To Serve or not to Serve

A listserve hosted by Bridges, a journal for “Jewish feminists and their friends” that has about 400 subscribers, is a forum for, among other topics, promoting peace activism In Israel, which many find controversial. This past summer, when the discussion turned contentious, moderator Clare Kinberg suspended the list for a month and a half.

It all started with a posting about a yizkor [memorial] book that a list member was compiling containing the names of the Israeli Jews who had died In the past year as a result of the violence. When another participant responded that It was only fair for the names of Palestinians who have been killed to also be Included, tempers began to flare. “Do you think I’m breaking some sportsman’s rule by crying for Jews who have been killed?” one woman demanded. Another writer said that she was “appalled by the Jewish denial of Israel’s rights.” And another called members of the list “self-hating Jews who are quick to rush to yell about ‘Israeli atrocities’ but who conveniently forget about the Jews who were brutally murdered.”

When Kinberg reopened the list In September, she said that for those whose main reason for participating was to argue against information about the Israeli peace movement, “I hope you will unsub yourself.”