web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Brooklyn Food Co-op May Consider Israel Boycott

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

A Brooklyn food co-op that once boycotted products from South Africa because of its apartheid policy may consider doing the same to Israeli products in the coming months.

During an open forum at the Park Slope Food Coop’s January meeting, Hima B., one of the co-op’s 15,000 members, said, “I don’t know whether or not we carry Israeli products but [if we do] I propose that we no longer carry them.” Linewaiters’ Gazette, the co-op’s newspaper, reported that Hima was advised to pursue her suggestion through the Agenda Committee, which determines the items for discussion for each meeting.

Hima is apparently not alone in her sentiments. In the same Linewaiters’ Gazette issue, another member, Imrana Sayed, wrote a letter to the editor suggesting that “the Coop should print a list of products which are made in Israel, so members like me who care about this issue strongly have a choice not to purchase those items.” A third member, Carol Wald, wrote that consideration of a boycott is necessary “in light of the continued occupation of Gaza and this (most recent) ruthless war waged against its citizenry.”

The co-op, which includes many Jews ranging from Reform to chassidic, currently carries four products from Israel: sweet peppers, persimmons, paprika, and marshmallows. It carries approximately 10,000 items in total.

News of the proposed boycott has angered many Jews and bloggers. On Vosizneias.com, one anonymous commentator wrote, “I urge all Jews to immediately renounce their membership in this coop. [A]bsolutely disgusting.” Rabbi Andy Bachman of Park Slope’s Beth Elohim said his congregation might deny the co-op usage of its facilities for future meetings if it votes to boycott Israeli products.

At the same time, however, some pundits claim that the Forward, which first broke the story, and the blogosphere are making much ado about nothing. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Ben Harris, who belongs to the co-op, wrote that one woman’s proposal during an open forum is far from a boycott in the making. The co-op’s strict rules, he wrote, do not allow members to discuss anything during their meetings unless it goes through several hurdles of procedural rules.

According to Gersh Kuntzman, editor of The Brooklyn Paper, “Stray comments at a Park Slope Food Coop general meeting don’t become Coop law until – and please believe me because I know this from personal experience – extensive debate, discussion and more mudslinging than at an organic composting facility.”

Allen Zimmerman, a general coordinator at the co-op, told The Jewish Press that Hima has not yet submitted an item to the Agenda Committee. And yet, although he hopes the matter won’t come up for a vote, he believes that it may well come to that stage at some future meeting. But its potential for passage is not great, he said.

Asked to describe the general mood among co-op members, Zimmerman said he has heard sentiments both for and against the boycott. Ultimately, though, he is “very doubtful that it would pass.”

As for his personal view, Zimmerman said, “No one in Gaza will be happier if the co-op doesn’t sell red peppers and no one in Israel will feel worse if the co-op doesn’t sell red peppers . All you can possibly do is give yourself some symbolic satisfaction and hurt the rest of your family . We’re part of a cooperative group of all kinds of Jews, atheists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus – you can’t imagine how many religions come together here and work fairly harmoniously together. I don’t want to see disharmony brought to the cooperative.”

Title: In A Good Pasture

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Title: In A Good Pasture

Author: Dvora Waysman

Seven people from different parts of the world come together at an Israeli absorption center, to learn Hebrew and about life in their new country.  We meet them in the newest book by Dvora Waysman, In A Good Pasture (Mazo publishers).The absorption center is in Nazareth Illit and the author tells us that it is in this same place that she and her family spent the first five months of their Aliyah, many years ago. But she is quick to inform us that, notwithstanding the authentic setting, the book is a work of fiction.Lola and Ronald from England, Lee from America, Anna from Shanghai, David from South Africa, Jose from Spain and Freda from Australia, are as different as the countries they hailed from, and everyone a story in themselves.

Beautiful aristocratic Lee; why did she leave Las Vegas and New York for Israel?

Lola didn’t leave anything to the imagination, talking and laughing incessantly, the total opposite of her largely silent husband Ronald.

