Over at Tablet, my friend and colleague Michelle Goldberg has written a beautiful, nuanced profile of Philip Weiss, another writer whom I'm proud to call a colleague and a friend.
Phil is the founder of Mondoweiss, which has become the Internet's foremost destination for often bracing, leftwing critiques of Israeli policy and Zionism more broadly.
I don't agree with Phil on every single issue. As he points out, he calls himself an "anti-Zionist" and I call myself a "post-Zionist," which is just one way of saying he's a bit to my left. But I can't stress enough how much I appreciated Phil's mentorship and support (both public and private) when I first began writing about Israel/Palestine two years ago.
Previously I had avoided the subject like the plague, primarily because the evolution of my thought on the matter had opened up a rift between myself and my mom that was very painful to explore and discuss. But spurred on by the Gaza ground war, I decided that–as a young, progressive American raised as a Conservative Jew–I did, after all, have something to say about Israeli policy and the way American Jewish institutions actively discourage young Jews from thinking critically about Zionism.
It meant a lot to me that several older, Jewish writers, including Phil, reached out to offer their support, and that I was able to connect online with a whole new community of young Jews–both American and Israeli–who were looking to think, write, and speak openly about these matters.
Over the past two years my career has evolved, and now I focus almost exclusively on domestic social issues like education and health care. But Israel/Palestine remains near and dear to my heart and I am grateful for the work that Phil does.