Archive for the ‘Israel and Politics’ Category

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Encountering Israel at the GA

November 18, 2009

Partialness gathered all its parts and the whole wasn’t formed

How was the whole not gathered from all the parts, though

All their recesses fit and their crevices, how was

the whole not formed though all the components were set one by

one…

–       excerpt from “Partialness Gathered” by Rivka Miriam (Israeli poet)

At its most basic, the GA is a gathering of Jewish people and ideas, mixed together among and around shared passions and diverse interests. A modern-day Council of Four Lands, it brings together Jews from across North America and around the world collectively discuss to challenges, seek opportunities and create bonds of fellowship around the common cause of community.  And while the conference is convened by the (newly renamed) Jewish Federations of North America, one never loses sight of the fact that the attendees are not only North American, but representatives of the larger collective of the people of Israel – a people rooted in (and in some cases from) the land of Israel.

To that point, during my time at the GA I was struck by the fact that even though we were in the heart of Washington D.C., at the heart of my experience was the number of conversations and encounters I had that related to Israel.  Of course there were political discussions – with Prime Minister Netanyahu addressing the attendees it was hard not to be cognizant of the challenging political winds that constantly blow around (and in) Israel. But there were also conversations that touched upon the collective desire of the Zionist dream, a strong and enduring Jewish state with a compassionate and cognizant Jewish society living in peace with and among its neighbors.  Danny Gordis writes in his recent book Saving Israel that the purpose of Israel is to transform the Jewish people, and while I believe that is correct, I also believe that the purpose of the Jewish people is to transform Israel – to make the partial whole. With that in mind, perhaps the most impactful conversations I had were those that reminded me the Israel is still not yet complete – that it is a work in progress that requires the countless efforts of passionate advocates and constructive critics in order to become more perfect.

Those transformative efforts are not always easy though, and often challenge our very understanding of our own personal encounters with Israel.  One example of these efforts and challenges is Encounter, an educational organization that provides Jewish Diaspora leaders from across the religious and political spectrum with exposure to Palestinian life. Co-founded by Rabbi Melissa Weintraub and Rabbi Miriam Margles (and a product of Bikkurim), Encounter takes Jewish groups on one and two day encounters with Palestinian counterparts in Bethlehem, Hebron and East Jerusalem.  During my discussions with Rabbi Weintraub at the GA, I was struck not only by the passion of her commitment to Encounter, but the power and the opportunity of the type of transformative experience she and her organization offers.  If our perception of Israel is always partially constructed by our personal histories, experiences such as Encounter help build stronger understandings of Israel even if they disassemble some perceptions once thought to be unshakable.

Like my meeting with Rabbi Weintraub, at the GA there were opportunities to meet individuals passionate about creating a more complex and complete understanding of Israel were everywhere you looked. Whether it was the professionals of the Makom, a program of JAFI with a mission is to empower Jewish communities to develop deep, sophisticated and honest Jewish engagement with Israel through imaginative content and dialogue, or with the founders of AlmaLinks, a start-up program that connects young Jewish professionals around common interests, there were creative leaders and promising endeavors discussing the future of Israel.   But as we know from our local communities, passions about Israel are common, but are not always congruous and often require effort to connect diverse in our collective Jewish puzzle.  As my friend Eryn Kallish at Project Reconnections (a program that helps facilitate such dialogue and deliberation) recently impressed upon me, only when we encounter other perceptions and passions in a respectful way do we truly understand how we can play a part in creating greater respect for Israel and its people.

So, in the spirit of my encounters of Israel at the GA, let us all continue to gather the partial pieces of our common love of Israel, and let us remember that while the ingathering of our people is powerful, it is the ingathering of our ideas and efforts that can truly transform Israel’s encounter with the world – an encounter where the whole is certainly more than the sum of its parts.