Anna, withdrawn and bearing the weight of a survivor on her shoulders, wore her loneliness on her sleeve.  Handsome David from South Africa was a typical playboy.  What brought him to Israel?

Freda was a little naive but very anxious to learn.  Jose a first class gentleman was the hardest to fathom.  What secrets lay behind his brooding visage?

As the story unfolds we become very caught up in the lives of each one − and without our even realizing it the land of Israel is unfolding before us, and we see it through the loving eyes of the author.  The Galilee, the Israeli coast and then Jerusalem, ah Jerusalem, what magic Dvora Waysman weaves.In A Good Pasture has the intrigues and pathos that one finds whenever real life situations are involved, and the reader’s attention will be held until the last page.

 

Dvora Waysman is an Australian-born writer now living in Jerusalem. She is the author of 10 books including The Pomegranate Pendant soon to be a movie; she is a syndicated columnist and a teacher of Creative Writing. She is also the grandmother of 18 Israeli children.  Her new novel In as Good Pasture will be published this year. Her e-mail: ways@netvision.net.il; website: www.dvorawaysman.com

Birthright Trips For Non-Jews

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

      Israel is about to turn 60 and the silence, outside of the Jewish community, is deafening. To date I have seen virtually no mention of the milestone in anything but Jewish publications.
 
      Israel’s monumental achievement, the fact that this tiny country with its neighbors hell-bent on eliminating it has somehow managed to survive, does not seem to be much of a story outside the Jewish world. Some would say this is appropriate. Israel is, after all, a Jewish state. Why should anyone else care?
 
      But on another level the fact that no one seems to be celebrating along with the Jews speaks volumes of our failure. Israel, it seems, has lost its ability to inspire all but Jews and evangelical Christians. These two groups see Israel’s creation and survival as possessing world-historical meaning. But to the rest of the world Israel is a country that is in the headlines because of bombs and battles. So the world is saying, no offense to you Jews, but what does your anniversary have to do with us?
 
      But wait a second. The anniversary of the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was commemorated recently not just by African-Americans and not just in the United States but around the world – including in Israel. And this is because the movement that King led, while focused primarily on the plight of blacks in the South, was seen as a global cry for freedom and justice.
 
      The civil rights movement portended an end to racism and irrational prejudice in every corner of the globe. Thus, it has significance for people everywhere. But was Zionism at one time not viewed in the same light? Was it not also a movement by an oppressed people, persecuted in every land in which they resided, to find a home where they could live in peace and freedom? Has it now become a movement that speaks to none but Jews alone?
 
      I believe we Jews have unwittingly contributed to the insular and exclusivist mindset that has made Israel a Jewish-only project. And sixty years into the project, we must start thinking differently.
 
      Two great mistakes have been made by the global Jewish community with regards to Israel. The first was to portray Israel as a modern entity with negligible historical roots. The second was to portray Israel as a Jewish-only entity with little relevance to the rest of the world.
 
      Mistake number one is captured by a conversation I had with a businessman who told me a few months back that he was concerned that Israel’s emphasis on its 60th birthday might feed Arab propaganda that Israel is a modern entity – created by European-Jewish colonialists – that has usurped Arab land. Instead of calling this Israel’s 60th birthday party, he argued, why not have a different motto, something along the lines of “Three Thousand Plus Sixty,” that captures the uninterrupted nature of the Jewish people’s attachment to its ancestral homeland?
 
      He had a point.
 
      Every few years I travel to South Africa for book tours. Black South Africans, while receptive to Jews, can be ambivalent about Israel. To them Israelis seem like white people who colonized the darker-skinned inhabitants of a land not their own. The parallel to apartheid South Africa creates immediate sympathy for the Palestinian side.
 
