David Benkof | All Articles

David Benkof
David Benkof
Freelance Writer

Republicans Must Stop Calling Keystone XL Approval A ‘Jobs Bill’

A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Nebraska March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lane Hickenbottom

“Jobs!” appears to be the one-word Republican slogan promoting the Keystone Pipeline bill – or at least since November, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began promoting “the Keystone jobs bill." That’s the same term Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) used Tuesday night in her response to the State of the Union.

The LGBT Community’s ‘Suicide Strategy’ Killed Leelah Alcorn

4:14 PM 01/07/2015

Over the last several days, candlelight vigils throughout the world have protested and memorialized the death of Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender girl whose suicide on December 28, 2014 galvanized the LGBT community to object to the conditions that lead to such tragedies.

UN Security Council Vote Means Israel Can’t Choose Democracy

4:50 PM 12/31/2014

The conventional wisdom assumes that if Israelis and Palestinians cannot work out a two-state solution, the Jews will someday have to choose between democracy and independence. The specter of that choice has upset many of my fellow center-right, centrist, and left-of-center Zionist friends, since it means to them the end of Jewish statehood. But yesterday’s vote in the United Nations has convinced me that when that dreadful day comes, I’m going to choose independence over democracy.

Into The Freudian “Woods”

3:49 PM 12/26/2014

The movie version of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway classic "Into the Woods," which opened in theaters on Christmas Day, is much more than several interwoven, fractured fairy tales. It’s a thicket of symbols and themes that draw directly on the ideas and Weltanschauung of Sigmund Freud.

Colorado And Iowa Are More Important Than You Think

10:32 AM 10/31/2014

The Senate races in Colorado and Iowa are key contests in Tuesday’s midterms, say reporters and pundits alike. Indeed, if one party wins both elections, it will very likely control the Senate in the 114th Congress.

How MIT Grossly Overestimated Campus Sexual Assault

6:14 PM 10/28/2014

The MIT survey released yesterday with the alarming statistic that more than 17 percent of campus undergraduate women say they have been sexually assaulted is so poorly designed, analyzed, and reported that no reasonable person who examines it carefully can give any credence to its results.

Is Pope Francis A Model For Our Rabbis?

3:08 PM 10/14/2014

The shift in tone that Pope Francis is bringing to the Catholic Church has serious repercussions for people who follow that religion – but also those of other faith systems. As the most prominent religious figure in the world, the actions, ideas, and approach of the pontiff (literally, “bridge builder”) deserve attention, including among Jews. In fact, I think even our most outstanding rabbis could learn from Pope Francis.

Actually, The Court Just Undercut Gay Marriage’s Inevitability

5:52 PM 10/07/2014

Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced it will not review rulings from several lower courts that had found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The news has been widely interpreted as an auspicious signal for gay marriage – if not the nail in the coffin for man-woman marriage in America.

The Conservative Case Against Voter ID Laws

11:28 AM 09/16/2014

Friday’s decision by a federal appeals court to uphold Wisconsin’s voter ID law requiring proof of identification at polling booths has pleased many of my fellow Republicans who feared the measure would be declared a violation of federal law or even the Constitution.

Demagogue Ted Cruz Is A Danger To The GOP

1:44 PM 09/12/2014

For 48 hours now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been celebrated as a gutsy hero for walking out of a Christian gathering after some attendees booed his pro-Israel remarks. His comment, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you,” drew widespread attention and admiration.

Two Can Play The Gay Vigilante Game

12:02 PM 09/04/2014

Strangely, an important detail was omitted from the recent news coverage of the shuttering of an upstate New York farm that would not rent its venue to a same-sex wedding.

Same-Sex Rape In The Military On The Rise

3:45 PM 08/27/2014

An article in the September issue of GQ discuses the recent increase in same-sex rape in the military. It reports, with many examples, that most victims of sexual assault in the armed forces are men, and that their rapists are nearly always other men.

What Was Racist About Ferguson?

3:22 PM 08/22/2014

Millions of Americans are angry over charges of racism in the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, at the hands of a white police officer. Thousands of Americans have rallied in protest.