The expression of “what is a Kohen doing in a cemetery,” where he is prohibited, may apply to President Reuven Rivlin and today’s New Israel Fund-Haaretz conference in New York City.
Dozens of IDF Reserve officers are conducting a protest outside the President’s official residence in an effort to pressure President Rivlin to cancel his appearance at the conference because the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence is participating.
The officers said that President Rivlin, as a representative of Israel, must boycott the event organized by the New Israel Fund (NIF), coordinated with the Haaretz newspaper, to make clear his non-acceptance of groups such as Breaking the Silence that try to make Israel look illegitimate.
But Breaking the Silence is only the tip of the iceberg. The list of speakers and panelist reads like a “Who’s Who of the radical Left.
The office of the President stated:
The President will deliver his remarks during the conference of the Haaretz newspaper as he does in a variety of conferences organized by media from time to time.
Concerning the facts, it is important to note that in this case, we are speaking about the participation of one of dozens of participants during the day. It will take part in a panel that does not take place in the presence of the president, so there is no connection between them,
As for facts,, today’s event is not a media conference. It is a New Israel Fund conference that Haaretz is promoting and in which it is participating with its finest Israel bashers, such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.
Perhaps President Rivlin will not be present when Breaking the Silence speaks, but what about other speakers and panelists, some of whose names read like a Who’s Who of the radical Left?
And the question remains why is President Rivlin appearing and what will he say?
Yes, he will have the opportunity to show his face to the extreme left-wing of American Jews and non-Jews, as well as officials from the Obama administration such as Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and PLO executive Saeb Erekat.
Public appearances are one of the President’s most important functions, but why did he choose such a group, unless he stuns them with a Zionist speech instead of patronizing them?
Here are some of the “Zionists” at the conference:
Arik Wade Ascherman. the Rabbis for Human Rights activist who single-handedly led leftists and Arabs to uproot more than 1,500 saplings in front of shocked elementary school students on Tu B’Shvat several years ago because they planted on land in Judea and Samaria.
The promotional material for today’s conference omits that little detail and states that he “is internationally recognized as a leading advocate for human rights and social justice as religious, Jewish and Zionist obligations,” such as rights for “the Negev Bedouin.”
Other speakers are:
Suhad Babaa, the executive director of Just Vision, ‘an organization dedicated to increasing media coverage and support for Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, equality, dignity and human security for all through unarmed means.’
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street.
Uri Blau, an investigative journalist for Haaretz, specializing in military and political affairs, corruption and transparency….Blau became the first Israeli journalist to be convicted for possession of classified military documents.
Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli human rights activist, is the executive director of B’Tselem.
Avner Gvaryahu, who joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide.
Another speaker is Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who last week refused to attend a meeting with Jewish leaders because it was to take place in the same building that is home to the offices of the Jewish Agency?
Other panelists and speakers are:
‘Rabbi’ Jill Jacobs, the Executive Director of T’ruah. [For information on T’ruah and President Rivlin’s joint appearance at the White House, click here.]
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Daniel J. Sokatch, chief executive officer of the New Israel Fund.
Dr. Husam S. Zomlot, ambassador-at-large for Palestine [sic] and the executive deputy commissioner of the Fatah Foreign Relations Commission.
Haaretz editor Aluf Benn and a host of his writers will speak and appear on the panels, whose subjects include:
Beyond negotiations: Can the peace process be unfrozen to achieve more than ‘conflict management’?
What’s left: Is there a future for the progressive movement in Israel?
‘Droves of Arab voters:’ Is the struggle of Israel’s Arab citizens to equality the new focal point of the conflict?
Jerusalem burning: Is religion the solution or the problem?
Synagogue and state: Who defines the Jewishness of Israel?