Announcement: Gil Troy, Open Zion 2.0

Open Zion 2.0

OP-EDS & REVIEWS

Open Zion – The Daily Beast, 9-4-12

By , 9-4-12

When Open Zion launched a few months ago, it had three staffers: myself and two enormously talented recent college graduates, Elisheva Goldberg and Raphael Magarik. With their combination of intellectual curiosity, tireless energy, commitment to the Jewish people and passion for justice and human dignity, Elisheva and Raffi helped launch a blog whose traffic has grown five-fold since its creation. Sadly for me, however, I always knew that they would not stay more than a year, and both have now gone to Israel, where they are working on behalf of the same liberal democratic Zionist vision that lies at the core of this blog. Luckily, they will both continue to write for us from there.

Starting today, we inaugurate a new Open Zion team. It starts with Gil Troy. Gil is a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and a professor of history at McGill University. He’s also author of Why I am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today and the forthcoming Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism. He has been a frequent contributor to Open Zion over the past few months, and now joins us as editor-at-large. Joining Gil is Ali Gharib, most recently national security reporter for thinkprogress.org, the website of the Center for American Progress, who will join the site as senior editor. We are also lucky to be joined by assistant editor Sigal Samuel, a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia who has worked at the Jerusalem Post and the American Jewish World Service.

Open Zion is an experiment. It is a blog with a passionate commitment to Jewish identity, Jewish culture and Jewish religion that believes just as passionately that the debate about the future of the Jewish state should be open to everyone, whether they share that background and commitment or not. It is a blog whose core belief is that justice, dignity and safety for both Israelis and Palestinians requires a division of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean into two democratic states, one Jewish and one Palestinian. Yet it welcomes opposing views, believing that the principles of liberal Zionism cannot be simply assumed, but must rather be defended in respectful discussion with critics from both left and right. In our short existence, we have tried to live those principles, publishing writers as diverse as the Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi and the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset from Likud, Danny Danon. As we said in our founding statement, we do not draw red lines; we debate them.

Gil, Ali and Sigal continue this commitment to serious, lively debate among people of varying perspectives and backgrounds. Gil is an historian of American politics, a scholar of Zionism, an observant Jew, a resident of Jerusalem and a keen observer of Israeli society and its relationship with the diaspora. Ali is a devoted secularist raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC by parents who fled the Iranian revolution. He is also among the most astute bloggers on American politics, Middle Eastern politics, and the intersection between the two writing today. Sigal was born in Montreal to a family of Mizrahi Jewish descent, studied in yeshivas in both Israel and North America, and now writes about Jewish texts, feminist theory and arts and culture.

With Americans debating whom to elect president, Israelis debating war with Iran and Palestinians debating another statehood bid at the United Nations, this promises to be a dramatic, divisive, and perhaps terrifying, fall. With Gil, Ali and Sigal’s help, our goal is to continue to create a space that surrounds these dramas with criticism, analysis and intense but civil debate. We hope that on Twitter and Facebook and through comment threads and reader submissions, you’ll join in.

Peter Beinart is editor in chief of Open Zion, a blog about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future at The Daily Beast. He is the author of The Crisis of Zionism (Times Books).

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Nominate Gil Troy @GilTroy for JTA’s Twitter

JTA’s update of their list of most influential Jewish Twitter users for 2010: http://salsa.jta.org/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=4442

JTA is updating its list of most influential Jewish Twitter users for 2010. This year’s process begins with a new feature: open nominations of other Twitter users. Want to share your nominee choice via Twitter? Use hashtag #jta100 Limit ONE nominee per person per category (individual and/or organization). Deadline for nominations is Friday November 19, 2010 at 2:00PM EST. All nominees must follow @jtanews and @talk2jta. Winners will be selected by JTA staff.

Buycott Against the anti-Israel Boycott

URGENT NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY

As some of you may know, there is an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference taking place in Montreal this weekend (22nd-24th).

After consulting with various Israel-related activists and academics in the city, we have determined that a BUYCOTT will be organized this weekend.

The Israeli Consulate in Montreal recommends that we focus on Israeli wines and Ahava products. People should go to buy these products between the 22nd and the 24th (this weekend) at their own leisure.

Please disseminate this information to your mailing lists and post it to social media. We need your help, so please include this in the upcoming mail-outs of your organization.

Check out www.buyisraelgoods.org to find the closet place to you to BUYCOTT. Please ensure in your dissemination that, when people buy a product, that they send an email to Zach Paikin: zpaikin@hasbarafellowships.org so that we can keep track of how many purchases have been made.

This is focusing on the Montreal region, but isn’t limited to Montreal.

B’shalom