In between trips, I am quickly posting this call to Jewschool:
Join Daniel Boyarin, Debra Chasnoff, Ronnie Gilbert, Rabbi Lynn Gottleib, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Rela Mazali, Adrienne Rich, Avi Shlaim, Howard Zinn, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman and over 2,000 others. Let the world know that Jews and our non-Jewish allies understand that Israel will never find peace by bombing their neighbors into submission.
With the post, and with limited time, I am also calling to question the claim of this blog that it is the leading progressive Jewish voice after reading David Kelsey’s now feel even more compelled after reading David Kelsey’s post about immigration. I have had conversations with Mobius and with other contributors off the blog that alternative views doesn’t mean opening up space for people to be xenophobic, sexist and racist in order to say all views are respected. I do not support calling this blog a leading voice in progressive Jewish perspectives if we allow our contributors to post blatant calls for hate and xenophobia in such blatant disregard for our own history as people who have been barred and locked out from this country and many others because of our religion, our ethnicity and our culture. There are some of us on this blog that are progressive, and some of us that are absolutely not, and David’s call is a slap in the face of everything that I know I hold sacred in calling myself a progessive and radical Jew.
So I wonder, what is this blog for if we have contributors who go against the very claim and call of what it was supposedly about, if we give and allow space to people who air views and perspectives without any accountability when they are not just being subtly, but are overtly racist and oppressive. If we have categories like “Arab World”–if we have no categories for occupation or Palestine.
So this is a call, a challenge to Jewschool and to the readership–what is this about for you because in my eyes, the very idea that we are allowing people to post viewpoints like the one’s I have seen from David (and other contributors–I am in no ways confining this to David) over and over again is just another liberal ideology that we should “allow” all voices equal space and equal share in time, that we should call them all valid when some are flat out oppressive and Right wing–and if this is so, then the call, the “about us” of Jewschool should be renamed and rewritten for people to take stock of who and what this project is really all about–can we really call a number of the contributors disfranchised Jews? Monikers can’t hide the fact that a number of the contributors are straight white men–disfranchised my a**. Allowing Right wing voices and perspectives is in no way an open revolt–while the project has many elements to it that make it progressive, this last post just makes me have to call into question and honestly say at this moment, progressive it’s not.
There’s a lot of work and honest reflection and conversation that needs to happen to make it so and I hope I am not alone as a contributor, as a reader and as a radical Jew in thinking that many of the contributors also will find this call necessary for our work to be true and accountable to the very vision and community we claim we are trying to build.