stand with whom?

I got a very kind letter from an organization called, inviting me to work with them on helping Jews more “persuasively justify the Jews’ right to Israel.”

I don’t have time to work on any more committees, anyway, but – after reviewing the material on their website – here’s the response I sent them:

Dear Roz,

Thanks for your letter and kind words. I appreciate your efforts to help Jews and others articulate a more balanced understanding of the crisis in the Middle East. The facts you offer those of us engaging in such discussions are quite useful.

I’m not really sure how much I could collaborate with, however. I’m quite overwhelmed with my current associations, writing, teaching, traveling, lecturing, and documentary-making.

In addition, while I support a safe Israel I don’t believe that distributing propaganda that ultimately demonizes Palestinians is going to do much to help Israel’s public image. I feel the way to change public opinion will be through action.

I suppose this puts me on the so-called ‘left’ in this debate. And yes, I’m a contributor to Tony Kushner’s new “Wrestling with Zion,” looking for more progressive solutions to this needlessly polarized struggle. This doesn’t mean I think it’s “our fault” or that the terrorists aren’t wrong for blowing people up. It only means that I think the solution will require transcending sides, altogether.

Perhaps that’s more than you wanted to hear. In any case, I am glad for the data, if a little less so for the tone in which it is contextualized. Although I don’t have time to develop ideas with you further, I do wish you luck in bringing more questioning, debate, and truth to the table.

all my best,