There is no shortage of people willing to take a credit for the Soviet Jewry movement. Take it from me. I know this to be true. While on tour with my book, I don’t remember a single reading where someone in the audience didn’t chew me out about why their Uncle Murray wasn’t included in the story and that he – he! – was the true savior of the Soviet Jews.
But there is one person who has never really taken a bow for all she did to inspire the movement and keep it going: Avital Sharansky, wife of the imprisoned refusenik, Anatoly (now Natan), who was wrongfully accused of being a CIA agent in 1977 and sentenced to 13 years in prison and labor camps. Throughout the years of Sharansky’s imprisonment, Avital traveled the world on his behalf, leading demonstrations, meeting with world leaders, appearing at rallies next to the likes of Charlton Heston and Joan Baez. Telegenic, emotional, and possessing a particular charisma, Avital was even dubbed by Washington Post columnist, Sally Quinn, “the Israeli Audrey Hepburn.”
But in February 1986, Sharansky was freed and Avital immediately retreated from the public eye. As ubiquitous as she seemed for so many years, she suddenly went silent, fulfilling, presumably, the dream she had articulated again and again – to make a home, raise children, live a quiet life.
Until last night. After almost three decades of refusing any honors or plaudits, Avital was given the Emma Lazarus award by the American Jewish Historical Society. The evening was an opportunity to highlight her unique role in the movement and – most movingly – to hear her voice again.
Greetings! This week’s quiz takes us off on a hot date and then plunges into debt with a high-flying company that tanked. Plus we visit Milan for a treat, Senegal for a surprise and Brooklyn for a scare — and not just from the apartment prices. Take our quiz!
Last weekend, I was detained for 10 hours and then deported back to the U.S. after flying to Panama for a weeklong vacation. I’m starting to get over the sheer frustration about the experience, which was caused by a Panamanian rule that visitors must have at least three months on their passports to gain entry to the country. In truth, it was my fault for not knowing the rules of the country I hoped to visit.
Frustration aside, it was a learning experience for me. Ironically, I’m in the midst of promoting a campaign to get the Israeli government to release African asylum seekers from detention, where they are being indefinitely imprisoned without any chance of applying for refugee status. The campaign is called Release Now!
During my hours in detention in Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, I saw some things that really made me angry. I was treated particularly well in comparison to everyone else in detention. But that was obviously because I was able to lobby for my rights; and also because I kept mentioning that I’m a human rights activist. Thus, I was allowed to get food twice and to make phone calls three times, while others were not given such privileges.
What upset me most was the treatment of black men from Africa and elsewhere who were the majority of detainees — a potent reminder of the racism they face around the world, including in Israel.
There was one man from South Africa who was actually a Somali with full refugee status in South Africa. He worked in the tourism industry and was being sent to Panama by his company for two weeks. He had visited the Panamian consulate in South Africa and they had given him permission and documentation to enter the country. The authorities at the airport chose to deport him but did not explain why.
Another man from Haiti did not understand that he was being taken to a hotel overnight and then deported the next day. He only spoke French.
Ari Mandel says heaven can wait, eBay can keep its rules — and one deep-pocketed online bidder can keep his or her $100,000.
The Jewish man who sparked a frenzied day of bidding by auctioning off a prime spot in heaven — a spiral that reached six figures before the online giant shut it down — insists the whole thing was a big joke.
“Disappointed? No. It was a joke that ran away from me, and sure, why not?” said Mandel, 31, of Teaneck, N.J. “When it reached $100,000 I didn’t really expect to get that money.”
“It was nice to fantasize,” he added. “But I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
Mandel said he had no idea his auction would turn into an internet sensation.
“I’m not a master prankster,” he said. “This idea just popped in my head and I jumped on it.”
Some in the ultra-Orthodox world apparently believed he was mocking their faith. But Mandel says his auction, which was peppered with references to Yiddish phrases and referred to common Jewish beliefs, was a good-natured joke.
“To those of you who took this seriously, chill out. It was just a joke,” he said. “Whether or not you’re a believer in this sort of thing, chill out.”
Mandel was raised in an ultra-Orthodox community in upstate New York but left the community about seven years ago. He is now a divorced father of one child and a student who works as a part-time translator.