      I respond by telling my African hosts that the parallel between the two stories is really the reverse. Like black Africans in their land, the Jews were the original people who inhabited ancient Israel. Then the Romans came, colonized the land, decimated the Jewish population, and exiled the Jews to Europe and other parts of the Empire. But the Jews never lost a connection to their ancestral home, prayed every day to return, and a sizable Jewish minority remained even after the exile. Then, two thousand years later, when the opportunity and resources presented themselves, we began to reconstitute ourselves as a sovereign entity.
 
      The second mistake, making Israel something of only Jewish concern, is captured in the most successful and visionary Jewish program of our time, Birthright Israel. Birthright is nothing short of a miracle, and one of the reasons I so revere my friend Michael Steinhardt and his counterpart Charles Bronfman is because of their foresight in seeing just how inspirational the modern Jewish state could be to disaffected Jewish youth.
 
      But why stop there? Israel has the power to inspire non-Jewish youth as well.
 
      The Jews are history’s most influential people, having given the modern world its three foundations: God (universal brotherhood), the Ten Commandments (law), and the Messiah (progress aimed at perfecting the world). Those ideas were all born in the very soil of Israel, the world epicenter of faith and spiritual transcendence.
 
      But that’s not how the modern world sees it. India and Tibet have become the place of pilgrimage for Westerners seeking enlightenment. Just look at the level of sympathy the world rightly has for Tibet’s struggle against China versus the seeming lack of sympathy for Israel’s struggle against terrorism. That’s because the world feels it has a stake in Tibet’s welfare.
 
      The Dalai Lama has successfully portrayed his homeland as a place from which light shines to the entire earth and not just Buddhists. Should we not portray Israel in the same authentic light?
 
      I believe that of all the presents we can give Israel as it turns “Three Thousand Plus Sixty,” none would be more helpful than to inaugurate a Birthright for non-Jewish youth program that would seek to bring 50,000 non-Jewish students from around the world to Israel every year. Campuses are the venues where Israel is most attacked in the West today. Why not expose non-Jewish students to how stirring Israel is and give them a stake in its future?
 
      I’m supposed to be leading a press and media Birthright Trip to Israel for Mayanot this summer. Many of my non-Jewish colleagues in the media have practically begged me to attend. Birthright alumni from all over the globe will tell you the same. Their non-Jewish friends are envious of the transformative trip to Israel that right now is the preserve of Jewish youth alone.
 

      As for the cost, churches all over the U.S. would contribute, as would non-Jewish philanthropists and foundations sympathetic to Israel. And it would be the best PR Israel ever had.

 

 

      Rabbi Shmuley Boteach hosts a daily radio show in the United States and has just published “The Broken American Male and How to Fix Him.” Visit his website, www.shmuley.com.

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama’s Chicago church published an open letter from a Palestinian activist that labels Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” country and claims the Jewish state worked on an “ethnic bomb” that kills “blacks and Arabs.” The letter, discovered by the Sweetness and Light blog, was published on the “Pastor’s Page” of the Trinity United Church of Christ newsletter reserved for Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whose anti-American, anti-Israel remarks landed Obama in hot water, prompting the presidential candidate to deliver a major race speech last week.

“I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the white supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs,” wrote the letter’s author, Ali Baghdadi.

The June 10, 2007, newsletter, which is still available on Obama’s church’s website, identifies Baghdadi as an Arab-American activist, writer, and columnist who “acted as a Middle East advisor to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, as well as Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

The piece is titled “An open letter to Oprah,” referring to the talk show giant Oprah Winfrey, who last year accepted an invitation to visit Israel offered to her by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Winfrey had been a member of Obama’s church but left in 1986.

Referring to Israel, Baghdadi writes, “Arabs have always supported the dismantling of this racist government” and states that Palestinians face “genocide and ethnic cleansing . . . every hour of the day.”

Baghdadi states, “For many centuries, Jews escaped the discrimination and death they were subjected to in Europe, and found safety and refuge among us.”

He doesn’t mention the more than 800,000 Jews who were expelled or left Arab countries under threat of violence after Israel was founded in 1948.

Dollars for Terrorists

Just days after it was announced that the U.S. would transfer $150 million directly to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s government, members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Abbas’s Fatah party, were told they would receive cash grants, WorldNetDaily has learned.

