Jeff Goldberg, Mohamed Morsi, and Gil Troy Walk Into A Bar: Two New Posts on OZ

In the first, Jeff Goldberg complains that Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi wouldn’t give him a straight answer on women or Christians in the Egyptian government, and on the same day, it’s announced there’ll be a female vice president and a Christian vie president in Morsi’s government:

On Monday, after Mohamed Morsi had been declared the winner of Egypt’s presidential elections, Jeff Goldberg quoted his interview with Morsi from last year, in which Morsi ducked questions about whether the Muslim Brotherhood could support a Christian or woman for president.

From this, Goldberg concluded that, while the Brotherhood’s leaders have “proved somewhat adept at playing politics,” nevertheless the organization rigidly adheres to its creed: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Well, it seems Goldberg’s “somewhat adept” turns out to be a bit of an understatement. Because, you see, on that very same Monday, his policy advisor Ahmed Deif told CNN that the president-elect will appoint a woman as one of his vice-presidents, and a Christian as another. So much for ducking the question.

To find out what this means, read the rest.

And in the second, I tackle Gil Troy’s accusation that Open Zion plays into the hands of Palestinians propagandists by not covering day-to-day, quotidian, Israeli life. Key grafs:

And that’s the really infuriating part of Gil’s critique for me. I have those stories. I learned at an Israeli yeshiva for a year, took runs on the slopes of Mount Gilboa, talked to friends in my broken Hebrew about their psychometric tests, and, while hitchhiking, discussed the finer points of the Miami Boys Choir with settlers. Heck, I have stories about how movingly the Haredim pray (seriously, there’s this guy in Nachlaot with the most amazing nusach). In August, I’m going back to Israel for another year.

And frankly, if my partner weren’t a female rabbinical student, for whom Israel would be a professional hell, I might think about making aliyah. Though I guess I shouldn’t say that, because I’m straying from the “poetry of the everyday” and into politics. Whoops.

I don’t avoid the everyday, Gil. I write about what I think is urgent: the occupation, anti-democratic legislation, African refugees. I write about that stuff because it’s what confines, twists, and warps the everyday. When the government quietly transfers 250,000 Palestinians, most of whom went abroad to get degrees, that’s 250,000 lives worth of Kodak moments Israel loses. When Israel dismantles the Palestinian village of Susya, a whole lot of soccer games get interrupted. When Eli Yishai says Israel belongs to “us, the white man,” well, there are results for ordinary people.

Read the rest.

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