He posted “My Portion in Olam Habaah (Heaven)” on eBay Tuesday morning asking for an opening bid of a modest 99 cents.
Want to make sure you land a spot in heaven?
No need to bother yourself with fulfilling commandments or doing good deeds. But it’s definitely going to cost you plenty.
Bidders flooded eBay with bids for “My Portion in Olam Habaah (Heaven),” which has been listed for sale by a Jewish man from Teaneck, N.J. The price started at 99 cents and skyrocketed within hours to nearly $100,000.
Then the online auction giant took down the listing, citing rules that require items for sale must be “tangible.”
Read exclusive interview with Ari Mandel. It was all a joke, he insists.
The seller gives his name as Rachmuna Litzlon, which means “God save us” in Aramaic. In real life, his name is Ari Mandel, and even though he has left the Orthodox world, he vows that he has accumulated enough good deeds to ensure a prime spot in the hereafter.
Mandel isn’t surprised that a place in heaven is so valuable to those in the ultra-Orthodox community, since all aspects of Haredi life are focused on getting there.
“The narrative goes, ‘We don’t live these fancy extravagant lives or like the (non-Jews) because our reward is in the next world. Everything we do is collecting credits for the world to come,’“ Mandel said in an interview.
There is no longer a Jewish community in Pristina, the capital of the newly independent country of Kosovo. Through flight, deportation, aliyah, and intermarriage, Jewish Pristina has over the past seventy years gradually diminished into non-existence.
During the era when Kosovo formed part of Yugoslavia, the government in Belgrade did not do much to discourage this trend. In fact, in 1963 as part of an effort to rationalize the centre of Pristina, the authorities demolished swaths of the city’s historic centre, including many Ottoman-era houses, a covered market, and various holy places including Pristina’s only synagogue. The gradual exodus of Jews thus came with an erasure of their physical presence.
Since independence in 2008, however, the new government of the Republic of Kosovo has sought to memorialize Pristina’s Jewish history. Not only does the government view such efforts as essential to Kosovo becoming a nation integrated into Europe, but it understands the parallels between the histories of Jews and Kosovar Albanians, both as persecuted peoples, peoples who have been the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and peoples whose ambitions at statehood have been rejected by the rest of their respective neighborhoods.
This process began in the summer of 2011, when students from Dartmouth and the American University in Pristina cooperated on an exploration of genocide, an exercise which culminated in the renovation of the city’s small Jewish cemetery. A new entrance was constructed, the site tidied, and the gravestones repaired, renovated, and replaced to their original location, the shards and slabs having previously been littered around and about.
But a few months later, the site was vandalised by neo-Nazis who spray-painted swastikas on the freshly-repaired gravestones, adding the words “Juden Raus” for good measure. Within 48 hours, municipal authorities cleaned the site. Today, while the grass has grown long around the burial places, the stones themselves – some of which are more than 100 years old – remain in place and intact.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, today is your last day to submit your six word tribute on your Jewish father or grandfather.
The Forward’s six-word memoir project is conducted in conjunction with Larry Smith, editor of SMITH Magazine, home of the Six-Word Memoir®. Larry and the Forward staff will pick our 12 favorites and publish them in the Forward for Father’s Day. Those people will receive a copy of the new book “Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life,” published in collaboration with the Jewish cultural mavens at Reboot.
For inspiration, here are a few examples about Jewish fathers culled from SMITH Magazine’s library of six-word memoirs. For more examples, check out smithmag.net/jewish. Please enter the form below before 6:00 today.
Putz! Schmuck! Noodnik! Nebbish!” “Sheket, Dad!”
— Jim Gladstone
Displaced dad makes smoked meat sandwich.
— Hal Niedzviecki
Zayde refuses to die without great-grandchildren.
— Leslie Stonebraker
Yes, Dad, we have enough food.
— Alan D. Abbey
Catholic dad, Jewish daughters. Just right.
— Chris Bruhl
Living on LES. Zayde would plotz.
— Debra Darvick
“The Pines is to gay people what Israel is to Jews. It’s the spiritual homeland.”
