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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘anti-zionism’

Young Americans Turning Their Back on Israel

Monday, August 11th, 2014

America’s younger generation that was born long after the pro-Israel enthusiasm fallout from the Six-Day War is far less enthusiastic about Israel than the older “baby boomers” and even thinks that Israel’s war against terror in Gaza was unjustified.

Media have reported that a Gallup Poll last month showed support for Israel, but a breakdown of the survey reveals that those between ages 18 and 29 criticized Israel by a 2-1 margin, The Hill reported.

Alec Tyson, a senior researcher with Pew, told The Hill that while the findings were “significant,” it was also important not to draw too sweeping a generalization from them. “He noted that when Americans were asked whether they had more overall sympathy for Israel or the Palestinians, Israel consistently comes out on top,” The Hill wrote..

But there is a drastic change in the numbers.

Tyson explained, “Young people are more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians by about two-to-one, rather than by about six-to-one among the oldest Americans.”

As recently as 2006, during the Second Lebanese War against Hezbollah, Americans in 18-29 bracket blamed Hezbollah more than Israel by a lopsided 3-1 margin, according to Pew poll cited by The Washington Post.

A Pew survey last month revealed that while Americans blamed Hamas for the violence in the war by a 40-19 percent margin, a plurality of those aged 18-29 blamed Israel.

“Israel has taken a PR battering in the current war,” Tevi Troy, who served as a liaison to the Jewish community for the administration of President George W. Bush, told The Hill. “There is a lot of anti-Israel propaganda.”

The report suggested that part of the change in opinion might be related to the phenomena of social media that has made information more immediate but also more opinionated, on all parts of the political spectrum.

Gory pictures of dead Arabs plastered all over the web during the war, even if some of the bodies were “borrowed” from Syria, Iran and previous wars against Israel, have had a far more powerful impact that photos of roofs of homes in Sderot damaged by rockets or even children taking cover from  an incoming missile attack.

The Hill also noted that older American remember the Yom Kippur and Six-Day wars, in which Israel was not branded as evil by the media outside of the Arab world.

The younger generation only knows Israel as a super-power and is easily pulled into the bleeding heart camp for Arabs who are promoted by UNRWA as “refugees” even though their permanent homeless status is a result of the United Nations’ singling them out as fourth and fifth-generation Arabs as refugees, a classification that is not made for anyone else in the world.

“Still, pro-Israel figures insisted that the shift among the young was nothing to panic about — yet,” The Hill concluded, along with the assumption – and it is just an assumption – by Troy that  “over the long run, America’s interests and Israel’s interests are aligned.”

Ecuador’s President Cancels Israel Visit In Support of Gaza

Friday, August 8th, 2014

President Raphael Correa of Ecuador canceled a planned visit to Israel later this because of the conflict in Gaza.

“Obviously, after these events, we have canceled the visit,” Correa said , referring to Israel’s operation in Gaza.

The cancellation came two days after Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador would open an embassy in the Palestinian Authority. Ecuador already has a diplomatic delegation in Ramallah according to the Prensa Latina newspaper.

George Galloway Declares ‘Israel-Free Zone’ in British City

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hamas enthusiast and British Member of Parliament George Galloway has unilaterally declared the city of Bradford an “Israel-free zone” that rejects all Israeli goods, services, academics and tourists.

He made the declaration ay a meeting of his Respect Party in Leeds, where en encouraged the city also to rid itself of Israelis.

In his speech, seen in the video below, Galloway stated, “We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.

Belgian Security Shaky for Jewish Museum in Brussels

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Jewish Museum in Brussels is set to open in less than two weeks, but Belgium’s commitment to securing the facility is not clear — despite a pledge by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to strengthen Jewish communal security. Di Rupo made the statement following a meeting earlier this month in Brussels with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and local Jews.

Security at the Jewish Museum of Brussels has always been “very light,” according to museum president Philippe Blondin, who met with Israeli journalists on Tuesday. Due to the museum’s limited funding, Blondin had asked Belgian authorities directly for upgraded security, but was turned down, he said.

That is a now an even bigger problem than it was a month ago, given the events of May 24, when a terrorist calmly walked into the building, opened his bag and removed a Kalashnikov assault rifle. It took him five seconds to fire the weapon from the doorway to the museum and bloody the floor and walls of the exhibit. By the time he left, three people were dead and a fourth was mortally wounded.

Terror suspect Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, is still being held in Marseille by French police, who immediately nabbed the accused gunman as he crossed the border.

“For a Jewish museum it was, in a way, way too light,” Blondin said of the security apparatus in place at the time of the attack.

There were no security guards at the door. There were none at the entrance to the building.

But the choice had been to close the museum or to take a risk, he said. “My choice and the choice of the people before me was education, education, education.”

Blondin said police would return the keys to the front entrance today (Wednesday) but that he would like to give his traumatized staff at least one more week to meet with psychologists over the horrific attack. And of course, they still had to clean the place up, and create a memorial for the victims.

He added that he is also still hoping for some increased police protection or security assistance from the Belgian authorities — who so far have promised nothing.

Blondin noted — as has every other Jewish leader over the past year — that there has been an uptick in anti-Semitism in Europe. He added that there has been a change in attitude towards the Jews in Belgium as well. “We’ve got Judeophobia and anti-Zionism, two different things working together,” he said.