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Neither Meat Nor Milk: The Hungry of Jerusalem (Israel 2009 – Day 4)

October 24, 2009

And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corner of your field, neither shall you gather the gleaning of your harvest.  And you shall not glean your vineyard, neither should you gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger. – Leviticus 19:9-10

Jerusalem is a city with a richness that is unfolding everywhere you look.  From the dusty corners of the Old City to the noisy kaleidoscope of the Shuk, there is a place and an opportunity in Jerusalem to experience every emotion and sensation imaginable.  A beautiful city and a complex one as well, walking its streets one can almost feel physically weighed down by the heaviness of its history, even as its sheer beauty and energy sweep you off your feet.  And anyone having spent some time walking the streets of Jerusalem has felt the sensation of wanting to capture every moment, to gather every experience available – to take as much of Jerusalem home with them as possible.  If the city is a vineyard of sweet grapes of Jewish experience, many of us want to harvest as much of the vineyard as possible and drink our own sweet wine of our memories of Jerusalem.

But it is hard not to notice one aspect of Jerusalem that has been overwhelmingly apparent to me – the hungry and the homelessness that pervade its streets. In the Jerusalem of Gold, the divide between the wealthy and the poor is apparent just on a short walk.  On one hand you can walk through the streets around the various hotels frequented by wealthy visitors and be overwhelmed by the gilded developments that continue to be built (even in this economy). Nothing exemplifies this better than the Mamilla Alrov Mall that has been developed and opened since my last visit to the city. A designer mall in the shadows of the Old City just opposite Jaffa Gate, Mamilla is a testament to the modern luxury consumer experience.  Just in case you have not filled up with memories of the Western Wall, while walking back o your hotel you can also fill up with Louis Vuitton handbags and Rolexes. In the vineyard of Jerusalem’s experiences, you can gather both vintage and designer grapes.

But in most parts of the city, one can encounter an almost overwhelming sense of poverty. The beggars are everywhere and the sense of hunger is palpable. Information released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has noted that in recent years more than one in five Israeli’s have, at some point, went without food for economic reasons. And as recent reporting by the Jewish Daily Forward indicates, there is ample evidence that in 2009 demand for food assistance has grown substantially. Certainly there are several government programs and other NGO efforts to combat the issue, but nevertheless it is clear to recognize that in a city that nourishes the Jewish soul in almost every conceivable way there are also substantial numbers of people who are physically undernourished and underfed. There is not question that the city and a state have a responsibility to combat the scourge of hunger and the sense of desperation of often creates; but the more complex question is what is the responsibility of the visitors to Jerusalem in combating hunger in the Jewish state?

Of course tourists help fuel an economy as well as tax coffers, so economic support occurs simply through tourism; but is that enough? The shekels that are tossed in cups of panhandlers may seem like help, but is that tzedakah truly combating hunger?  Tourists shop in the stalls of Ben Yehuda and the galleries of Mamilla, but as they glean the emotional and consumer vineyards of Jerusalem, are they leaving enough behind? Are they truly leaving the corners of their fields, or are they clearing the field and leaving nothing to nourish those who are left behind by the economy, society or both? These questions are not pleasant to think about, especially for vacationers and visitors who are overwhelmed by the religious and historical experience of Jerusalem. But in the great social experiment that is Israel, what does it mean for so many to still be hungry when so many are full?

One of the most common questions you hear from visitors to Jerusalem is the frequent dinner debate – meat or milk?   Perhaps the debate should be meat, milk or hungry?  My guess is that few would pick the third option, and neither should Israelis.  So with that in mind let us all take responsibility to make sure that the values that have us hungering for Israel also inspire us to take care of the hungry in Israel – the vineyard is as much theirs as it is ours.

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Good for the Jews?: A Few Thoughts on the Debate About Aliyah (Israel 2009 – Day 3)

October 22, 2009

Today, in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the survival of the Jews and the survival of Israel are the same; and whether Israel can survive depends, among other things, on the numbers and talents of Diaspora Jews who will come to it – which means it depends on you… –  Hillel Halkin, Letters to an American Jewish Friend: A Zionist’s Polemic (1977)

When visiting Israel one generally encounters an inquisitiveness of where you came from and what reason brought you to Israel.  While those questions are standard for almost any person visiting any place in the world, it is the question that generally follows that is unique in the Israeli context – and that is the question of whether one plans to move to Israel and make Aliyah.  Indeed, how the question is formulated and in whatever tone it is spoken it can be more than a simple inquiry; it is often a suggestion, a complaint, a possibility or a prayer.  In a nation filled with all types of olim, Aliyah is still a notion that fills the heart, the mind, and the discourse like few other ideas do.  In 2009, the debate about Aliyah has in many ways overshadowed the encouragement of Aliyah, and unlike when Halkin wrote his strongly worded essay on the its urgency thirty-two years ago, we now more often speak of Aliyah as an ideological aspect of the Jewish State as opposed to an answer to the existential question of the Jewish State.

