Philip Weiss’ latest outing
March 26, 2008
God bless Philip Weiss for doing what I might have had a temperament for when I was younger but not today – attending all manner of neocon and parochial right-wing Jewish events to let the rest of the world know about them. And often times he goes to more uplifting events which, for reasons of my own, I rarely have the stomach for either.
Most recently was his most illuminating visit to a program at which the overwhelmingly Jewish audience if anything had to upbraid the speakers about the radical nature of the situation in Israel/Palestine, seeming to successfully do so for all but one.
The event was put on by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, of which, incidentally, my beloved rabbi is a member of the board. Phil has had cause to mention her favorably on his blog more than once: this is significant because I have recently had a number of reasons to have doubts about my choice of shul, from a program on the election which served as a much needed reminder of why I can’t stand the liberals, to an event with a sister shul completely overwhelmed by unadulterated enthusiasm, to finally bringing a formal end to my pursual of the young lady who was Sister Sarah to my Skye Masterson (though in this case, it had gone on so long it was mostly a relief for it finally be put to rest). But the bottom line remains that any rabbi who Philip Weiss has only nice things to say about is well worth it.
I excitedly share all of Phil’s sentiments about the event’s significance, but I must raise an important quibble. I share Phil’s detesting of this Gershom Baskin character who was furiously insisting upon the traditional Labor Party spin, but for entirely opposite reasons – indeed I would not even go so far as to say Baskin is right for the wrong reasons – I do not at all believe that “American engagement” is the answer. Much of it is indeed the unreconstructed isolationist in me, but more to the point the idea that after all the history of American engagement it can play a meaningful role, other than to end all aid and other support and do certain necessary things behind the scenes to let Israel know the jig is up, is bafflingly absurd.