Debating Israel/Palestine on Chicago Tonight

mezzanine_916.png.resize.768x432_0Last night I appeared on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” with my friend and colleague Rabbi Andrea London to discuss the issue of Israel/Palestine in the wake of Netanyahu’s re-election. Andrea spoke to the J Street position while I represented the Jewish Voice for Peace point of view. Although the station tried repeatedly to find a local rabbi to represent the AIPAC line, none were willing to participate. I’m sad to report that several of the rabbis contacted cited my presence on the panel as the reason for their refusal.

On the other hand, I was so heartened that Andrea and I were able to model a principled and respectful Jewish communal debate on this issue and I was so grateful for her willingness to engage.  Click here to watch.

9 thoughts on “Debating Israel/Palestine on Chicago Tonight

  1. J Becker

    Thank you both for an intelligent discussion! It was particularly valuable for many of us, in my opinion, because two different views were discussed rationally that are almost never heard in the media. I don’t know how others will interpret the failure of the AIPAC position to take up WTTW’s invitation but “fear” is one word that comes to mind, as well as “no need” since their views are represented from the White House, to Congress, to every media outlet on your dial!


  2. Seth Horwitz

    Thank you, and Rabbi London, for presenting such a great, calm, clear interview. As one of the growing number of American Jews feeling the pain of being caught “between”, it’s so helpful to hear intelligent discussion about these issues. It’s too bad AIPAC didn’t send somebody, because it’s important to hear the various sides within context of one another.

    Thanks for standing up.

  3. Benjy Ben-Baruch

    (1) AIPAC and the small but influential cabal of Israel apologists don’t want a debate. They want a closing of the ranks in defense of Israel and US support of the Occupation and US support for a ground-war cum nuclear attack on Iran.

    (2) AIPAC has become a front, not a player. Netanyahu made it very clear that he is less interested in relations with American Jewry and more interested in solidifying his ties with the Christian-Zionist right-wing. He understands very well that AIPAC’s influence has always come from the fact that the military industrialists and right-wingers are very happy to use AIPAC as their front. Recently, however, the Christian right-wing has been willing to come out on their own to push their extremist agenda and Netanyahu has aligned himself and his government with these forces in American politics. He and his government have come to realize that they do not share the same values as most Jews around the world — but they do share values with the American Christian extreme right.

  4. marcia bogolub

    AIPAC’s position was disgraceful. This kind of divisiveness only erodes our community. A shonde.

  5. 2skipper

    I watched and listened and felt great pride in you and Brant and the bravery of Rabbi London unafraid to let your thoughts on what is happening in the Mideast. my thoughts that I found so sad that no one but Rabbi London would come to a table and sit with both of you and discuss this subject openly. I thank both of you so very much.

  6. rosalie hoffman

    My sister and I were taken with your Chicago Tonight interview. We’re looking to be part of a Passover Seder that’ll represent the sentiments that you so aptly expressed in your interview.

  7. Shelly

    I would so love to see you walk around Gaza and Tehran and maybe even parts of Paris or London with your kippah and loving ways and see how you would be greeted. Try leaving cushy Evanston, for one of those places for an extended time and then maybe you could stand on your soap box as some one that knows. Until then you are know different then ignorant preachers such as Al Sharpton who makes money being a pundit. Is this your end game?


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