A Conflict of Faith: Devoted to Jewish Observance, but at Odds With Israel. By Mark Oppenheimer. New York Times, February 14, 2014.
The Magnes Zionist in the New York Times. By Charles H. Manekin. The Magnes Zionist, February 10, 2014.
Hell freezes over (NYT publishes glowing profiles of anti-Zionists). By Philip Weiss. Mondoweiss, February 15, 2014.
Orthodox Jew? Hate Israel? The New York Times Wants to Interview You. By Yarden Frankl. HonestReporting, February 16, 2014.
Glorifying Fringe Jewish Extremists at the NY Times. By Ronn Torossian. FrontPage Magazine, February 18, 2014.
The Quirkiness of the Israel-Free Jews. By Shmuel Rosner. Jewish Journal, February 18, 2014.
Why Religious Judaism Is Tied to Nationalism. By Liel Leibovitz. Tablet, February 18, 2014.
Replies to Shmuel Rosner and Liel Leibovitz. By Charles H. Manekin. The Magnes Zionist, February 18, 2014.
Zionism without a Jewish state. By Charles H. Manekin. The Magnes Zionist, August 12, 2007.
It is a principle of journalism that news consists of those events that are out of the ordinary. The old cliché is that when man bites dog, it’s news. A dog biting a man is not. Thus, the conceit of the New York Times Beliefs column feature on Friday met that basic standard for newsworthiness. A story about religious Jews who actively oppose the existence of the State of Israel is one in which it must be conceded that the subjects are unusual.
There is no question that Charles H. Manekin is a rarity. Not because he is an Orthodox Jew who keeps the Sabbath, refraining from driving, turning on lights, even riding in elevators on Saturdays. Rather, this philosophy professor at the University of Maryland is rare because he believes that his Orthodox faith calls him to take stands against Israel.
Manekin [The Magnes Zionist in the NYT]:
The piece says my religion leads me “to oppose Israel.” That’s ambiguous; it could mean “oppose Israel’s policies” (yes) or “oppose how the Jewish state was envisioned and came into being” (yes), or “oppose the very idea of a Jewish state” (that depends). No, I am not opposed to any Jewish state. As my colleague, Jerome Slater, has said, I don’t have a problem with a Jewish state – it’s this Jewish state I have a problem with. I can imagine Israel evolving into a liberal state of all its citizens, a state that fosters both Hebrew culture and a connection with the Jewish people, and a state that sees its non-Jewish citizens as belonging with the Jews to the Israeli nation – a Hebrew (and Arabic) Republic, to use Bernard Avishai’s phrase. I can also see Israel/Palestine evolving into a binational state or a federation, or whatever. What I insist upon is that both peoples – the Israeli and the Palestinian – have maximum self-determination, maximum security, and maximum opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that cannot be done, in my opinion, within the framework of the current ethnically-exclusivist state that is mired in nineteenth religio-ethnic nationalism. Rightly called by Oren Yiftachel an “ethnocracy,” Israel presents itself to the world and to itself as a liberal democracy. In fact, it is marching backward and not forward.