Journalist Peter Beinart speaking this week at IU Bloomington

The fall lecture season is getting off to a quick start at IU Bloomington. Here’s one that should interest people who care about journalism, politics, foreign policy and especially Israel and the Middle East.

Journalist and author Peter Beinart, currently senior political writer for The Daily Beast-Newsweek, will give a talk Thursday, Sept. 6, on his new book “The Crisis in Zionism.” It starts at 5 p.m. in the Oak Room of the Indiana Memorial Union.

book cover graphic for "The Crisis in Zionism"Beinart is also an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He used to be editor of The New Republic and has written for many major newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Germany. His previous books include “The Icarus Syndrome” and “The Good Fight.”

“The Crisis in Zionism” has been getting a lot of attention, pro and con, with its thesis that the Israeli government’s strident nationalism, and especially its support for continued settlements in the West Bank, is alienating young liberal Jews and ultimately putting Israel at risk. He also criticizes major Jewish organizations in the U.S. for refusing to question Israel’s policies.

Former President Bill Clinton blurbs the book, calling it “a deeply important book for anyone who cares about Israel, its security, its democracy, and its prospects for a just and lasting peace.”

Lee Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, a former Indiana congressman and co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, tells readers the book “will inform, provoke, and challenge you, as the author, with clarity and grace, lays out the looming dangers to Israeli democracy and appeals for a Jewish state that is both democratic and just to all, including its Arab minority.”

Beinart’s lecture is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by IU’s Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program.

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