web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Cardozo Law School’

Yet Another Jewish Org Poised to Honor a BDS Enthusiast (video)

Friday, May 17th, 2013

One would think that after several recent public relations disasters when Jewish or Jewish-connected organizations honor people who support political and economic warfare against the State of Israel, that Jewish groups would stop doing this.

But one would be wrong.

First there was Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School which presented a human rights award to one of the world’s leading defamers and delegitimizers of Israel, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

Then there was the 92nd Street Y which came very close to providing a public platform from which leading BDS advocate Roger Waters would spew his venom against Israel. Luckily for the 92nd Street Y, Waters had to change the date of the appearance, and the Y took that opportunity to slip out of the noose it had created for itself.

Then there was the incredible fiasco of the State of Israel itself inviting a long-time critic of the Jewish State, scientist Stephen Hawking, to a major scientific conference in Israel.  A little due diligence would have revealed that Hawking was already on record as embracing a hostile narrative against Israel. But no, Israel invited Hawking to give a talk at the President’s Conference.  Hawking rebuffed the Jewish State, backing out of his commitment because he wanted to support the academic boycott against Israel. And Hawking and, especially, those who make the demonization of Israel their life’s work, were thrilled to chalk up a victory in the BDS war against the Jewish State.

Now we learn that the American fundraising arm of a wonderful Israeli institution – Soroka Medical Center – is poised to honor yet another soldier in the delegitimization war against Israel.

On June 18 at the Harvard Club in New York City, the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center will hold its annual gala.  The Statesman for Health Award is being given to a man who helped the virulently anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace support the boycott of Ariel Cultural Center. Mandy Patinkin not only supported the Ariel boycott, he allowed his name to be used to recruit other celebrities to vilify the cultural center in the Jewish town of Ariel. Some statesman.

Patinkin has done more than simply sign a letter of support for artists boycotting a cultural center in Israel, he has also assisted in a fundraiser for Jewish Voice for Peace, and has long been a national board member of Americans for Peace Now.  Just last year, at a conference in Israel he talked about having had his eyes opened while on a tour of Hebron with his good friends from Breaking the Silence, an organization committed to demonizing the Israel Defense Forces as a military force of terror, bent on acquiring territory, and not a defensive, ethical military.

Patinkin, unlike some with whom he associates, is not an Israel hater.  He simply believes that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are the nub of the problem and if Jews would just get the heck out of the area, peace would break out.

Patinkin said he supports Israel in a variety of ways, but says the “settlements ignite the situation” between Israelis and Palestinians. For Israel to build a new theater “in an illegal settlement” was adding fuel to the fire.

It is hard to listen to Patinkin and imagine anything other than that he has a warm, loving soul and just wants everyone to get along.  But he’s a big boy now, one with an audience who listens to him.  And with that following comes a responsibility.

The same is true for the American Friends of Soroka.

It is not enough to find a sweet Jewish man with a beautiful voice, one whose star is on the ascent because of his role in a huge television series hit. If the American Friends of Soroka wanted to honor someone, it would have been nice if they found someone who loves all of Israel, someone who doesn’t encourage economic warfare against any of it.

And now Jews are left with the choice of not going to a fundraiser for a wonderful, non-political medical center in Israel, or going and watching as an American Jew who encourages the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award.  It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.

 

Concerned Cardozo Alumni Campaigning to Block Carter

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The controversy surrounding the invitation of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter to be honored by one of the Yeshiva University affiliated Cardozo law school’s journals, is growing.

We should reiterated, as YU President Richard Joel, and Matthew Yaniv, the university’s director of media relations have been saying to anyone in the tri-state area who would listen, that “neither Cardozo nor YU are honoring Jimmy Carter. The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution invited him to receive the award.”

President Joel’s statement reads:

The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution has invited former United States President Jimmy Carter to receive its Advocate for Peace Award. President Carter’s invitation to Cardozo represents solely the initiative of this student journal, not of Yeshiva University or the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, having the single most anti-Israeli president be honored as resolver of conflicts by the students of a Jewish school on the premises of said Jewish school is not being well accepted, to be polite.

The Jewish Press has received the following email that’s being sent out to school alumni:

Dear Cardozo Alumni and Friends of the School:

I want to thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of support of our campaign to cancel the honoring of Jimmy Carter at Cardozo.

We have been inundated with copies of emails sent to Dean Diller and President Joel and in the space of 48 hours we have received widespread media coverage including in Ha’aretz, Jewish Press, Jewish Forward, Times of Israel as well as many other news outlets.

Commenting on the controversy, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz stated that “I can’t imagine a worse person to honor for conflict resolution. Here’s a man who has engendered conflict wherever he goes. He has encouraged terrorism by Hamas and Hezbollah. He was partly responsible for Yasser Arafat turning down the Clinton-Barak peace offer.”

Dershowitz has even offered to fly down to New York on his own dime to debate Carter at Cardozo on Wednesday if Cardozo agrees.

