God Save us from the Commercial Cassandras

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I have finally found the one area of absolute commonality between  between Jews and Palestinians-we just love our commercial Cassandras.  My teacher the late Rabbi David Hartman used to marvel that “American Jews will spend 30 thousand dollars a speech on an “expert”  guest speaker who will tell them that everything is lousy-and they talk about “how great he is”.  It seems that fans of the Palestinians do the same thing.  Check out today’s New York Times and read Rashid Khalidi’s piece about peace.  It is filled with the same bromides about Israeli oppression and aggression and offers  nothing-absolutely nothing new-and yet there it is in a place of prominence.  I knew Khalidi back in the day in Chicago when he taught at U of Chicago and was saying exactly the same things about evil Israel and his audiences lapped it up.  One is tempted to dismiss Khalidi as just another pseudo-intellectual Israel hater but in the end is he any different than the so called “experts” in the Jewish community who tell us exactly the same story over and over and we lap it up?  Quite frankly, I would like to banish these commercial Cassandras to the oblivion they deserve and find people with ideas and solutions that go beyond the bromides (Israel evil, Iran scary, etc) and propose new understandings and new ideas.  That, I would pay money to hear.

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