Ox­ford stu­dents launch online mag­a­zine to de­bate Zion­ism

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY NAOMI FIRSHT

AN ONLINE mag­a­zine has been launched by a Jewish stu­dent at Ox­ford Univer­sity aim­ing to broaden the de­bate on Zion­ism.

Pol­i­tic­sun­der­grad­u­ateAaronSi­mons launched Zion­ish last week, de­scrib­ing it as pro­mot­ing “lib­eral Zion­ism”. The inau­gu­ral edi­tion car­ried nine ar­ti­cles cov­er­ing top­ics such as “What is Zion­ism?” and “Why are most Jews Zion­ist?”

Mr Si­mons, 20, said he was moved to set up the mag­a­zine be­cause of frus­tra­tion at both the Jewish and stu­dent com­mu­ni­ties.

“Among stu­dents, Zion­ism is seen as this en­emy and it re­ally isn’t open to any dis­cus­sion on Is­rael.

“But I’m equally frus­trated at the Jewish com­mu­nity which is not will­ing to en­gage with crit­i­cism of Is­rael. I wanted to in­spire more open and hon­est dis­cus­sion.”

In what was a co-op­er­a­tive ef­fort, Mr Si­mons got tech­ni­cal and ed­i­to­rial help from stu­dent and grad­u­ate friends across the UK.

Although the cur­rent con­trib­u­tors are all Jewish, Mr Si­mons said he hopes the site will ap­peal to the the wider stu­dent body.

Zion­ish re­ceived more than 2,000 views within the first few days, and the site will be up­dated with new batches of ar­ti­cles weekly.

Lin­net Kaymer grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Ox­ford this year and is on the Zion­ish ed­i­to­rial team.

She said: “There is a gap for some­thing like this — a space for peo­ple to have a view on Zion­ism that is not all good or all bad. A lot of us strug­gled with that at univer­sity. There is a gap for some­thing in-be­tween, for peo­ple who want to crit­i­cise but still see Zion­ism as some­thing that should ex­ist.”

Mean­while at Leeds, the sec­ond edi­tion of the Jewish So­ci­ety’s mag­a­zine News4Jews has been is­sued.

Editor Daniel Levy said he had spent most of the sum­mer work­ing to se­cure spon­sor­ship from lo­cal busi­nesses and the Jewish com­mu­nity to fund pub­li­ca­tion.

Copies were dis­trib­uted through JSoc to their 300 or so mem­bers. The mag­a­zine cov­ers Jewish is­sues, pol­i­tics and the arts. Lon­don re­gional chap­lain Rabbi Gavin Broder joins more than 100 stu­dents at a fresh­ers’ pub crawl or­gan­ised by King’s Col­lege Lon­don JSoc

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