How to Read the Bible Politically

Aug. 30 2019

While the Hebrew Bible can’t tell you whom to vote for, argues Joshua Berman, much of it can and should be understood as addressing political questions, as it is a work deeply—perhaps primarily—concerned with national and civic life. For instance, the book of Exodus depicts the people of Israel as descended entirely from slaves; it also reports every man, woman, and child hearing the word of God at Sinai. Berman sees these two teachings as the foundation for the Western idea of equality, in which no person can claim a superior bloodline or a monopoly on a connection with the divine. He also explains how the book of Joshua teaches that “it takes a village to make a sinner.” (Interview by Dru Johnson. Audio, 22 minutes.)


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More about: Exodus, Hebrew Bible, Joshua, Religion & Politics


The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media