L'shana tova, everyone. Two article on Tablet caught my eye. The first is a joint review by David Mikics of two books on anti-Semitism: David Nirenberg's "Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition" and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's "The Devil That Never Dies." The former I have and am now even more inclined to read, the latter I do not own and now know I need not intend to. And that's what book reviews are for, are they not? Check it out.
The second article is by Yair Rosenberg, responding to Peter Beinart's recent essay on the Jewish cocoon. I don't dislike Peter Beinart per se, but I agree with Jon Chait that he tends to take good points a step to far. In particular, he is far to enamored with the idea that he is a solo Jeremiah who is the first (and thus far only) prophet to notice the doom approaching the Jewish people. In any event, Rosenberg notes that while it is perfectly true that many Jewish organizations have historically been closed off from Palestinian narratives, that is becoming less true every year. At the same time, the burgeoning "anti-normalization" wing of Palestinian solidarity politics means that Jewish/Palestinian dialogue can't occur even if Jews want it to, because such talks are considered to be endorsements of the basic legitimacy of Jewish national aspirations. Hence we see how the BDS movement has made organizations like One Voice its public enemy number one, precisely because such organizations could provide the momentum for a grassroots settlement that would respect Jewish and Palestinian rights alike -- the anti-thesis of the maximalizt position taken by the BDS campaigners. As Rosenberg stresses, this is not to denigrate the obligation of Jewish groups to engage in dialogue; it is merely to stress -- as it is regrettably often necessary to do -- that the reason such dialogue is not proceeding is not simply because of intransigence on the Jewish side.