Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Poets Protest J Street Cancellation

Plays are slated to take their place

Print Email

Three poets whose appearances were canceled at next week’s J Street conference in Washington aren’t happy about the situation—and they’re making sure people know it. The cancellation came last weekend, after Weekly Standard blogger Michael Goldfarb kicked up conservative ire over some of the poets’ work.

“If you’re trying to be an alternative to AIPAC, don’t behave like AIPAC,” poet Josh Healey, who was targeted by Goldfarb for comparing Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews, told Haaretz in an interview. Healey and his colleague Kevin Coval, who was criticized for comparing Israel to a whore, issued a long statement accusing J Street’s leadership of “caving in” to what they described as a McCarthyite witch hunt. (J Street officials explained on Monday that they were concerned about crossing the line between being provocative and offensive.)

Meanwhile, Tracy Soren—at 22, the youngest of the three, and just beginning her career as a professional poet—contacted Tablet Magazine to say she was surprised to have been caught up in the whole episode. “I’m not pleased with how this has gone,” said Soren in an interview, who focuses on sexual politics in her poetry and had planned to read a piece about an American trying to understand her Israeli lover’s experience on the battlefield. “I do feel [J Street] went along with the political right, and even though they have to choose their battles, I’m not surprised poetry was the first thing that got cut.”

Soren, who said she was active in her B’nai B’rith youth group as a high-schooler in Queens, added that she’d decided to skip the conference, even though organizers had assured her she was still welcome to attend. “The real issue here is that there’s no space for discussion,” Soren said. “Judaism teaches us to question things, and this was supposed to be a forum to question the conflict and not be called bad Jews. What I’m hoping comes out of this is that those who have been opposing what I was going to say see the peace within it, and that it’s more pro-Israel and pro-humanity than anything else.”

The poetry session will be replaced with a program of excerpts from productions staged by Theater J, a program run by the Jewish Community Center in Washington, D.C. Theater director Ari Roth, who was slated to moderate the poetry session, told Tablet he has proposed staging excerpts from four plays: David Hare’s 2000 play Via Dolorosa; Hare’s monologue Wall, published earlier this year in the New York Review of Books and performed at New York’s Public Theater; Motti Lerner’s Pangs of the Messiah; and Hillel Mitelpunkt’s The Accident.

J Street Conference Sessions [J Street]
Earlier: J Street Cancels Poetry Session [Tablet]

Print Email

You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

I’ve said that least 3527518 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

Perfect piece of work you have done, this site is really cool with good information.

Great post.Such intriguing read and data, thanks for sharing this post, I??ve already bookmarked your weblog. I can see that you might be putting many time and effort into your weblog and detailed articles!

Very informative and superb complex body part of content material, now that’s user pleasant (:.

Hello there, I found your website via Google while searching for a similar subject, your site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. Thanks For Share ちんぽ エロ動画アダルト画像エッチセッã

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Poets Protest J Street Cancellation

Plays are slated to take their place

More on Tablet:

How Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk Cashed a Big, Fat $14.8 Million Check From Qatar

By Lee Smith — One Middle Eastern nation does indeed pay to influence U.S. foreign policy. Hint: It’s not Israel.