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Beinart and Gordis Debate Next Week

New York City bout, moderated by Tablet Magazine’s Bari Weiss

by
Marc Tracy
April 25, 2012
(Erik Mace)

(Erik Mace)

Next Wednesday, May 2, and totally free, come to Columbia’s Kraft Center on the upper Upper West Side for a battle royale, presented by Tablet Magazine and The Columbia Current, as two contestants debate the following proposition: “Zionism is a failing experiment—and American Jews are hastening its decline.”

In this corner: Daniel Gordis, of Israel’s Shalem Center. He wrote a stinging rejoinder to Beinart’s call for “Zionist BDS,” a boycott of settlement-made products. He accused Beinart of naïveté—about Israel, about the Palestinians, and about Jewish power. He also blamed Beinart for ignoring history: “In Beinart-land, the past is a blank screen,” he wrote. “All that matters is the unbearable heaviness of being in the present.”

In the other corner: In his reply to Gordis’ polemic, he alleged that Gordis had played fast and loose with what Beinart actually wrote. “For Gordis to ignore passages like this (and there are plenty of others) and declare that I ‘detest’ Israel represents a blatant act of deception,” pleaded Beinart.

Refereeing: Tablet Magazine News & Politics editor Bari Weiss, who will ensure a good, clean, but robust fight.

In other words, should be fun! Non-New Yorkers: Check back here for information about how to catch the debate live on Tablet’s Facebook page.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.