Judaism and Civil Discourse

Us Versus Them, or Argument for the Sake of Heaven? by Rabbi Jonathan Kligler WE’VE WATCHED constructive discourse and debate break down in our country in recent years, with a trend away from the value of civil discourse — and a lot of effort to retain it.  In this effort, Judaism has a great deal […]

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The Rightwing Bugaboo: Political Correctness

by Ralph Seliger DONALD TRUMP’S demagogic populist candidacy has included bombastic attacks on “Political Correctness” (PC). This concept has had resonance for at least twenty-five years, mostly as a convenient punching bag for Republican politicians and right-leaning commentators — their easy substitute for actually confronting issues. But is “Political Correctness” just a rightwing slur, or […]

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November 15: From the ANC to the Cabinet

Ronald Kasrils, a South African communist and African National Congress activist who became Minister for Intelligence Services in the post-apartheid government, was born in Johannesburg on this date in 1938. Kasrils was a director of TV advertisements when he was radicalized by the 1960 Sharpeville massacre and joined the ANC and the South African Communist […]

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The Uncivil Servant: BDS and Free Speech in France

by Mitchell Abidor IN LATE OCTOBER, France’s highest appeals court issued a decision with such alarming implications that it deserved far greater notice outside that country than it has received. The court determined that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is in violation of French law prohibiting discrimination based on national origin. The court has, […]

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August 25: America’s Nazi

George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party and one of the country’s best-known anti-Semites, was assassinated at age 50 by one of his former followers on this date in 1968. Rockwell was the son of vaudeville performers who actually knew quite a few Jews, including Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Walter Winchell, Benny Goodman, […]

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“Do I Look Like a Nazi?”

The Dieudonné Affair in France by Mitchell Abidor An avalanche of outrage has been cascading down on the French comedian, provocateur, and Jew-hater Dieudonné. The performer has been on the receiving end of attacks from the French government, which succeeded in banning his public performances after he made a series of outrageous comments, including one […]

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