In We Are Not One, historian Eric Alterman traces this debate from its nineteenth-century origins. Following Israel’s 1948–1949 War of Independence (called the “nakba” or “catastrophe” by Palestinians), few Americans, including few Jews, paid much attention to Israel or the challenges it faced. Following the 1967 Six-Day War, however, almost overnight support for Israel became the primary component of American Jews’ collective identity. Over time, Jewish organizations joined forces with conservative Christians and neoconservative pundits and politicos to wage a tenacious fight to define Israel’s image in the US media, popular culture, Congress, and college campuses. Deeply researched, We Are Not One reveals how our consensus on Israel and Palestine emerged and why, today, it is fracturing.
Eric Alterman is Distinguished Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York. From 1995-2020, he was The Nation’s “Liberal Media" columnist and is now a contributing writer to the magazine and also to The American Prospect. In the past, he has been a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress, the World Policy Institute and The Nation Institute, a columnist for Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, MSNBC.com, The Forward, Moment and the Sunday Express (London) as well as a contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Le Monde Diplomatique, among other publications. Alterman has also been named a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a Schusterman Foundation Fellow at Brandeis University, a Fellow of the Society of American Historians and a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
This lecture is in-person but also available via Zoom.