Jerry Haber

Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber is the nom de plume of Charles H. Manekin, an orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor, who divides his time between Israel and the US.

Should I Revive This Moribund Blog?

Some of my readers may notice that I have not written much in the last two years. In fact, I haven't written anything. About a year and a half ago, I started writing a post with the above title. I didn't write anything after the title. Apparently, the answer was, "No." Who reads blogs anymore? I used to spend a couple of hours on each post, and then I thought, "Why not just post a status update on Facebook?" I did that until over a year ago, Continue Reading...

How Not To Argue Against Student Divestment Proposals

Students who support the human and civil rights of Palestinians are submitting proposals on college campuses that call for their universities to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and administration of Palestinian territories. As a faculty member, I believe it is inappropriate for me to take a position publicly on a student issue. (Others might reasonably disagree.) But I would like to answer some of the questions that Continue Reading...

Some Elul Suggestions for Liberal Zionists and for Progressive Jews who are Not

Elul is the Jewish month for soul-reckoning. Traditionally, Jews don't make New Year resolutions, but they are expected to try harder in anticipation of the High Holiday Season. So in that spirit, I have a few practical suggestions for my liberal Zionist as well as my progressive non-Zionist and anti-Zionist brothers and sisters (and for myself). 1. Pay for a subscription to Haaretz, and read it several times a week. Sign up for the daily Continue Reading...

Selling Purim to Progressives in the Era of Trump

It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim.  The last time was in 2015, when we were in the midst of the Iran negotiations. Well, since then the world made a deal with Iran.  Trump may say that it's a lousy deal, but he doesn't plan on changing it soon, certainly not to Bibi's liking.  And as for the guy who's running Trump, forget about it; Putin is telling Bibi to move on. That's the Continue Reading...

Israel/Palestine: Relegating the One State/Two State Debate to the Dustbin of History

Following Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on Israel-Palestine, Professor Corey Robin pointed out the following on Facebook: "There's something so surreal about the state of the Israel/Palestine debate in this country.  John Kerry makes a speech today, warning that if we don't act soon, the two-state solution may be in jeopardy.  Liberals swoon: Unprecedented!  Conservatives seethe: Unprecedented!  Meanwhile, on April 18, 2013, John Continue Reading...

On Anti-Palestinianism and Anti-Semitism

By “anti-Palestinianism” I understand prejudice against Palestinian Arabs based on perceived negative qualities of Palestinian cultural or natural identity.  Views such as “Palestinian Arab culture is a culture of death and martyrdom,” “Palestinian Arabs hate Jews because of incitement,” “Palestinian Arab labor is inferior” are examples of this prejudice.  Attempts to justify these prejudices are inevitably based on selective data, Continue Reading...

The Need for a Center Left Political Alternative in Israel

Since the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister in 1999, if not earlier, there has been no center left in Israel.  Of course, there has been something referred to as “center left” but that was only relative to the so-called right of the Likud, Kadima, Shinui, Yesh Atid, and defunct parties whose name I forget.  Former prime minister, Ehud Barak managed almost single-handedly to destroy the center left, which had supported recognition of the Continue Reading...