Jewish students from the University of Oxford and other UK campuses have launched a Zionist online magazine, citing the need to “engage with difficult questions about Israel’s future”, writes Gabriel Pogrund.
“Zionish” self-identifies as “liberal-Zionist” and aims to broaden the debate on Israel-Palestine among students and the Jewish community.
Students decided to launch the magazine in response to perceived anti-Israel hostility at Oxford University and across UK campuses.
Founder and editor-in-chief Aaron Simons, the former President of Oxford J-soc, also said he wished to challenge British Jewry’s “wilful blindness to many problems and flaws in Israel”.
The History and Politics student added: “We want a real and critical engagement of what it means to be Zionist and what the best future for Israel is”.
The Zionish team includes several former Jsoc Presidents and Zionist youth movements.
The site launched Thursday evening with several pre-written articles, including one entitled “Dear Mum and Dad”.
“Sometimes, when I talk about Israel, my dad worries that I am becoming anti-Zionist. And sometimes, when I talk about Israel, my mum worries that I’m going to make aliyah,” the piece reads.
Its author Emma Brand, a University of Oxford English graduate, says mainstream Jewry is “simply baffled by the liberal Zionist brand of scathing, loving critique of Israel”.
Zionish received 2,000 views on its opening day and says it has already attracted readers in Israel, Australia and the US.
Robin Moss, head of Israel engagement at the UJIA, said the site was “engaging, challenging, provocative and informative”.