The Price

The price even a non-intentional embrace of anti-Israel propaganda places on the believer was brought home to me during a recent conversation with a good friend, whose opinion I respect on all matters, who was aghast at the bloodletting at the Gaza border over the last month. Interestingly, she was willing to accept that the […]

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A Disproportional Response

The boycotters have been wetting themselves over last month’s “victory” getting 50 student groups at New York University (NYU) to jointly pledge a boycott of not just Israel, but campus groups (i.e., organizations created and run by other NYU students) and off-campus groups (such as Birthright, StandWithUs and the ADL) that support the Jewish state. […]

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The Seige – Gaza Version

I remember getting a lot of pushback once I started using the siege metaphor to describe Israel’s situation, both historically and as part of a wider discussion of how to look at our battle with Israel’s enemies through the lens of military conflict. That criticism largely stemmed from a misunderstanding of siege warfare, with advocates […]

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Framing

It’s only natural that we humans make sense of the world by placing things into categories.  Action movies vs. comedies.  The “Fruits and Vegetables food group vs. “Breads and Cereals.”  Conservative vs.  liberal. Mental shortcuts that help us streamline our thinking are called “heuristics,” and while they can be an asset when trying to figure […]

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proofiness-book-cover

Bad Math

Continuing from yesterday’s discussion of how to tell if we are winning or losing the fight against BDS, you might think the best way to answer that question would be to draw from numerical information.  Numbers don’t lie, after all.  But do they always tell the truth? I thought about this several years ago when […]

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Fighting the Wrong Fight

Every year or so, I’ll notice a fight breaking out in the Jewish press regarding whether or not we are winning or losing the fight against BDS. Most recently, the UK’s columnist Liron Velleman and US Commentary contributor Jonathan Tobin talked about the decrease in Israel Apartheid Week activities in the US and abroad, as […]

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Wile E Coyote

BDS, Fail, Repeat

It recently dawned on me that those behind the aptly named BDS “movement” must have gotten their hands on that computer Wile E Coyote used in To Hare is Human. Fellow Bugs Bunny fans will remember that episode as the one in which the aforementioned villain decides to supplement his “super genius” with a build-it-yourself, […]

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you've-been-publically-shamed-book-cover

Naming and Shaming

I’ve recently read So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by British journalist Jon Ronson which looks at a reemergence of public shaming, one where it is the Internet serves as the judge sentencing others to the stocks, the stocks themselves, and the mob throwing rotten fruit at the stocked defendant. One of the reasons such shaming […]

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martin-luther-king

Halo Effect

[Note: This was originally published at Elder of Ziyon around Martin Luther King Day.] Every now and then, it’s nice to pull back from the combat zone to take a look at some of the tools and weapons used in our battles with Israel’s enemies.  And, given that we’re primarily fighting against a propaganda war, […]

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Whoops!

I’ve gotten a bit lazy in keeping this site updated with postings originally shared at Elder of Ziyon over the last few months. I’m planning to rectify that situation by synching things up over the next couple of weeks, so expect some daily postings this week and next.  (Loyal subscribes – Don’t be shocked if […]

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Universalism vs. Particularism

When we joined our first temple a decade ago, my wife and I were primarily looking to give our kids the Jewish education we never had.  But it was clear during new-member orientation that the community we were entering offered many ways to explore being a Jewish adult, with strongly hinted encouragement that those who […]

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