Latest update: March 1st, 2013
According to the photos it has posted, every Yachad trip to Israel includes only visits to “Hebron and East Jerusalem,” with the exception of its Pesach, 2011 trip. That trip was described as Yachad’s visit to “East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
In the only pictures in which there is a country designation, the town of Hebron is described as “Hebron, Palestine.” That’s Chevron, to which the Jews have a deed recorded in the Book of Genesis.
Yachad UK has not posted a single picture of visits to any historic or important sites within Israel – Yachad’s trips are the inverse of the standard Israel trips of mainstream Jewish organizations, where few dare to venture beyond the 1967 Armistice Line. There is a single picture of a Yachad visit to an Israeli Jew’s grave. Whose grave is it? Baruch Goldstein’s.
It appears that, based upon its Facebook albums, Yachad believes the only important parts of Israel to see are those areas in which one of their guides will explain to students and other members how awful Israel is to the Arabs.
Of the dozens of photos Yachad posted, the only ones which reveal unequivocally pro-Israel support was one welcoming home Gilad Shalit, and two which criticize George Galloway for refusing to debate Israeli Oxford student Eylon Aslan-Levy at a debate last week. In the talkbacks to the Galloway post, however, Yachad posted that it retweets Galloway, but considers his specific refusal to debate with an Israeli unacceptable.
At least one ZF member has said he will call for a revote on whether to include Yachad in the Zionist Federation, but sources with contacts within the ZF say that its members will not deviate from the democratically made decision.
One long-time British pro-Israel activist, Clive Hyman, told The Jewish Press that “some people have apparently forgotten that ‘democratic’ does not mean everyone gets in.” It means, he said, “the enfranchised vote according to the procedure laid out in a governing document.”
The Movement for Reform Judaism disagreed with the decision to exclude Yachad. According to the MRJ, Yachad accurately “reflects the will of UK Jewry for a two state solution.”
UPDATE: Hannah Weisfeld, director of Yachad, wrote an op-ed published in The Daily Beast in which she is not only critical of Galloway’s refusal to debate an Israeli Brit at Oxford, but strongly criticizes his anti-Israel bigotry.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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