Oxford students launch online magazine to debate Zionism
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