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.

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...

Singling Out Israel for Moral Opprobrium

I am a tribalist at heart.  I really care about my tribe, or, I should say, the various tribes of which I am a member.  I care about them in ways that I don’t care about other tribes.  Kant forgive me, but it’s true – there are other tribes that I really couldn’t care less about.  When I sense that I am becoming heartless and apathetic to the sufferings of others unconnected to my tribe, I try to work on my “human” side, or my “living being” Continue Reading...

Does the Hamas Response to Israel’s Abrogation of the Cease Fire Violate Just War Principles?

The beginning of the current round of hostilities should be dated from Israeli actions in a Gaza tunnel that resulted in the deaths of six Hamas militants. Although Israel denied responsibility, it admitted that it had carried out operations in the area that plausibly led to the incident. This was Monday night, and Hamas retaliated with rockets. A time line can be found here; thus started the current round of hostilities. Continue Reading...