While the Cardozo administration stubbornly digs its heels in, I’m including below a letter sent to the Board of Overseers of Cardozo law school in the hope that sanity prevails among those that are responsible for the oversight of the Cardozo administration.

If you have not done so already, I urge you to take 2 minutes to contact Dean Diller and President Joel. Every voice counts.

Again thank you for your support.

Gary Emmanuel ’04 on behalf of The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni

The same coalition has also sent an “Open Letter to Board of Overseers of Cardozo Law School”:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As esteemed members of the Board of Overseers of The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, we are writing to you on behalf of The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni who are appalled to learn that President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to receive the International Advocate for Peace Award from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution on Wednesday, April 10th. We beg your indulgence that you read this letter to the end.

One can only assume that by taking the time to serve on the Board, you take great pride in your affiliation with such a reputable institution and one whose mission is, in part, to “bring wisdom to life by combining the finest contemporary academic education with the timeless teachings of Torah.” While we all may interpret those words slightly differently, Jimmy Carter is anathema to the aspirations of the Jewish people and the survival of the State of Israel. Honoring him at a bedrock of the American Jewish community does not bring wisdom to life or combine a fine education with the teachings of Torah. Honoring Jimmy Carter makes the statement that, notwithstanding the empty claims by the administration that the Journal’s choice does not necessarily represent the views of the institution, this individual is someone deserving of recognition. Awarding this honor to someone with Carter’s anti-Israel record that includes whitewashing the genocidal aims of Hamas, mainstreaming the notion that Israel is a racist state, and validating a nuclear Iran is quite simply abhorrent.

‘Next Year In Jerusalem’ Doesn’t Have To Be A Meaningless Cliché

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Often, upon returning home to Israel after a speaking tour in North America, I am asked by Israeli friends, “Nu, did you get people to make aliyah?”

I explain that I prefer not to talk too much about aliyah while abroad. I try to get Jews to renew their love for the homeland, connect with life in Israel. I find the issue of aliyah often distances my audience. Though I am a firm believer in the ingathering of the exiles, when I speak to Jews around the world I am trying to bridge worlds, not drive them apart.

Indeed, the biggest schism among Jews today is the great Atlantic Divide. Six million Jews live in North America and six million live in Israel. Israeli Jews and North American Jews live worlds apart and grow up with a completely different set of circumstances and experiences. One group goes to liberal arts colleges, the other the army; one speaks English, the other Hebrew; they read different books and watch different programs on TV.

It was not always like that. Early on in Israel’s history, American Jews saw Israelis as brothers and establishing, defending and building the Jewish state as a common project. By 2012, however, American Jews have grown to see Israelis as slightly annoying distant relatives with bad manners and strange political choices.

This is why my Israeli friends ask whether I made any aliyah converts: deep down, Israelis are worried about their North American Jewish brothers and sisters. They are afraid to lose them to assimilation, and they are also afraid of growing apart. No doubt, North American Jews are also concerned about it and have taken real steps to bridge the divide with one-year Israeli yeshivas, gap year studies, internship programs, and, of course, the Birthright-Taglit program, an amazing project that has bridged the Atlantic Divide for tens of thousands of young Jews.

Still, it’s not enough. Eighty percent of North American Jews have never been to Israel, and most Israelis have no connection to American Jewish life. To feel again as one family, our people need one vision to rally around, a star to guide us, so that we can navigate our lives toward one goal that will eventually bring us together. What is this vision?

The vision of a rebuilt Jerusalem is one our people have shared ever since we were dispossessed of our land 2,000 years ago. From Addis Ababa to Los Angeles, from Kabul to Vienna, our people have always proclaimed “Next Year in a Rebuilt Jerusalem!” No matter where we are on the globe, we have one homeland and one capital to which our heart belongs.

To foster that vision, and to make it current and applicable in our lives, we need to get behind the idea of mass aliyah.

But wait – didn’t I you just tell you I don’t preach aliyah because it’s divisive?

Let me explain: There is the grand ideal of “making aliyah,” moving to Israel. But the word “aliyah” in modern Hebrew also means “the process of going up.” If we define aliyah as a process of going up, there are many steps in the staircase before you get to the landing. And that is exactly what we have to do – take steps toward our united goal, with each step being a mini-aliyah.

Those steps can be big or small, but they are steps nonetheless. Deciding to drink only Israeli wine on Shabbat is a type of aliyah. Putting up a poster of Jerusalem in your house is a type of aliyah. Sending your kids to Israel on Birthright or to a yeshiva or for gap year is certainly a step in the right direction. Buying real estate in Israel is definitely an aliyah. Under this rubric, “mass aliyah” means that we, as a nation, take steps toward Jewish unity by recognizing the centrality of Israel in our national life any way we can.

And here’s a very important aliyah: If you have the budget to go away for Passover, you certainly have many wonderful alternatives to choose from around the world, from Italy to Mexico to Arizona to Florida – great places, no doubt. However, Passover is also an opportunity make a mini-aliyah and come to the international Passover hub – Jerusalem.