During the second day of the Facing Tomorrow: The Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, the complexity and the passion of the Aliyah debate was fully evident in a packed and provocatively titled panel discussion that asked  – is Aliyah good for the Jews?  Moderated by Alisa Rubin Kurshan, the Vice-President for Strategic Planning and Organizational resources for UJA-Fed NY, the panel included Matthew Bronfman, Rabbi Ricardo Shmuel Diesegni – the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Meir Kraus, an expert in the field of Israeli/Diaspora relations, Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Minister of Diaspora and Social Affairs, and Jay Sarver – co-chair of the Aliyah and Klitah Committee of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors.  Each member of the group expressed insightful and often strongly worded positions, and certainly those in the audience looking to understand the contours of the Aliyah debate were not disappointed. From Rabbi Melchior’s frank and forceful assertion that there is a total abscess of support for encouraging and sustaining Aliyah in the Israeli political establishment to Matt Bronfman’s personalized and optimistic assertion how Aliyah is being refined in this area of interconnection and the “living bridge”, each panelist brought to the table a voice that authentically expressed the challenges and opportunities of Aliyah at this point in history. And they were not alone, members of the audience too expressed their opinions (under the guise of questions) regarding the challenges not only relating to Aliyah, but of the challenges of absorption and integration into Israeli society. Were there agendas and opinions in the room?  Of course. But there also was genuine interest and concern, and that was what made the discussion so powerful.

For my own part, I walked away from the discussion with a few key observations.  First (and as usual), I found the debate among an academics and professionals to be of distant relevance to the debates I hear back in my own community in Atlanta.  For a vast majority of North American Jews, Aliyah is a concept to be understood, but not an opportunity to be examined.  Certainly there remains the possibility to encourage North American olim, but just because there is a possibility does not mean there is a substantially realistic outcome to be expected.  And while the concept of redefining Aliyah and reframing Israeli-Diaspora relations within the context of the “living bridge” certainly sound like imaginative approaches in an era that depends on increased Jewish creativity, we cannot lose sight of the fact that certain concepts lose their integrity when we casually begin to change their meaning.  Lastly, I was reminded by the discussion that although Americans often think of Diaspora relations as North American relations, there are other communities that have vital stakes in the debate regarding the future of global Jewry and their relationship to the State of Israel and we are myopic if we don’t recognize the entirety of the participants in this truly global discussion.

Aliyah perhaps is no longer just a strategy to respond to an existential need of an Israeli future, it is now more so a factor in the evolutionary nature of Jewish existence. While there can be little debate that historical the essence of Aliyah has been of a physical nature, the continuing assertions of spiritual Aliyah challenge us to think harder about what it truly means to encourage personal and communal commitments to Israel.  We also can’t lose sight of the impact on Israeli society  (and the correlative impact of global Jewish communities) when considering what role Aliyah can and should play in the future of the Jewish People.  So, in the spirit of Mr. Halkin’s thirty-two year old polemic and in response to the question of whether is Aliyah good for the Jews, I respond with a different question – if Israel still truly depends on Jews (whoever and wherever they are), are thoroughly modern Jews good for Aliyah?

Now that is a panel discussion I would like to see.

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Israel 2009 Day 2: From Dina to Nina (The People Israel in the Land of Israel)

October 21, 2009

While we often speak of the brilliance of a place called Israel, we must not forget that it’s luminescence is dependent on a People called Israel. Of course the land is filled with the People (and as I wrote yesterday, in many ways the land fills the People), but nonetheless there is an important distinction to be made. A land without a people is an opportunity that is unrealized, just as a people without a land is a promise unfulfilled. Today, in my second day in Israel, I was reminded that while the beaches and the hills may make Israel breathtaking, it is the people of Israel that truly take breathe life into this land. And today was no exception – from my first business meeting on the beach of Tel Aviv to my late night dinner on a street café in Jerusalem with a friend, today was a testament to how amazing are the People of Israel.

