Today was a successful day. Aside from moving most of my stuff out of my apartment to the building I'll (hopefully) be living in next year, I also had my first academic panel. And it was great! Most shocking was the fact that people -- by which I mean, random people, people who had no connection to any of us or any reason to show up -- came to the talk. And they were attentive! And they asked great questions! And everybody was really positive towards all the papers! It was wonderful.
* * *
Sometime at Alas, a Blog (I forget if it was during my guest-blogging stint or in the comments), somebody responded to my critique that their position on Israel/Palestine was completely disengaged from mainstream Jewish experience by saying she could solve that simply by talking with and forming coalitions with leftist, anti-Zionist Jewish groups. I argued then, and still believe, that due respect for the Jewish community is not demonstrated when you only talk with those members who already agree with you -- particularly when that subset represents a tiny fringe of the whole. I thought of that event in reading this piece in the Forward, which makes it sound like the Presbyterian Church is going out of its way to avoid mainstream Jewish groups in formulating its Israel policy. And to the extent it does talk to them, it talks down to them. The bottomless pit that is Christian arrogance towards Jews never ceases to astound me.
Interesting post about an American Jew in Damascus.
Studies suggest that video gamers have better control over themselves in their dreams. I actually have had this experience, though I wouldn't have thought to associate it with gaming.
Twenty-somethings are not idiots about Elena Kagan. Yay my generation!
Leon Wieseltier correctly notes that the Sheikh Jarrah settlers are effectively claiming a right of return akin to that of the Palestinians. Having already established that reconciliation between Israel and Palestine means that not everybody gets to go home again, I can hardly making an exemption for a particular, formerly Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.
I just can't get upset about the so-called Sestak-gate.
J Street disavows Marcy Winograd (see my prior post), but Democracy for America stands by her after she came out in favor of a single-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and implied that Reps. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) were not loyal to America.
The Episcopalian Church slaps the wrist of its American branch for ordaining a lesbian bishop.