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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Nass’

A Response to Thomas Friedman: We Need More Sheldon Adelsons

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Thomas Friedman wrote a scathing column against Israel’s foremost supporters and lovers. Friedman’s column is a hit piece meant to serve as fodder for some of the NY Times’ anti-Israel and left-wing readership. But instead of delving into the author’s motives for writing the piece, I’d like to examine the various claims he makes.

The thesis of his column is that Sheldon Adelson’s “loving Israel to death” serves Iran’s interests and makes Adelson “Iran’s Best Friend.” What an absolutely pathetic and fallacious claim.

I have the great privilege of knowing Sheldon Adelson personally. There is nobody in the philanthropic arm of the Jewish community that has been a more vocal opponent of Khameini and Iran than Sheldon.

We in the Jewish community know that there are few things Khameini and his ilk hate more than the idea of promoting Jewish continuity and preserving the memory of the Holocaust. On that note, there is nobody who has invested more dollars into both of these initiatives than have Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

When it comes to promoting Jewish continuity, the Adelsons have served as the principal supporters of Birthright Israel – thereby responsible for sending over 350,000 young Jews from across the world to experience their birthright firsthand. Surely we can agree that Khameini and his adherents seek more than just the delegitimization and destruction of Israel; but also the destruction of the Jewish people.

Then there is the Adelsons’ investment of tens of millions of dollars toward preserving the memory of the Holocaust. They have done this to not only ensure that members of my generation never forget about the slaughtering of 6 million Jews, but to also educate the senseless and intellectually dishonest Jew-haters about the Holocaust, many of whom are found in the Iranian leadership.

It’s no secret that Rouhani is a Holocaust denier. Perhaps Mr. Friedman could please explain how Mr. Adelson’s gift of $25 million to Yad Vashem, the largest in the museum’s history, makes Adelson “Iran’s best friend.” I would instead posit that these two major philanthropic endeavors that the Adelsons have proudly taken upon themselves make Khameini and Rouhani cringe – as they should.

Friedman goes on to talk about the so called “occupied territories” and how the continuation of such a policy under the auspices of the Israeli government is what is truly responsible for the BDS campaign and the world’s increased hostility toward Israel. This is evidence that what Mr. Friedman needs more than anything else is a history lesson.

The West Bank or Judea and Samaria were not lands that Israel conquered through a war of its own choosing. Instead, Israel captured these lands from the actual illegal occupiers of it, the Jordanians, the ones who attacked Israel and forced her into battle there in 1967. The term “occupied territories” is therefore a farce, one designed to delegitimize Israel, much like the BDS campaign and its proponents.

Perhaps Friedman should reassess which team he belongs to; is it the Adelson camp? One that supports and loves Israel to the point of courageously standing against its enemies even when it means being subjected to the wrath of some in the mainstream press. Or instead, does Friedman belong to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign camp, a camp that does not include supporters of Israel? Should Friedman be counted amongst those working vociferously to delegitimize Israel by continuing to harp on the fallacious claim that the Israelis are “occupiers?”

Mr. Friedman, as a current student of your Alma Mater, Brandeis University, I can tell you with full confidence that the BDS campaign has little to do with the reality of life in the so-called “occupied territories” and is instead rooted in pure Jew hatred. I urge you to visit some college campuses next year during Israel Apartheid Week so that you can witness this first-hand. The folks behind the BDS effort aren’t looking for peace. They are merely anti-Semites trying to conceal their genuine motives through a campaign that folks of your stature have deemed to be, and thereby appear to make, credible.

College Senior’s Challenge Defeats Israel Apartheid Week Leaders

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Once again the method of shining a bright light on fetid hatred prevails: a college student exposed those promoting hatred, and, predictably, they scuttled back into the dank corners where ugliness and ignorance breed.

Last week The Jewish Press shared the story of Brandeis senior Joshua Nass, whose television appearance on a Fox Business show was copied and pasted into a trailer promoting the upcoming Israel Apartheid Week on U.S. campuses.

Nass was livid when he began receiving calls from people asking him how he could have become an Israel hater. After his initial shock, Nass shifted into gear.  He wanted the clip of him removed from the propaganda trailer, but his immediate impediment was that he had no idea who was behind the cut and paste job.

So Nass took to social media, which eventually caught the eye of other media. A story or two was written about how his likeness had been, essentially, stolen and used for malevolent purposes. But still, who was to blame? How could he find out who had done it, and then get them to remove it?

Nass spoke with lawyers about filing litigation. But he still did not know how to find and name the defendant.

During an interview with The Jewish Press, the idea occurred to him: he could do something that was likely to at least force the wrongdoers into removing the clip of him from their odious promotion of Israel hatred, something that might also out them, and perhaps even shame them into a public debate about the absurdity of comparing the richly diverse, democratic and liberal Jewish State with South Africa’s era of apartheid.

Nass decided he would challenge the Apartheid promoters. He offered $5000 of his own money to them if they would: one, reveal themselves; two, remove his clip from their promotional trailer; three, apologize; and four, agree to debate him in the public square about the comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa.

That challenge was made late on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Nass heard back from lots of people – so did the author and The Jewish Press – more on that further down, but nothing from the Israel Apartheid Week promoters.

On Friday, Feb. 28, before Shabbat, Nass checked the link to the promotional trailer, and saw something odd: “this video has been removed by the user.” When Nass checked it again after Shabbat ended, he saw that the video had been replaced with one that did not include the Fox Business News clip in which he appeared.

“They buckled under the pressure,” Nass told The Jewish Press in a follow-up interview on Sunday. “Not surprisingly, they did not reveal who they are, but they did reveal what they are,” he said.

“I received so many messages, especially from students and alumni, from all over the world,” Nass continued. “They all wanted to know what happened as the result of my challenge. They also told me that my speaking up was a tremendous source of encouragement to them.

“Pro-Israel students have felt intimidated on college campuses for far too long. I really think others felt like what I did was, in a sense, speaking up and out for them,” Nass added.

So a single college senior, one who describes himself as “ambitious but slightly insecure,” can add a notch in the pro-Israel column in the campus wars currently on rapid boil.

When asked what he wanted the lesson to be, the takeaway from this experience, Nass responded:

Pro-Israel students need to be supported for standing up for their beliefs. If more students knew how many others believe, just as they do, that the BDS movement is one built on deception and intimidation, and all of those students stood up and spoke out, the anti-Israel hatred would crumble. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, it’s when good people stay silent that evil prevails.

Although Israel Apartheid Week is still going to take place this month on many U.S. campuses, maybe by next year the pro-Israel students, inspired by Nass and the growing cadre of other action-oriented students, will have an effective response to the entire charade.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/college-seniors-challenge-defeats-israel-apartheid-week-leaders/2014/03/03/

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