Director’s Desk: Mr. Trump: Do Not Move the Embassy!

For American Jews of my generation, the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War was a seminal event. In the official narrative propagandized by the mainstream Jewish community, the beleaguered Jewish State, surrounded by millions of fanatical Arabs bent on “pushing the Jews into the sea,” beat back a surprise attack by the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria only to emerge victorious. The Sinai, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights were conquered the Israeli Army. That such a seemingly miraculous victory was even possible confirmed, in Jewish eyes, the righteousness of the entire Zionist endeavor.

It would take many years to learn that this official Jewish narrative was built upon a foundation of lies and injustice.

Continue reading »

On Treason and Thankfulness

For American Jews who, like myself, have long been public critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and its draconian human rights abuses, the insults are nothing new. And one unfortunately gets used to these sorts of slurs on social media. Still, I was unprepared for this short email that arrived in our office on Monday morning this week…

Continue reading »

Prejudice in Pennsylvania: Welcome to the Twilight Zone

One narrative technique of imaginative fiction is for the hero to wake up from a deep sleep in a strange time and place. From Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” to Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” from Dorothy’s sojourn in the Land of Oz” to Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” and episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” writers have utilized this literary device to hold up a mirror to their own times.

Continue reading »

Director’s Desk: Sacred Synchronicity

This past Wednesday marked the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar. The first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are a time imbued with great holiness. The rituals of the hajj are performed during the eighth, ninth, and tenth day of the month, culminating in Eid al-Adha, the “Festival of the Sacrifice,” which begins on the tenth day.

Continue reading »

Director’s Desk: Yesterday in Center City

It was a pleasure to represent CAIR-Philadelphia as I marched down Broad Street with thousands of people responding to the events of last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. United in our disgust with the president’s response to the murder of Heather Heyer by a neo-Nazi using his car as a weapon, the march was also a condemnation of white supremacist racism, the implicitly violent ideology embedded into the DNA of American history and culture.

Continue reading »