The Hack’s Gospel
When the self-dubbed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group J Street came to the University of Chicago to help set up a campus chapter last fall, I spoke to one of the directors of the new organization’s college operation. I thought perhaps a group catering to pro-Israel progressives might serve as a salutary partner in the coalition I was trying, as a second year undergraduate, to assemble against the delegitimization of Israel on campus.
The J Street operative was, it turned out, utterly uninterested in establishing a friendly relationship with a preexisting Zionist group on campus. Instead, he voiced his befuddlement as to why I refused to join J Street. I began to explain how, as someone who came of age during the second intifada, I believed Israel faced a special peril in the international pressure upon it to trade land (something tangible) for promises (something not). In response, he cut to what he believed to be the chase: Didn’t I understand that the occupation of the Palestinian lands was a “moral catastrophe”?
About the Author
Jeremy Rozansky is a student at the University of Chicago, where he co-edits the magazine Counterpoint. This is his first piece for Commentary.