According to Palestinian militant sources familiar with the issue, earlier this month 20 members of the Brigades leadership in Ramallah complained to PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad that they did not have enough money to pay their bills, including, for many of them, rent for their apartments.

Last week, according to the sources, Fayyad told the complaining Brigades leaders he would provide them with a one-time grant of $3,000 each, or $60,000 to the Ramallah-based Brigades leadership.

The sources said that after Brigades leaders in other West Bank cities, including Hebron and Nablus, heard of the grants, they also demanded pay increases.

The sources estimate that at least $350,000 in grants to Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades leaders were pledged by Fayyad since last week. Some of the Brigades leaders serve in Fatah security forces while others only work in the Brigades.

Fayyad’s purported grants to the Brigades came after the U.S. announced that it would transfer $150 million directly to accounts controlled by Fayyad, marking the first time in eight months America has transferred money directly to the PA rather than to nongovernmental agencies.

Revenge Feared

Israeli security officials fear the possibility of a massive revenge attack in Israel, abroad or both, following the assassination last month of Hizbullah’s arch-terrorist, Imad Mughniyah.

The terror leader was at the top of Israel’s most wanted list and was responsible for a series of deadly attacks against the U.S. and Israel, including involvement in the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert denied that Israel was involved in the assassination, but Hizbullah has directly blamed the Jewish state and threatened retaliation.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

Title: South African Journeys

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007


Title: South African Journeys

Author: Gita Gordon
Publisher: Judaica Press

 

         Gita Gordon’s fictitious tale of pre- and post-Holocaust migration of European Jews to South Africa is enthralling. An education in the nuances of how the Dark Continent’s Jewish population established itself, South African Journeys is filled with engaging characters, believable and familiar situations, and life lessons about the nobility of the Jewish spirit.

 

         Several disparate lives converge as Jews who fled the Kishinev pogroms meet up with Yiddish-speaking mail-order brides (one of whom plays bait-and-switch), as well as emotionally scarred survivors of Hitler’s war against the Jews. Life circumstances and some shady characters present them all with a challenging array of betrayals and opportunities to advance in life. Characters in the book either practice integrity based on Torahdik values or abandon all decency. Their choices move the story along.

 

         Each character is entirely believable. Heroes, heroines and villains speak realistic thoughts and make easily understandable choices. When an adolescent escapes a deadly ambush in his Russian town and flees to South Africa, we shudder with him when his first employer, an uncle and fellow Jew, manipulates the situation. Despite the teen’s agony at having lost everyone in his immediate family to brutal slaughter, his uncle places him in servitude in a remote town. The orphan overcomes the multifaceted horror by learning how to thrive with his Basuto clientele, dressed in colorful blankets.

 

         As European Jewish females fleeing impending spinsterhood seek their fortunes in the colorful and baffling land of Tabletop Mountain with its many-hued ethnic groups, readers will groan over courtship’s familiarly awkward situations.

 

         Searches for missing relatives, competitions for social prestige that backfire and the beautifully budding loves and accomplishments of quiet, determined men and women make for hypnotic reading. The author’s graceful transitions between time periods, people, places and situations give readers a vivid sense of witnessing the entire drama firsthand.

 

         Many lives are affected by the religious Batya, the sweet-natured sole survivor of a warm, loving and principled family murdered by Nazis. Or is she perhaps not the sole survivor? Read the story to figure out the answer familiar to far too many Jews of the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

         One of the subtleties of South African Journeys is the inevitability of consequences for the choices made by its characters. Those consequences depict justice served with beaming smiles for the brave and honest, comeuppances for the self-serving and superficial. The values of a Torah-based life subtly save more than a few characters in this book. As the story concludes with a resolution for every complication therein, readers will wish that real life could be written by Gita Gordon. This is a legend to be savored from beginning to end.

