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.

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...

BDS is Not Bellatrix, Dumbledore or Snape. Maybe It’s Hermione

J. K . Rowling has signed a statement against the cultural boycott of Israel, and has called instead for cultural engagement.  Some of her Palestinian fans have objected, pointing to Harry Potters’ fight against Voldemort and  the Death Eaters.  In her reply she asks her readers to consider Dumbledore’s attempt to engage with Snape, then a Death Eater. Continue Reading...

The “High Level International Military Group” on Operation Protective Edge

These are sad days for Israel/Palestine, but today I got a kick out of a story that I thought at first was produced by the satirical mag, the Onion. It seems that an all male group of generals, security chiefs, and right wing politicians, calling itself the “High Level International Military Group,” has produced a report that not only exonerates Israel of war crimes but praises it for its humanitarian efforts!  The timing is viewed as as Continue Reading...

Two States in One Homeland Initiative – Thanks but No Thanks

I was asked last summer by a friend what was my reaction to the Two States in One Homeland initiative.  My short answer was that it had some positive elements but it read like a very liberal Zionist document.  I went through the proposal and sent the friend comments, mostly my reservations.  Since the initiative may or may not have a conference next week – people are dropping out like flies – I will repeat what I wrote my friend.  Here are my Continue Reading...

Operation Protective Edge and the Israel Defense Forces Testimonies

Several days ago, the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, which takes testimonies from IDF soldiers, published a booklet of over sixty testimonies of soldiers involved in Operation “Protective Edge”, the Gaza Op of last summer.  The report has been overshadowed by other news from Israel, and aside from a long (and good) report in the Washington Post and some other major newspapers, and a fine opinion piece by Elisheva Goldberg in the Forward, it Continue Reading...

It’s Time for Liberal Zionists to Support Some Sticks against the Netanyahu Government

Liberal Zionists don’t like the global BDS movement, but they also think that the Obama administration should get tough with the Netanyahu government.  Josh Ruebner, the Policy Director of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, wrote a good piece in The Hill which shows some of the concrete steps the Obama administration can take if it is serious about is reassessment. Continue Reading...

Right Wing Nation

Israel is a Right Wing Nation.  What is “center” in Israel is right in the rest of the world.  What is “right” is extreme right is, well, you fill in that one.  Even had Herzog evened the score with Netanyahu he would not have been able to create an alternative government.  That has been clear from the beginning. Continue Reading...

Selling Purim to Progressives Yet Again

It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim, with some modifications.  The last time was in 2012.  But when I read yesterday what I wrote then, I realized that little had changed in the last three years.  There was Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with his annual Purim message: Present-day Iran is Persia, its leader is the wicked Haman, they want to destroy us; if the US doesn’t come through, Continue Reading...

How Open Should Hillel Be?

Several years ago, when Richard Joel was the president of Hillel International, the goal of Hillel was formulated as  “maximizing the number of Jews doing things Jewish with other Jews.”  It was the notion of “doing things Jewish” that I liked, because that could be interpreted in many ways, religiously, socially, politically, recreationally, etc.  Of course, playing basketball is not just a Jewish activity, and maybe it’s not a Jewish activity Continue Reading...