That’s how journalist-turned developer Andrew Kirtzman described The Pines, a largely gay male enclave on idyllic Fire Island, the 31-mile-long strip of land just south of Long Island, about a 1-1/2-hour drive east of New York City.
“There’s just a sense of history in the air, almost tangible but not quite,” Kirtzman told The New York Times this week as Fire Island continues recovering from Hurricane Sandy. “You just feel like you’re part of some kind of grand creation meant solely for gays.”
How do Fire Island and Israel stack up? With Kirtzman’s claim in mind, The Forward investigated.
Size: 31 square miles
Anthem: Fire Island, (Village People, 1977)
Daily ritual: High Tea at the Pavilion
Boldface names: Calvin Klein, David Geffen
Getting there: Ferry $8.25
Real estate: 2 BR bungalow $595K
Slogan: The Gayest Island in the World
Michael Lucas porn film: “Fire Island Cruising”
When the Church of Scotland decided to revise its controversial and borderline anti-Semitic report on Israel and the Palestinians, it only really had to do three things.
First, the Kirk, as the church is widely know, had to make clear it understood what Zionism actually is. Not, as they originally stated, a solely religious ideology. But rather, a diverse movement encompassing a multitude of dreams including many secular ones.
Second, it had to repeal all claims that smacked of Christian supremacism.
Third, it needed to delete or at the very least rewrite the passages on the Holocaust, ones which previously asserted that Jews must “stop thinking of themselves as victims and special” and ‘repent’ for the displacement of Palestinians during the Wars of Independence.
The revised version of “The Inheritance of Abraham” has just been made public, and it comes up short on all three tests. Despite the stubborn shortcomings though, at the very least, the report’s new preface indicates that the Church of Scotland knows it did something very wrong the first time around.
“The country of Israel is a recognised State and has the right to exist in peace and security,” it now states as a matter of fact. “We reject racism and religious hatred. We condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will always condemn acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation.”
It’s not much, but it needed to be said.
We have watched the meteoric rise of Benjamin Netanyahu’s nemesis in the ruling Likud party with considerable interest. Moshe Feiglin has been battling for years to represent the party in Knesset for years, and finally in this year’s general election, he was too strong for the party establishment to stop him.
However, his fight was never just for a Knesset seat, but to institute his agenda in the party — and he seemed of recent to be making progress. This week, however, Feiglin finds himself more marginalized in his party than for years, and stripped of his position on an important Knesset committee.
Close to the top of Feiglin’s agenda is the issue of Temple Mount — he ascends monthly, and strongly argues against the site’s management by a Muslim trust and against the Israeli regulation that Jews can’t pray publicly there.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu banned Feiglin from going to the Mount, claiming that given his lawmaker credentials his visits there could prove a threat to public security. Feiglin reacted by suspending himself from the coalition. “I knew there would eventually be a crisis of confidence between me and the coalition over one diplomatic move or another, but I certainly did not think it would come so soon,” he said..
With no end in sight to his coalition rebellion, he has been replaced on the Knesset Education Committee. But there’s no sympathy from the rest of Likud, even lawmakers who are ideologically drawn to Feiglin’s position on Temple Mount.
Why? Because Netanyahu has strategically brought other right-wingers in the party close to him. For example, the keen rightist Yariv Levin, who would’ve been an obvious candidate to side with Feiglin, is now the coalition chairman whose job it is to discipline Feiglin for his boss Bibi. And Levin is also his replacement on the Education Committee.
It seems that Netanyahu has used the Temple Mount, the cause that many expected Feiglin to employ to catapult his political career forward, to rein him in.
So Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that publishing lists of Jews is a bad idea. The fiercely smart, often snarky and well-travelled columnist is with Bloomberg Views now, and wrote a provocative piece calling on the Jerusalem Post and the Forward to, in his words, stop with the ranking, already.
The occasion for his complaint was the publication of the Jerusalem Post’s annual ranking of the world’s 50 most influential Jews. (Alas, I am not on it. Neither is Goldberg. This year.) The Forward 50, our list of the Jews who we believe had the greatest impact on the American Jewish story in any given year, is generally published in early November.
“Why are these publications aping a practice of non-Jews — singling out Jews for their special prominence in society?” he asks.