When asked by The Jewish Press, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev deferred comment on whether the Jewish State would consider assisting Belgium or the museum with additional security.

Ryerson U. Student Union Passes Symbolic Vote to Join BDS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The student union of Ryerson University in Toronto voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at Israel, but the university said it will ignore the non-binding decision.

“The student union is a corporation independent of the university, we have to be clear there,” said Michael Forbes, a spokesperson for Ryerson and quoted by the Canadian National Post. “The university does not support a boycott. We don’t support divestment, nor do we support sanctions against Israel. We’ve been consistent on this point.”

Students at the University of Windsor and York University also have voted to join BDS.

The vote at Ryerson was passed amid jeers and boos at Jewish students who walked out in protest, holding as sign stating, “Hate off Campus.”

Israeli Filmmaker Amos Gitai Making Movie about AMIA Bombing

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Award-winning Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai is preparing a film about the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires.

The Brazilian production company Prana Films will produce the movie based on the 1994 bombing attack on the center that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

One venue will be the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, which shares a border with Argentina and Brazil. The terrorist Hezbollah organization is active in the city, according to intelligence sources.

Argentine actor Ricardo Darin and French actress Juliette Binoche reportedly have expressed interest in the film and have received an updated script with an expected budget of $3.5 million.

The film will be based on Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is investigating the bombing. Nisman has accused Iran of sponsoring the attack and declared unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the deadly attack.

Gitai, who has won awards for his films at the prestigious Cannes and Venice festivals, said the AMIA film “is a story about relationships, about how the attack affected the community and what is happening in Latin America with the law.”

He told the La Nacion newspaper in Paris that his partners had looked for financial support from Argentina but did not find any interest.

“I think it is because of the economic situation there,” he told an Argentine newspaper in an interview from Paris.

Gitai has written many films based on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

NY Times Feature on Anti-Zionism a Reminder of the Sulzberger Legacy

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The New York Times raised some eyebrows in the Jewish community earlier this month with a lengthy feature about four self-described religious Jews who oppose Israel. In an apparent attempt to legitimize Jewish anti-Zionism, the article stressed that Zionism “was not always the norm among American Jews” and that it was only “the persecution of European Jews [which] turned many American Jews into Zionists.”

Interestingly, one of the most famous “religious Jews” who opposed Zionism did not change his mind even after the Holocaust. That was the Times’s own publisher from 1935 to 1961, Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

Sulzberger was a devout adherent of classical Reform Judaism. In his view, Jewish identity should consist only of religious beliefs, not any sense of peoplehood, nationalism, or ethnic affiliation. He even rejected the existence of Jewish war veterans organizations on the grounds that they were examples of “Ghetto living.”

As Prof. Laurel Leff explains in her critically acclaimed book Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, Sulzberger instructed Times editors to bury news of the Nazi genocide on the back pages, and to tone down or eliminate references to the fact that the victims were Jews.

Sulzberger worried that if the Times reported what was happening to the Jews in Europe, someone might accuse it of being a “Jewish newspaper.”

As news of the Nazi atrocities moved many formerly anti-Zionist Reform rabbis and leaders to recognize the need for a Jewish state, Sulzberger pushed back. He was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of the American Council for Judaism, a group created by a handful of Reform rabbis in 1942 to oppose Zionism. The Times gave frequent and generous coverage to the activities of the tiny Council.

Even a visit to former Nazi concentration camps in 1945 did not alter Sulzberger’s anti-Zionist convictions. In a speech the following year, Sulzberger said that while he felt sorry for the Jewish survivors living in Displaced Persons camps in Europe, they were “but a minor percentage of the total of displaced persons” and therefore should not be receiving so much attention.

The Times publisher even went so far as to claim Zionism was to blame for some of the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust. He alleged, in that 1946 speech, that the refugee crisis during the war had been “a manageable, social and economic problem” until “the clamor for statehood introduced an insoluable political element” into the issue. “It is my judgment that thousands dead might now be alive” if “the Zionists” had put “less emphasis on statehood,” Sulzberger asserted.

One of the Jewish anti-Zionists profiled in the Feb. 14 New York Times article described himself as a fan of the late Judah Magnes, who advocated a binational Arab-Jewish Palestine instead of a Jewish state. Sulzberger, too, thought highly of Magnes. In June 1946, Sulzberger tried to organize a dinner at Manhattan’s Hotel Pierre to raise funds for Magnes’s work. The Times publisher invited 23 of his associates. Only three accepted. The dinner was canceled.

The increasingly isolated Sulzberger grew more and more frustrated. A pro-Zionist statement by the formerly anti-Zionist president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in early 1947 prompted Sulzberger to write to a friend, “Apparently if you are a Jew you have to contribute Jewishly, eat Jewishly, think Jewishly, part your hair Jewishly…. Gosh I’m sick!”

On another occasion, Sulzberger was horrified to see the AJC and other Jewish groups listed as affiliates of the United Jewish Appeal in an advertisement in the Times. “The only thing I miss is the Jewish Chiropractors’ Society,” he complained. “In other words, J E W is to be the common denominator for everything we do. God help us!”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/ny-times-feature-on-anti-zionism-a-reminder-of-the-sulzberger-legacy/2014/02/27/

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