History

Israel and Palestine out of the Ashes: The Search for Jewish Identity in the Twenty-First Century

Marc H. Ellis, London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press, 2002. 198 pages.

During the more than 37-year brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the numbers of North American Jews voicing their opposition in public have been dispiritingly small. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, however, Jewish anti-occupation activists have become a visible political presence in Jewish politics in the United States and Canada. Such groups as Brit Zedek V’Shalom, the Tikkun Community, and Junity (Jewish Unity for a Just Peace) have spawned dozens of regional chapters across North America. Local groups such as Not In My Name (Chicago), Jewish Voices against the Occupation (Seattle), and Jews for Global Justice (Portland, Oregon) have sprung up spontaneously in almost every major North American city. Numerous ad hoc responses have emerged as well. For example, an “Open Letter from American Jews,” proclaiming opposition to Israeli government policies in the Occupied Territories and bearing 4,000 signatures, has appeared as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times as well as in a dozen more American and British newspapers.

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