Case in point, my day’s chronology was a good example of the latitude of the spirit of the Jewish People. My first meeting was breakfast with an Israeli contact that I know from her time working in the US who has now returned home to Israel to reimagine her career in business and finance.  Dina is an example of the kind of indefatigable Israeli perspective- bright, intense, and thoughtful with an overarching sprit of ability and passion for life. Her business interest and mine coincide, but so do her personal passions – while we spoke interestingly of business, we also shared stories of our respective families.  While Dina could work anywhere in the works she wants to be in Tel Aviv, and while she can make it anywhere, it is easy to see she will make it here – and Israel will be the better for it. My second meeting was with a client and newly acquainted legal colleague, and while our discussion focused on our specific business, we also discussed how Israeli business continues to defy all barriers in achieving new levels of success. If necessity is the mother of invention Israeli businessmen and businesswomen are constantly faced with the opportunity and well the necessity to invent new strategies for business success. Like Dina, my lunch partners reminded me that while nothing in Israel is easy, nothing is impossible either, as long as the Israeli passion to achieve endures.

Later in the day I spent some time at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, where the opening gala was both energizing and enriching. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu both spoke, as did former Prime Minster Tony Blair in his capacity as representative of the Quartet. While each made interesting remarks, the person who continues to remind me of the essence of the People of Israel is President Peres. Having been part of the beginning of the State and not yet relenting in his vision of what the state of Israel can become, President Peres is nothing short of heroic, both in his love of the People Israel and his endurance as a global statesmen.  Tonight in his remarks, Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to President Peres as, among other things, an entrepreneur. And it is true – whether in the start-up of a nation or helping further fuel the entrepreneurial spirit that is helping create numerous Israeli start-ups in various technology sectors, President Peres reminds all of us that age need not be a barrier to energy and the possession of wisdom does not limit the aspiration of creativity.

Lastly, my day ended with a late night dinner with my friend Nina, who is also here for the Presidential Conference. Nina is a Jewish professional that lives/works in New York, and who is the Executive Director of Bikkurim, an organization that finds Jewish ideas and helps nurture them to organizational sustainability. While our professional lives are different and we live in different parts of the US, we still found time to be together in Israel. After a dinner with her, notwithstanding our various commonalities (similar aged children, similar interest in Jewish life), what struck me most was how many of the same values we shared. In a land of our People, we still found time to remind ourselves of the connections we have as a People, connections that grow in separate places but truly intertwined in this one place.

So to everyone from Dina to Nina and each person in-between (even you Mr. President), thank you for a day of reminding me that Israel is more than a Land and more than a People. It is both and it is beautiful.

Lila Tov from Jerusalem.

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Israel 2009 – Day 1: The Journey and the Flame

October 20, 2009

When you speak with people who have visited Israel numerous times they will usually tell you that each trip is a unique encounter with the Jewish State, a moment that glows from its own unique set of circumstances and experiences. They say no trip is ever the same as the last one, and they always find something new to love about Israel (and sometimes even something new to find frustrating). Whether its businesses, family or friends (and often it is a mix of all three), there is a spark that brings you to the Land and its People, and it is rarely a solitary spark. It is one that kindles on from time to time and is difficult to extinguish without actually indulging it. Yes people visit Israel for necessity, but more often they visit by choice because of a desire that burns inside them.

This trip is my second trip to Israel, the first was a few years ago as part of my experience with the Wexner Heritage Program.  Not a tourist visit, that trip was an educational one that exposed me to richness of the modern Israeli experience and the complexities that envelope it. I knew then it was the first of many visits, and this trip confirms it– this is a different trip, a business trip, but one that will also touch upon the business of the Jewish people. Interspersed with the business meetings in Tel Aviv and Herziliya will be meetings related to the President’s Conference in Jerusalem as well as some meetings in connection with the Global Emerging Leaders Forum organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel.  Between all of those business meetings will be meals with friends and former teachers, and hopefully the opportunity to meet new friends and teachers as well.