The term aliyah is also applied to the act of going up to Jerusalem three times a year during the Festivals, so coming to Israel on Passover is definitely an aliyah. Isn’t Passover supposed to be about educating our children? What could be more enriching for a young Jew than coming to Jerusalem for Passover?

Nothing shows our values as a nation more than the way we celebrate the Holiday of Freedom. When we choose Jerusalem over other destinations, we strengthen the bond of brotherhood among the Jewish nation, our core values shine through, and our children imbibe it. The world, too, notices when we put Jerusalem ahead of other destinations and it strengthens our nation’s claim to the land.

About Those Supposedly Offensive Israeli Ads…

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Dear American Jews,

 

I wish to apologize in the name of the State of Israel. We have heard our ad campaign encouraging ex-pat Israelis to come home has offended many of you. That was certainly not the intent, and if it did offend, we are sorry.

 

Israel created this ad campaign in order to address a major issue. We have almost a million Israelis living abroad, mostly in North America, and our tiny country, the one both you and we love so much, is in desperate need of manpower to feed the economy, serve in the army, and buttress our demographic advantage, not to mention that the ingathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the world is a central tenet of Zionism.

 

Alas, America’s magnetic pull has attracted many to leave the shores of the Holy Land in search of success and fortune and they have settled there. Yet we want to call many of these Israelis back to Israel.

 

So how do we reach out to our fellow Israelis living in the U.S.? What messaging resonates with this target demographic? Well, we can take the economic tack. Israel’s economy is booming, but the perception persists that it’s hard to make money here. Maybe we should pursue the safe haven tack? That holds water for those few Israelis living in openly dangerous places, but it is hard to convince an Israeli living in Los Angeles or Boston that it is safer in Israel.

 

Then there is the family and culture tack. Israeli ex-pats may have left the homeland, but they remain deeply Israeli. They love and miss Ima‘s Moroccan cooking, going on Miluim (IDF reserves) and, most of all, they miss the holidays, which include national holidays like Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Yom HaZikaron. They care about their culture and they fear losing their connection to it.

 

And so the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption conceived of and executed a series of ads targeting the sensibilities of Israelis – to touch their hearts, make them miss home, remind them of the risk of cultural assimilation and, maybe, help convince them to come back.

 

Let us examine the three videos that were produced.

 

The first features a boy trying to get his napping father’s attention. The child says aloud “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” But the father continues sleeping. Finally the boy whispers “Abba” and the father awakens and smiles.

 

The message is that the father responds to “Abba” because he is culturally Israeli, that is, in this case, someone who identifies more with Hebrew than English. The ad ends by saying that ex-pats will always remain culturally Israeli; however, their Diaspora born-children will not be. The presumption is that this will cause pain because of the cultural rift, so instead, Israelis should come home.

 

While this ad is provocative, it certainly cannot be seen as offensive to American Jewry. It directly targets Israelis and asks them a tough question: Do you want your child to say Daddy or Abba? Fair enough.

 

If, however, American Jewry was offended at the idea that Hebrew may be more culturally Jewish than English, that is something certainly worth debating. Clearly, Israelis living in Israel and abroad feel more comfortable with Hebrew and therefore the video is spot on.

 

The second video features a Skype conversation between two Israeli grandparents living in Israel and their older children who live in the U.S., now parents themselves. In between the young U.S. couple sits the beloved granddaughter. The grandparents have Chanukah paraphernalia in the background and ask their granddaughter, “Nu, so do you know what holiday it is?” to which the little girl proudly responds “Christmas!” The couples exchange uncomfortable glances.

 

Here, the Christmas/Chanukah conflict is more sensitive than the Abba/Daddy dichotomy. This video touches on the problems of the decaying Jewish identity and the forces of cultural assimilation affecting American Jews and Israelis in America. Can there be any doubt that the powerful pop culture of America wreaks havoc on authentic Jewish or Israeli culture? Can anyone seriously claim that this video created boogie men where none existed? Why else would there be constant talk of funding Jewish education, Hillel houses, Birthright trips etc.? There is a real challenge to keep Jews Jewish today  – and who understands that better than American Jews?  This video unflinchingly addresses a phenomenon that afflicts all Jews living in America.

 

The video that has the most potential to offend is the one that led Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic to post the loud headline: “Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews.”

 

Let’s go to the videotape: in the ad, a couple is seen entering a big city apartment. The room is dark, except for a single lit candle. The man tells the woman, “Now I understand why you didn’t want to go to the party” intimating that a romantic evening was planned by her. She, on the other hand, looks sad as she silently goes to her computer, where we see she is viewing a Yom HaZikaron (Israeli memorial day) website. As she quietly mourns the soldiers who have died to defend Israel, the young man asks “Dafna, what is this?” The narrator says: “They will always stay Israeli, but their partner won’t – help them come home.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/about-those-supposedly-offensive-israeli-ads%e2%80%a6/2011/12/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: