Authors / Mari Cohen

Mari Cohen is associate editor at Jewish Currents.

J Street’s Pro-War Stance Prompts Staff Departures
The liberal Zionist lobbying group’s support for Israel’s assault on Gaza has sparked staff dissent and alienated onetime allies.
Mari Cohen February 9, 2024
“You Cannot Study Israel Without Palestine”
A conversation with the editors of the new academic journal Palestine/Israel Review, which advocates a “relational approach” to studying the region’s intertwined histories.
Mari Cohen January 31, 2024
Top Executive Leaves ADL Over CEO’s Praise of Elon Musk
Yaël Eisenstat’s departure is the most prominent instance of post-October 7th dissent within the organization.
Mari Cohen and Alex Kane January 3, 2024
“A Day in the Life of Abed Salama” After October 7th
Nathan Thrall on his new book and the escalating repression of pro-Palestine speech.
Mari Cohen December 19, 2023
Progressive Zionists Choose a Side
In attending the November 14th March for Israel and refusing to call for a ceasefire, many progressive Jewish groups have cast their lot with the Jewish mainstream.
Mari Cohen December 8, 2023
Crisis at the 92nd Street Y
A recent controversy suggests the post-October 7th political landscape will pose existential challenges for Jewish institutions trying to maintain pro-Israel politics alongside a broad cultural mission.
Mari Cohen November 8, 2023
Major News Networks Sideline Palestinian Analysts
Leading Palestinian commentators describe canceled appearances and segments pulled from CBS and CNN shows.
Mari Cohen October 18, 2023
The Hamas Attacks and Israeli Response: An Explainer
An explainer answering readers’ questions about the situation in Israel/Palestine after October 7th.
Alex Kane, Mari Cohen, Jonathan Shamir, and Isaac Scher October 10, 2023
After the Hit-and-Run
Can restorative justice offer crash victims like me—and the drivers who harmed us—the healing we need?
Mari Cohen September 28, 2023
National Plan Reflects the Debate Over Antisemitism
While generally promising more of the same, the Biden plan signaled in multiple ways that progressive groups have succeeded in making Jewish politics a contested space.
Mari Cohen June 1, 2023
Why Are Progressive Legislators Opposing New York’s First Anti-Settlement Bill?
The “Not on our dime” act would ban tax-deductible donations to Israeli settlements, but centrists and progressives alike say the proposed law is “a ploy to demonize” Jewish nonprofits.
Alex Kane and Mari Cohen May 31, 2023
The ADL’s Antisemitism Findings, Explained
The organization’s annual audit found a worrisome surge in incidents—but experts say some of its numbers lack context.
Mari Cohen April 4, 2023
greenblatt at the adl
ADL Staffers Dissented After CEO Compared Palestinian Rights Groups to Right-Wing Extremists, Leaked Audio Reveals
A special meeting called to answer internal critics shows that the ADL’s vocal opposition to the anti-Zionist left is controversial even within the organization.
Mari Cohen and Alex Kane March 8, 2023
How a Giant of Responsible Investing Agreed to an Israel Exception
After a multi-year campaign by Jewish groups, Morningstar—a major firm known for socially responsible investing—is softening its approach to Israeli human rights abuses.
Mari Cohen January 25, 2023
The State of Antisemitism Reporting
How America’s major newspapers have stumbled in covering a serious phenomenon
Mari Cohen January 19, 2023
Black Hebrew Israelites in the Spotlight
The journalist Sam Kestenbaum on the history of the religious tradition embraced by Kyrie Irving and Kanye West.
Mari Cohen December 1, 2022
“Twitter Has Been a Lifeline”
Elon Musk’s takeover of the site could destroy a valuable avenue for Palestinian activism.
Mari Cohen November 22, 2022
In Internal Memo, American Jewish Committee Blasts Op-Ed on “Jewish-Free Zones” at Berkeley Law
The group’s disavowal of an article written by Israel advocate Kenneth Marcus revealed tension over the best strategy to combat campus Palestine activism.
Mari Cohen and Alex Kane October 14, 2022
Jewish Studies Draws a Line on Tablet
The field’s largest scholarly association says it has “paused” its advertising relationship with the online magazine after receiving complaints from members.
Mari Cohen October 6, 2022
The Fight for the Future of Israel Studies
Donors view Israel studies as a vehicle for countering Palestine activism on campus. But many of the scholars they fund don’t toe the line.
Mari Cohen September 28, 2022
Israel’s Gaza Offensive: An Explainer
A closer look at an operation that killed dozens of Palestinians.
Alex Kane and Mari Cohen August 9, 2022
The Arkansas Anti-Boycott Case, Explained
A ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the state’s anti-BDS law could be heading to the Supreme Court.
Mari Cohen June 28, 2022
General Mills Avoids Anti-BDS Backlash for Pulling Out of Settlements
By making no explicit political comment, the company has been spared the penalties Ben & Jerry’s faced.
Mari Cohen June 22, 2022
The ADL Doubles Down on Opposing the Anti-Zionist Left
CEO Jonathan Greenblatt argued that Palestine-solidarity groups are “the photo inverse of the extreme right,” and promised that fighting them would become more central to his mission.
Mari Cohen and Isaac Scher May 1, 2022
The Numbers Game
An interview with sociologist Matt Boxer on what we can and can’t learn from new statistics from the ADL and AJC.
Mari Cohen April 28, 2022
Deborah Lipstadt vs. “The Oldest Hatred”
In her new role as antisemitism envoy, Deborah Lipstadt will attempt to fight a scourge of antisemitism that she seems to regard as incurable.
Mari Cohen April 28, 2022
Photo of printed copies of Amnesty International's report on a table.
Why Liberal Zionist Groups Won’t Say “Apartheid”
Pressed for specific disagreements with the use of the term, leaders of several prominent Jewish organizations focused on how its application might alienate their constituencies.
Mari Cohen and Alex Kane February 10, 2022
Democrats Mostly Silent on Sheikh Jarrah Expulsions
Key members of Congress who criticized Israel last spring are declining to comment on Palestinian home demolitions.
Mari Cohen January 26, 2022
The Right to Boycott Is Under Attack
The director of the new documentary Boycott discusses the high stakes of the legal fight against anti-BDS legislation.
Mari Cohen November 18, 2021
“They Want To Kick Us Out of This Land”
An interview with journalist and activist Basil al-Adraa about covering settler violence
Mari Cohen October 15, 2021
When Prison Guards Refuse Vaccines
A dispatch from an incarcerated person in Pennsylvania on the risks unvaccinated guards pose to prisoners.
Mari Cohen and Stephen Wilson October 1, 2021
The various buildings that makeup the Rikers Island jail complex, shot from across the river.
A Week on Rikers Island
“No human should be in a place like that.”
Does Everybody Really Hate the Jews?
Unpacking the suspect framing of a new survey on campus antisemitism.
Mari Cohen September 24, 2021
Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s Tests Anti-BDS Laws
Lara Friedman on the wider stakes for free speech.
Mari Cohen July 23, 2021
Avodah Considers Stepping Out on Israel/Palestine
Under pressure from constituents, progressive domestic Jewish groups may break their silence on the occupation.
Mari Cohen July 22, 2021
A Closer Look at the ‘Uptick’ in Antisemitism
The ADL is reporting a surge in antisemitic incidents. But confirming a spike in hate crimes is a notoriously difficult task.
Mari Cohen May 27, 2021
A Guide to the Current Crisis in Israel/Palestine
We asked our readers what they needed to know about the situation in Israel/Palestine. Our staff is compiling a developing set of answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Mari Cohen, Joshua Leifer, and Alex Kane May 13, 2021
J Street Goes on Offense, Carefully
For the first time, the liberal Jewish lobby is placing advocacy for restricting military aid to Israel front and center.
Mari Cohen May 5, 2021
Revising the Dream
Members of the socialist-Zionist youth group Habonim Dror North America are increasingly pushing back on Zionism’s centrality in the movement.
Mari Cohen April 19, 2021
Fears of Government Surveillance Complicate Muslim Groups’ Access to Federal Security Funding
Muslim applicants to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which has long funneled money to Jewish organizations, express concerns about pressure to collaborate with law enforcement.
Mari Cohen March 30, 2021
“Is He Jewish?”