However, my departure from Atlanta to Israel was a keen reminder of just how difficult it can be to get to Israel, literally and figuratively. After boarding for an on-time departure, we all were required to deplane because of damage to the plane’s cargo that occurred while loading the aircraft. Despite the frustration of being waylaid on a much-anticipated journey, our experience waiting into the wee hours of the morning taught me two lessons from this trip before I even arrived in Eretz Yisrael. First, it was a subtle reminder that we all bring so much to Israel in our hearts, our heads and our history that sometimes we need to be careful what and how that cargo is brought with us. We try to cram so much into a place and a promise that the effort alone of packing it all into one vessel can be overwhelming and even damaging. If we bring too much with us, we may not have the room to bring back with us that which we learn and live during our visit.

Second, the few hours waiting in the gate with my fellow travelers reminded me that the spark that draws each of us to Israel is different for all of us and the “all of us” is a very diverse group. I met Israeli’s returning home and Americans moving to their new home.  I met a group of Christians who were visiting Israel for, in some cases, the ninth and tenth time and a child of a Holocaust Survivor visiting Israel for the first time. I met yeshiva boys an retired rabbis, men in black hats and little girls in baseball caps; each with a spark for Israel, each kindling a different flame. After speaking with many in this crowd I realized that although our plane was intended to take off into the moonlight, perhaps it was more fitting that this plane full of human sparks an aspirations rose through a sky beginning to fill with sunlight.  As I dozed off for some much overdue sleep, I was comforted by a thought and a prayer: the thought was that our luminescent plane was hurtling towards Zion, its passengers’ collective glow blending into the sunlight of tomorrow’s promising trip to a Promised Land, and the prayer that there may always be, for all of us, a tomorrow in Israel.

From Tel Aviv – Lila Tov.

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Shelved: How A Borders Bookstore Linked the Economic Crisis with the “Israel Lobby” (and why I won’t shop there anymore)

July 4, 2009

UPDATED 7/15/09:   As an update to the post below, I understand that the management of the local Borders has altered the  offending display after determining that an employee acting on his/her own accord placed the Mearsheimer and Walt book in “recommended books” display.  I also understand from individuals familiar with the matter that the display was not, as previously suggested to me by store management and  customer service, intended to include the Mearsheimer/Walt book.  While I am appreciative of the fact that this display was not by the design of Borders’ corporate headquarters,  I am nevertheless troubled that this incident occurred and could occur in the future. Borders has a responsibility to regulate its own employee’s behavior, especially when that individual is acting as an agent of the store in stocking and displaying books. I urge Borders to confirm is employee policies in regard to this type of occurrence so it can be limited from happening again.

I spend hundreds of dollars annually at my local Borders bookstore, purchasing books and periodicals that I consume at a pace (and to my wife’s chagrin, cost and volume) that makes it one of my largest discretionary expenses.  I love books, and despite the cost (and space in my home) I refuse to give in to the digitized/Kindle-ized future that I know is forthcoming.

But now I will refuse to do something different – I will refuse to shop at Borders bookstores. Here’s why – in its merchandising design and choice of book recommendation it made a choice that I find deeply irresponsible and equally offensive, both as a consumer and as a Jewish American.

In the front of my local store in Atlanta, Borders has a display that groups books together as a form of suggestive advertising (“Like these?  “Try these…”).  On this particular shelf, Borders suggests that if you like The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, you should try:

•    Between the Lines:  A View Inside American Politics, People and Culture by Jonathan Alter

•    Reckless: How Debt, Deregulation and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (And How we Can Fix It!) by Byron Dorgan

•    Now or Never:  Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream by Jack Cafferty

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Photo of Bookshelf  (Like These? Try These...)

Photo of Bookshelf (Like These? Try These...)

Read that list and look at that picture closely. See something wrong with it?  I sure do – and it is why I won’t shop a Borders anymore.  Chaos, American politics, dark money, saving the American dream and… the Israel Lobby.  On one shelf, Borders visually (and not so subtlety) links commentary on the “disaster capitalism”  and the global economic crisis with reckless assertions (and conspiratorial theories) about the power and influence of advocates for a strong U.S./Israel relationship. On one shelf, Borders reinforces the perception oldest of anti-Semitic canards (that distressed economic environments are linked with the power and influence of Jews) while reinforcing the dangerously modern trend of delitigimization of Israel and its supporters in subtle and not so subtle ways.

