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Yes, Your Ancestors Probably Did Come Here Legally — Because 'Illegal' Immigration is Less Than a Century Old - No Visas Were Required Until 1924

Kevin Jennings Los Angeles Times
There were no federal laws concerning immigration until 1924. When a massive influx of new immigrant groups came at the turn of the 20th century — Italians from Southern Europe and Jews from Eastern Europe — a backlash developed. A new law required for the first time that immigrants to the U.S. have visas, introducing the concept of “having papers” to American immigration policy.

The Trump Administration's Most Prominent Jews Disgrace Themselves

Dana Milbank Washington Post
What Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner did - or, rather, what they didn't do - is a shanda. They'll know what that means, but, for the uninitiated, shanda is Yiddish for shame, disgrace. All three let it be known through anonymous friends and colleagues that they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said after the white terrorist demonstration and attack in Charlottesville. But not in public.

The Uses and Abuses of Anti-Semitism

Jason Farbman with Rebecca Vilkomerson, Rabbi Brant Rosen Jacobin
Campaigns to silence criticism of Israel don’t protect Jews — they endanger them. A national conversation on what antisemitism is — and what it isn’t — is long overdue. Recent reshuffling among the Trump administration may have Steve Bannon on the outs, but we are only weeks removed from a white supremacist as “the shadow president.”


Stefan Zweig's Messages From a Lost World

Scott McLemee Insider Higher Ed
In the period between the world wars, Stefan Zweig was among the world's best-known authors. His books would soon fuel Nazi bonfires. Zweig held that humanity could no longer afford the belligerent nationalism that had led them into the Great War. Yet Zweig was struck dumb by post 1933 events. That failure, the reviewer says, was of imagination, not nerve. Against the Nazis' depredations, all the consummate writer and speaker could muster was nostalgia for a lost world.

The Heresy and Evangelism of Bernie Sanders

Jesse Alexander Myerson The Village Voice
The New York of Bernie Sanders's childhood was full of Yiddish socialists. Often, these were Jews of Sanders's sort, their spiritual practice less fixated on giving glory to God on high than fighting for emancipation here on earth. Although that interpretation of Judaism may seem profane, even blasphemous, at first blush, it has a firm basis in scripture.

Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel

David Gordis Tikkun
An amazing turn for a major leader of the American Jewish mainstream - David Gordis rethinking view of Israel. He writes: Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities...and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.

Overcoming Jewish America's Israel Fantasy

Lisa Goldman +972 Magazine
The idea of Israel has long been an integral part of Jewish-American identity. But with a generational change among American Jews and increasingly stark political differences with Israel's leadership, could this be the dawn of a new era?

What Americans Thought of Jewish Refugees on the Eve of World War II

Ishaan Tharoor Washington Post
1938-five years after Hitler came to power, after the beginning of the "Final Solution", Jewish refugees were denied entry into the United States. Then it was anti-Semitism and fear of European radicals and communists; today it is anti-Muslim hysteria. Then the U.S. closed its' eyes to the Holocaust; today GOP governors and congressmen are closing the borders while over 250,000 have died in Syria, there are over 3 million refugees and 6.5 million are internally displaced

"Broken Window Policies" are Discriminatory and Should be Opposed in U.S., Israel

M. Dove Kent, Donna Nevel, Rebecca Vilkomerson Tikkun Daily
As Jewish New Yorkers, we firmly believe that no community can ever be safe through the oppression of another. Your advocacy of broken windows policing while in Israel reinforces the Israeli government's ongoing policies of discrimination against Palestinians. The military occupation of Palestinian communities, political and economic exclusion ...and discriminatory and violent policing by the military and police do not increase the safety of the Jewish people.

On the Iran Deal, American Jewish ‘Leaders’ Don’t Speak for Most Jews

Todd Gitlin and Steven M. Cohen Washington Post
More than three-fifths of American Jews who express an opinion support the Iran deal, compared with a bit more than half of Americans overall. But among the official “Jewish leaders,” this is hardly the case. Plainly, the idea that American Jews speak as a monolithic bloc needs early retirement. So does the idea that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads, or represents, the world’s Jews.
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