On the Lox Club, an exclusive new dating app, an obsession with Jewish continuity papers over an absence of Jewish content.
Mari Cohen March 3, 2021
The Complex Reality of Black–Jewish Coalitions in Georgia
Local organizers say Warnock and Ossoff’s winning campaign is a promising sign for intercommunal relations. But a romanticized narrative obscures persistent class divisions and conflict over Israel.
Mari Cohen January 26, 2021
Jewish Federations Urge Biden to Promote Controversial Definition of Antisemitism
The IHRA definition, already used by the Trump administration to adjudicate civil rights cases, has drawn criticism for suppressing pro-Palestinian activism.
Mari Cohen December 10, 2020
Democrats Can’t Win Without the Left
Leftists recognize the need to work in coalition with liberals to fight the right. It’s time for liberals to reciprocate.
Mari Cohen November 13, 2020
Can the Reform Movement Stand Up to the Settler Right?
The movement’s leadership role in Israel’s Jewish National Fund puts it in charge of evicting a Palestinian family, whether it wants to or not.
Mari Cohen October 19, 2020
The Future of Jewish News
The new millennial editor of The Detroit Jewish News discusses his plans to revitalize the paper for a new era.
Mari Cohen August 25, 2020
The Real War on Free Speech
Some of the Harper’s letter signatories use their defense of “free speech” to silence support for Palestinian rights.
Mari Cohen and Joshua Leifer July 23, 2020
Jewish Agency Threatens Habonim Dror Over Anti-Annexation Petition
The Israel-based organization has demanded that the Labor Zionist youth movement purge members advocating a boycott of Israel programs.
Mari Cohen July 17, 2020
esty schwartz
Unorthodox Bodies
Through its unusually nuanced look at vaginal pain, the acclaimed Netflix series is a show about a Hasidic woman radicalized by disability.
Mari Cohen and Hannah Srajer July 14, 2020
Jewish Groups Embrace BLM, With Conditions
Some Jewish groups appear to be putting aside Israel-related grievances with the Black Lives Matter movement. Others aim to show support without backing its more radical demands.
Mari Cohen June 23, 2020
Nurses Everywhere Are Organizing
With or without a union, nurses in harm’s way are turning to collective action to demand better protections.
Mari Cohen April 20, 2020
“We Are Sitting Ducks”
As the Covid-19 crisis escalates, incarcerated people across the country describe a climate of fear, uncertainty, and unpreparedness.
Mari Cohen March 23, 2020
Jews Hate Trump
When Jews Go to the Polls
Recent polling offers potential answers—and raises additional questions—about what choices Jewish voters might make in the 2020 elections.
Mari Cohen February 21, 2020
Hillel Partners with Right-Wing Christian Law Firm
Working with Jay Sekulow’s organization shows a willingness to alienate LGBTQ Jewish students to fight pro-Palestine activism.
Mari Cohen January 28, 2020
Punching Postwar Nazis
Daniel Sonabend discusses the lost history and legacy of the 43 Group—a post-World War II association of British Jewish antifascist fighters.
Mari Cohen January 21, 2020
SEIU Local 73
A New Deal for Chicago’s Jewish Federation
The SEIU Local 73 bargaining team—representing therapists, teachers, nurses, dining service workers, and more—has won a contract that will dramatically improve working conditions.
Mari Cohen December 19, 2019
Hillel Uses the Pro-Israel Playbook on Socialists
The campus organization’s dispute with Georgia Tech’s YDSA chapter might be a sign of things to come.
Mari Cohen December 10, 2019
Hillel vs. Academic Freedom
Jewish organizations are siding with the Trump administration in its war on Middle East studies.
Mari Cohen September 27, 2019
Apartheid Is Israel’s “Desired Reality”
An interview with Haaretz journalist Amira Hass about occupation, the diaspora, and what comes next.
Mari Cohen June 12, 2019
Through the Looking Glass
Our American Israel examines the projections and anxieties that animate the US-Israel relationship.
Mari Cohen February 26, 2019
American Uses and Misuses of the Holocaust
Wielding Holocaust memory to make America look good is an American tradition.
Mari Cohen February 8, 2019