Noah Berlatsky is a freelance writer in Chicago. He blogs regularly at Everything Is Horrible.

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They Said Only Israel Could Keep Me Safe

by Noah Berlatsky 12-06-2023

People gather on the National Mall during an event in support of the state of Israel and against antisemitism in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2023. CNP/ via Reuters

I’m older now and a good bit more skeptical about Israel’s virtue and Israel’s safety. I am far from convinced that Israel could or would serve as a refuge from violence for the American Jewish diaspora — the home of the majority of Jewish people outside Israel. And I think that viewing regions across the world in which the diaspora has settled to be temporary or lesser than ideal is dangerous to Jewish people and to the Jewish experience.

Stop Debating Whether Christian Nationalism Is Christian

by Noah Berlatsky 09-29-2023

United Revival Ministries held a 'Jesus March' in Portland Ore., on July 8, 2023, in which several thousand people sang, prayed, and then marched. Their message was that only Jesus and Christianity could save Portland and the United States. (Photo by John Rudoff/Sipa USA)

As a Jewish atheist, I’m not invested in arguments about which version of Christianity is truer. However, I am skeptical when I hear Christians respond to Christian nationalism by distinguishing it from “true,” “Christlike,” “pure,” or “orthodox” Christianity. If Christianity is only true Christianity when it is good or kind, then no “true” Christian ever does anything bad. That makes it easy to dismiss Inquisitors and slaveholders alike in the past, and it makes it easy to dismiss structural power to do harm that you may have as a Christian now as well.

What James Baldwin Got Wrong About Black Antisemitism

by Noah Berlatsky 08-14-2023

Candace Owens and Kanye West wearing ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts. Cover Media via Reuters.

The writer James Baldwin’s 1967 New York Times essay “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White” is a passionate indictment of white Jewish racism and a condemnation of antisemitism. His essay is clear-eyed and right about most things — except for its thesis.