Author: Bennett Muraskin

Bennett Muraskin is a union representative for state college/university faculty, librarians and professional staff in NJ. He has written three books: Humanist Reading in Jewish Folklore (2001), Let Justice Well Up Like Water: Progressive Jews from Hillel to Helen Suzman (2004) and The American Jewish Libraries Association Guide to Yiddish Short Stories (2011). He is a regular contributor to Jewish Currents magazine.


Russian Revolution

Muraskin and Epstein criticize Harrison’s view of the Russian Revolution; Harrison replies.

The Jewish Role in the Industrial Workers of the World


The most radical and militant union in American history was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), colloquially known as the Wobblies. Its active years were from 1905 to 1919, or at best until mid-1920 when it led its last major struggles—a maritime workers strike in California and a miners strike in Colorado. Fierce government repression during and after World War I, along with vigilante violence and internal divisions, dealt the IWW blows from which it never recovered. The mass industrial union movement during the New Deal passed it by. Yet, the IWW continues to exist on a small scale to this day.

Response to Stephen Shalom’s Blog on Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza

There is something missing from Stephen Shalom’s blog post on Israelis crimes in the recent Gaza conflict and it is full recognition of Hamas’ war crimes and vile ideology.

Response to Barry Finger on Israel-Palestine

I wish to commend Barry Finger for his analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict dating back to the establishment of 1947 UN Partition Plan. (Finger makes a minor error in calling it the “1948 partition.”)

When I Was Against Gun Control…And Why I Changed My Mind

Like many of my generation, I was active in the left. From the mid to late 1960s to the late 1970s, I was affiliated with Trotskyist organizations. We considered ourselves revolutionaries and foresaw the day when the working class would rise up against capitalist oppression, overthrow the government, and establish a proletarian dictatorship. There was no doubt in our minds that this could not be accomplished without violence. When the revolutionary situation was ripe, we would need weapons.

Jewish Alternatives to Zionism

Zionism is but one of many ideologies/movements that have competed for the loyalty of Jews as the guarantor of their freedom and security. The fact that it achieved success with the establishment of Israel in 1948 causes people to forget that its success was not pre-ordained. Further, no one can deny that it has come with a heavy cost in both Jewish and Arab lives. From a historic perspective, it may be worth examining other visions to secure a Jewish future. Every road not taken need not be a dead end.