children’s ears) an act of playing politics. Reported The Hill (and everyone else covering the jerk-my-chain political beat), Cantor, said in a statement Sunday that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.)…

  • Israel

    Jews Denied Entry

    Good. I got your attention. Yesterday we got the double whammy – fodder for the BDS (Bias, Deceit, Sensationalism) movement – of news of Noam Chomsky’s denied entry to the West Bank and Peter Beinart’s lamentable New York Review of Books article buying into the prevailing Left narrative of the American Jewish leadership’s moral decline aiding an Israeli moral decline. They were rejoicing in Hamas indoctrination studios and in university union offices all over the U.K. I won’t argue the Chomsky matter specifically, though, as always, I lean decidedly toward freedom of speech and movement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reversal of the entry decision soon, with the…