Well, the short answer is: We are Jewish publications! As any Bubbe would ask: You want I should publish a list of non-Jews?
There’s something about the number six in Judaism. God created the world in six days. Six times three is 18 — meaning Chai, or “life” in Hebrew. And six is the number of words we’re asking you to write about your father or grandfather in advance of Father’s Day. What better Jewish tribute to the man who raised you?
That’s right, the Forward is partnering with Larry Smith, editor of SMITH Magazine, home of the Six-Word Memoir®, to launch our latest six-word challenge. Submit your six-word memoir on your father or grandfather below before May 29th. Larry and the Forward staff will pick our 12 favorites and publish them in the Forward for Father’s Day. Those people will receive a copy of the new book “Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life,” published in collaboration with the Jewish cultural mavens at Reboot.
Need some help getting the wheels turning? Check out these examples from SMITH Magazine’s library of six-word memoirs. For more examples, check out smithmag.net/jewish
Dad? Italian. Mom? Jewish. Me? Curly.
— Dave Cirilli
Matzo on Easter? Meet Father Gelfenbien.
— Robin Gelfenbien
My father is a rabbi: therapy.
— David Wolkin
Mother: Psychiatrist. Father: Lawyer. Definitely Jewish.
— Mike Gannon
Jewish father. Goy mother. Jewish soul.
— Nicki Moffat
“Dad, six Jewish words?” “Enough, Sandi!”
— Sandi DuBowski & Elliot DuBowski
What do Mel Gibson, Joyce Brothers, Barbra Streisand and Stephen Hawking have in common? Almost nothing! And yet, here they are, all together in this week’s news quiz, along with Isabella Rossellini, Anthony Weiner and the Zionist Organization of America. It’s got all the makings of a terrible movie — but a great quiz!
Anthony Weiner’s entry into the New York City mayoral contest further crowds a packed Democratic primary field and gives the race its first major Jewish candidate.
The disgraced ex-lawmaker, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after he sent racy pictures of himself to women online, announced his comeback candidacy in a YouTube video posted late Tuesday.
He enters the race late, giving opponents a major head start in building constituencies and attracting support. He also faces steep hurdles in overcoming the still-fresh sexting scandal.
A Quinnipiac poll posted today found that 49% of New York City voters think that Weiner should not run for mayor.
Jewish political insiders say that it may be too late for Weiner to amass major Jewish support, particularly in Brooklyn’s large Orthodox community. Orthodox political operatives are already long-committed to Weiner’s Democratic opponents.
“I think [Christine] Quinn, [Bill] de Blasio and [Bill] Thompson all have made major inroads into the Orthodox community,” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of the Friedlander Group, a political consultancy, who backs Quinn in the race. “Weiner at one point was very popular and energetic representative for the community, but it’s going to be quite difficult for him to carve out his niche.”
You can’t call me an anti-Semite. My grandparents were Jewish.
That’s the message from newly elected Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, who rejected charges of anti-Semitism by revealing his Jewish roots in an interview with pro-government news site Apporea.
But even if the Venezuelan president is a member of the tribe, some observers are questioning his intentions.
“Why is Maduro so interested in making a claim about Jewish ancestry? If it’s true he will have to prove it,” said Caracas-born Yolanda Potasinski, whose family “helped establish the Jewish community” there after emigrating from Poland and Austria.
“I’m suspicious of his motives. He was handpicked by a predecessor who hated Jews and surrounded himself with leaders of other countries who are anti-Semites. Maduro is following in the footsteps of Chavez,” said Potasinski, who emigrated to New York 20 years ago, is now executive director of LGBT synagogue Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan. “We know the name Maduro has Jewish origins but I think his grandparents might have been baptized.”
After the head of the Latin American Jewish Congress accused Venezuela of “driving the rise of anti-Semitism in the region”, Maduro hit back by revealing his Hebraic roots.
“My grandparents were Jewish, from a Moorish background, who converted to Catholicism in Venezuela … The mother of [Minister of Communication and Information] Ernesto Villegas, also comes from that tradition,” according to a transcript on ArutzSheva.
A Romanian opera singer dressed like Dracula and wailing falsetto. Dancers in a Perspex boxes and drummers dosed in baby oil. Moustachioed Greeks dancing and singing about the joys of free alcohol. A Russian plea for world peace in three minutes with a key change.
In case you missed it, that was the Eurovision Song Contest, Europe’s annual festival of music, costumes, and lights that at once unites, divides, and simply baffles the continent. And the winner wasn’t half bad this year. Denmark’s Emmilie de Forest sang “Only Teardrops,” a steady tune with a smattering of drums and Celtic pipes, and won 281 points, including the maximum points from eight countries, beating out Azerbaijan and the Ukraine respectively.
Absent once more from the spectacle was Israel. Since Harel Skaat placed 14th in the 2010 final with “Milim” (“Words”), Israel has failed to make it out of the semi-finals on three successive occasions. This year, Israel entered the talented if unknown reality show winner Moran Mazor, and her ballad “Rak bishvilo” (“Only for him”) fell flat in the semi-final, finishing 14th out of 17 acts.
For its size, Israel has a very strong record in Eurovision. Since it first entered in 1973, Israel has won on three occasions – including back-to-back in 1978 and 1979 with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” and “Hallelujah” – and has come second twice and third once. This is more remarkable given Israel hasn’t even submitted an entry every year, missing the contest when it has fallen on the memorial days Yom HaShoah or Yom Hazikaron.
Are Jews genetically homogenous? Though it’s certainly been a loaded question historically, the quandary has been the domain of scientists for a number of years now, all of whom have pretty much come up with the same answer: yes. But that was before Eran Elhaik entered the picture. An Israeli molecular geneticist, Elhaik is interested, it seems, not just in doing science, but in reveling in his role as a spoiler.
As a Forward story recently described it, he has written a report that claims Ashkenazi Jews are descendent from Khazars, a Turkic people from the Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the eighth century. This flies in the face of that established genetic research, which did prove a continuous genetic link between Ashkenazi Jews and the Middle East, positing that they descended from Jews who fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century. As Elhaik put it in the article, he sees this fairly well accepted theory as “nonsense.”
Perhaps to be expected, the comments section of this article became a microcosm for all the heated emotion that this issue inspires. Elhaik himself even jumped into the fray.
The person who kicked off the fierce debate was Jon Entine, who wrote a book, “Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People”, which presents the more established reading of Jewish genetic history. He also runs the Genetic Literacy Project at George Mason University. Entine insisted that the evidence is “incontrovertible”: “Ashkenazi Jewry is a coherent population, much like blacks descended from western Africa, the Amish or Icelanders.” Pointing out the Caucasian/Asiatic markers on his own chromosome – which he says typically makes up 20% of Ashkenazi genes – Entine says this might be because of the Khazar conversion, which took place among the elites of Khazaria and not the general population, as Elhaik contends. “When Khazaria collapsed, a fraction of the elite integrated themselves into the then tiny Eastern European Jewish communities,” Entine notes. “Today’s percentage of Khazarian like markers is congruent with the extrapolation of that core group to the founding of Ashkenazi Jewry in the 12-14 centuries, when Jews in Eastern Europe numbered only 15,000-20,000.” In other words, he writes, “Elhaik is just wrong.”
And Entine has a bigger point. He thinks that what really troubles Elhaik is the notion of Judaism as being tribally or ethnically founded in any way:
For those of you pulling out your hair over suggestions that modern Judaism has “racial roots,” get a grip. Christianity and Islam are faith-based religions…anyone can join at a proverbial drop of a hat. Judaism has never been just a faith based religion. It’s a triple helix: belief in god (yet many Jews are atheists/agnostics); belief in the state of Israel as a founding principle of our religion; and recognition of our “blood” connection to fellow Jews. Judaism is one of only two surviving tribal religions (Zoroastrianism, which shares many tribal attributes with Judaism is the other). All or any of those qualities can define one as a Jew. But one can’t just junk the “blood” part in an attempt to be “modern”–that’s an abandonment of a central tenet of what makes us Jewish.
This is when Elhaik chimes in. For him, Entine has revealed his own prejudice in his comments: “I would like to thank Jon Entine for disclosing his scientific guidelines for studying Judaism as believe in God (though it is ok not to), patriotism (though living afar is also okay), and the purity of the blood line…Not surprisingly, the last two scientific principles of Entine share a common ground with the Nazi ideology. While this may makes sense to some people and may fit with their belief, for those of us who actually practice science this is mere nonsense.”
The only thing that matters to Elhaik, the only point of his research, he says, is to discover the cure for genetic disorders in Jews and non-Jews. Identifying the correct genetic provenance of Jews will help find cures for diseases. “Today, we still don’t understand genetic diseases nor do we have a cure (for a large number of them),” Elhaik writes. “Non-Jews who have ‘Jews-only diseases’ are misdiagnosed because they are not Jews. There are serious problems requiring serious solution. The only method that works is the scientific method.”
The frustrating aspect of scientific debates (for us, outside observers, that is) is that both sides assume objective fact is on their side, and so they never really engage with each other’s arguments. As Entine has the last word, this tussle in the comments section is no different. They both seem to be talking past each other:
Elhaik is young enough and immature enough to be a young son of mine. All his rants aside, Judaism is a modernized version of a tribal religion, a fact thatshows up in the genes of Jews, across a range of disease and other traits. Elhaik, in either his overheated “academic” article or his posts just does not come across as a serious intellect. I have not found a mainstream geneticist who thinks much of his analytical ability let alone his care in assembling and analyzing genetic data. Sorry…just stating the facts.
Mark Carson was a 32-year-old gay man in New York City, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The place is one familiar to many New Yorkers: the busy corner of 6th Avenue and 8th Street, in Greenwich Village. Just two blocks from the famous Stonewall Inn, Carson talked back to the wrong homophobe, and was shot dead last Friday night.
The expressions of outrage that followed have been both appropriate and predictable. Less predictable, at least from a Jewish point of view, have been the expressions of surprise: many people, straight and LGBT, took to the blogosophere to say how astonished they were that such violence could still be possible, in this day and age.
Really? Consider what would have happened had Carson been targeted for being Jewish, instead of being gay. Shock, outrage, and condemnation would surely pour in from all quarters. But surprise? Probably not. We Jews are used to persecution, and we see it even when it isn’t there. So when it is, it’s a confirmation of our sense of persecution, not a shock to our sense of imperviousness.
That anti-gay violence continues should not be a surprise. The advent of civil rights for African Americans did not end racial violence, still widespread nearly fifty years after the Civil Rights Act. Feminism has not ended violence against women. Indeed, from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, to echo President Obama’s historic turn of phrase, legal inequality is only the tip of the iceberg. Submerged beneath it are deep-seated patterns of injustice, privilege, prejudice, and fear.
Israel has the highest poverty rate in the developed world. Some 21% of Israelis were poor as of 2010, more than in any of the other 33 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, its new report reveals.
Compare this figure with where Israel stood in 2000 and the picture is stark — back then the poverty figure was 15%.
The question is, where does Israel go from here/ Israel’s cabinet has just passed an austerity budget that curs spending across government ministries, and will eat away at some important welfare payments.
Israel was delighted back in 2011 when it was admitted to the OECD. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that it was a “seal of approval” for Israel’s economy. But what of the critique that the kudos came with?
“Countries get the poverty rate they are prepared to pay for,” Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general, said at a roundtable with Israel’s then-finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, just over two years ago. “If Israel is to cut poverty and reduce inequality, it will have to not only shift the composition of social spending, toward more cost-effective benefits, but also increase its investment in this area.”
Have poverty figures dropped since Israel joined the OECD? The new figures don’t tell us, but given that changes in policy to decrease inequality have been minimal, it looks unlikely. And with the austerity budget about to pass, gaps looks set to widen.
One of the new budget’s clauses is a cut in child allowances — payments that the Knesset Research and Information Center has just reported represent a staggering 28% of the income of Israel’s poorest decile.
Three years in to Israel’s membership of the OECD one can’t help but feel that it has taken the prestige of OECD membership and run with it, the country hasn’t done so much listening and learning.
British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking waded into the Israel debate last week by announcing his decision to boycott an academic conference. Eli Valley, the Forward’s artist in residence, offers his own unique graphic take on the controversy.
Got wheels, Mr. Hawking?