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Beinart v. Gordis, TONIGHT, Livestreaming

Watch the debate from your computer; plus, the many, many reviews

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(Erik Mace)

If you can make it to tonight’s big debate between Peter Beinart and Daniel Gordis over whether “Zionism is a failing experiment—and American Jews are hastening its decline,” co-sponsored by Tablet Magazine and the Columbia Current and located at Columbia’s Kraft Center in Morningside Heights, we’ll see you there.

If you can’t, you can watch the whole thing here as it happens.

You can also follow our livetweeting @tabletmag. Should you choose to partake of the 140 words yourself, do use the hashtag #BeinartVGordis.

If you want some prep, well, you should read The Crisis of Zionism. If don’t have time for that, I’ve posted a fairly complete list of reviews of this many-reviewed book, in roughly chronological order and ranked from 1 (extremely negative) to 10 (extremely positive), after the jump. To editorialize only for the merest second, the review I’d most align myself with is Gal Beckerman’s.


• Jacob Heilbrunn (8). [The National Interest]

• Jordan Chandler Hirsch (2). [Jewish Review of Books]

• Gary Rosenblatt (3). [NY Jewish Week]

• Anonymous (7). [The Economist]

• Rabbi David Wolpe (3). [Jewish Journal]

• Bret Stephens (1). [Tablet Magazine] [Beinart’s response]

• Gal Beckerman (3)*. [Forward]

• Shaul Magid (7). [Religious Dispatches]

• Austin Branion (4) [Mondoweiss]

• Tablet editor-in-chief Alana Newhouse (3). [WP]

• Joseph Dana (7). [The National]

• Claude R. Marx (5). [Washington Times]

• Nextbook Press editor Jonathan Rosen (1). [NYTBR] [Beinart’s response, Beinart’s response]

Did I miss any? (I’m sure I did.) Put them in the comments!

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vageiger says:

Mr. Beinart I am writing this in response to your debate with Giudis (sp). Please explain why I as a 4th generation Floridian, should care what happens to Israel. Israel has nuclear weapons, no one is going to destroy the Jewish, democratic, state of Israel. So please explain why I as an american should be watching a debate between you and Giudis (sp) in New York and not Tel Aviv? everything in the debate was about Israel, nothing about America, american interests, and where my american tax payer dollars go and what I get for those dollars. I have to admit, after listening to the debate, that my only wish is that it was not an issue that I cared about, so explain to me why I should care. We put our Native Americans on reservations, they lost, we won. I do not want to support the same for Israelis. Please explain why I should give my money for this.

As an Israeli I am keenly interested in this debate and would like know if the video was recorded and will be available to watch?

One observation: besides their political differences, the other key difference between Beinart and Gordis is that Gordis lives in Israel, while Beinart does not. Hence, Gordis experiences Israel every day while Beinart is a spectator. After having made aliyah not so long ago from the US, I can say with full certainty that this is an enormous difference that greatly colors one’s perspectives and understanding of Israeli realities.

The fact that this debate was aired at a very inconvenient time for those of us residing in the state in question sends a message about whose opinion carries more weight.
I second the request for an online recording.


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Beinart v. Gordis, TONIGHT, Livestreaming

Watch the debate from your computer; plus, the many, many reviews

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