With the stocking of one shelf, Borders reminded me of the subtle danger in every economic crisis – the danger that it will be used to question the Jewish role in economic and political spheres of influence.

Now to be clear, I am not asserting that Borders should not stock and sell Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, nor am I suggesting that Borders not display the book towards the front of the store. Borders is a commercial enterprise that has the right to market and sell all sorts of books in the manner it desires, and I don’t question that right or prerogative. I am also not suggesting that we revisit the substance and the merits of the Mearsheimer/Walt book. While I think it is a deeply flawed and strongly biased work that diminishes rather than enhances the debate about the basis and nature of the U.S. foreign policy relationship with Israel, there have been far more experienced critics that have taken Mearsheimer and Walt to task on the substance of their research and argument, and I will not rehash those arguments.   Although I would not encourage anyone to read its faulty reasoning and distorted analysis (other than to see it for what it really is), Mearsheimer/Walt’s book should not be censored.

Nor should it be suggested reading – especially by a national bookstore. And even more so, it should not be suggested reading to readers with an interest in the arguments about the current economic crisis.

That is what concerns me the most – how subtle the suggestion is, and how the association of contemporary American challenges and the “Israel Lobby” is not only displayed, but suggestively reinforced. When I first noticed the shelf I struggled to reconcile the display with common sense. Perhaps all the books were on “contemporary topics of political interest,” as I am sure Borders might suggest. But that argument doesn’t hold. The other books  focus on economic and domestic issues and the causes/challenges of our current economic environment  (even the Klein book, which makes some one-sided and dubious charges against Israel, is largely a book on the nature of global capitalism) – so what is the link with U.S. foreign policy, especially US/Israel foreign policy?  If a book on international affairs was to be included on that shelf, why not include a book about U.S./China economic relationship or a book about the influence of bank lobbyists (topics that are much more likely to relate to the current U.S. recession than U.S. foreign policy towards Israel)?  Why direct readers to this particular book when they have a particular interest in unrelated economic circumstances?

I hated to ask why, because I hated to contemplate the answer.

However, I did question store management and then, via phone, Borders customer service. Specifically, I asked who makes the decision how to stock shelves the particular “suggestion” shelves. Both representatives told me the decision to group books in that format, and the particular groupings, are determined by individuals at corporate headquarters. They didn’t know what the factors were in choosing the books, or who approved the selections. Regardless, those books ended up stocked on a shelf in one of Borders busiest in the Atlanta metro region (and presumably elsewhere) – directing curious readers about contemporary issues to a book of questionable academic veracity and one that openly questions the motivations of hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Christian Americans that actively support Israel.

We need to call this what it is – a bookseller of national influence’s deeply irresponsible decision that propagates a dangerous myth of an associated relationship between the current economic crises and the Jews.  It is offensive, and it is outrageous. And while we must be vigilant in not over-exercising the assertion that such decisions are in and of themselves driven by anti-Semitic biases, we must recognize that these types of decisions further establish an environment where anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes do not garner the outrage they deserve.

Chaos, American politics, dark money, the need to save the American dream and… the Israel Lobby. On one shelf Borders connects dots that have no basis to be connected. And it does so in a way that even discerning shoppers may not realize. Borders may not have an obligation to advance public discussion and intellectual curiosity, but when it undertakes to do so it has a responsibility to do so in a conscientious, rather than in a biased and provocative manner.

Everyone has a right to shop how and where they choose, and stores have the right to attract and serve those shoppers in any way they see fit. Personally, I will not support booksellers who specifically recommend to buys a book that misrepresents Jewish political involvement as a nefarious activity, and especially when that book is suggested to readers who found unrelated books of interest. Accordingly, my support of Borders has been shelved, and I suggest readers consider shelving their support as well until Borders explains its rationale and utilizes policies that prevent theses types of irresponsible decisions from occurring again.

If we all don’t stand up now to these types of subtle messages that reinforce ancient biases and faulty reasoning, then there may be new chapters in the long history book of how times of economic distress have fomented anti-Jewish bias. And that is an updated history book I don’t want in my collection – no matter how much I love books.