Cardozo’s Man Of Honor

Wednesday, May 7th, 2003

The Monitor will pay tribute next week to Michael Kelly, the exemplary journalist and true friend of Israel who died so tragically in Iraq. This week, however, we take a look at some choice remarks made over the course of the past 20 years by South African Arch-bishop Desmond Tutu, Kelly’s opposite in just about every way imaginable.

Why Tutu, and why this week? Because on April 1, Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University did the unthinkable and awarded Tutu its International Advocate for Peace Award. According to news reports, Cardozo officials “beamed with pride” as Tutu received his
award, and Cardozo Dean David Rudenstine “was visibly excited…as he heaped praise on the archbishop.”

Truly we are a people with no spine and no shame. Behold the man so disgracefully honored by an affiliate school of the bastion of Modern Orthodoxy:

As reported by Ha’aretz, Tutu recently told a conference in Boston that “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid.” He also said he was “deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa … I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…”

Tutu is given to castigating those (read: Jews) who possess what he describes as short memories: “Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? [Monitor's note: Isn't it interesting how charlatans like Tutu always refer to Jews as "sisters and brothers" whenever they're about to hit us over the head with a barrage of criticism?] Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?”

Not only does he equate Israelis with Nazis, but Tutu apparently looks forward to Israel’s meeting the same fate as the 20th century’s most notorious villains: “The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust. Injustice and oppression will never prevail.”

Here are just a few more of the many other examples of Tutu’s ugly rhetoric, compiled by the Zionist Organization of America’s Morton Klein:

* “People are scared in this country [the U.S.], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful.”

* Tutu accused Jews of exhibiting “an arrogance” the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support.” (Jewish Telegraphic
Agency Daily News Bulletin, Nov. 29, 1984)

* During a 1989 visit to Israel Tutu remarked, “If I’m accused of being anti-Semitic, tough luck,” and in response to questions about his anti-Jewish bias, Tutu replied, “My dentist’s name is Dr. Cohen.” (Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Response magazine, January 1990)

* Tutu has claimed that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism.” (American Jewish Year Book 1988, p. 50)

* Speaking in a Connecticut church in 1984, Tutu said that “Jews thought they had a monopoly on G-d; Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings.” In the same speech, he compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa. (Hartford Courant, Oct. 29, 1984)

* In conversations during the 1980′s with the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Eliahu Lankin, Tutu “refused to call Israel by its name, he kept referring to it as Palestine.” (Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Response magazine, January 1990)

* Asked about the Zionism-is-racism resolution, Tutu complained that “the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others.” (South African Zionist Record, July 26, 1985)

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

No Media Bias? Check Out Fletcher, Jennings

Wednesday, March 26th, 2003

If you’ve ever thought you detected a certain anti-Israel bias in the reportage of NBC’s longtime Israel bureau chief Martin Fletcher, there’s good reason: Despite being Jewish, married to an Israeli and the father of three Israeli sons, Fletcher considers Israel worse than South Africa in the days of apartheid and won’t even say whether he thinks the creation of the State of Israel was a good thing.

Fletcher gave vent to his feelings in a surprisingly revealing interview that appeared last Friday in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz. Interviewer Aviva Lori, after viewing a video anthology of Fletcher’s reports, flatly concluded that “his sympathies clearly lie with the suffering of the Palestinians.”

Lori asked Fletcher whether he”care[d] about the continued existence of the State of Israel.”

“Since it already exists, it matters to me that it continue to exist,” Fletcher replied. “Did it have to exist in the first place? That’s another question.”

Want some moral equivalence? Fletcher has plenty of that: “When I’m reporting on the bodies that I see after a terror attack, I hate the people who did it,” he told Lori. “And when I see Palestinian houses that have been demolished, I hate the people who do that….The fact that I’m a Jew and my family is Israeli doesn’t make me feel that Israel has the right to do the things that it does.”

Fletcher, writes Lori, “believes an analogy can be drawn between Israel and [apartheid] South Africa,” though as Fletcher makes clear, he actually thinks Israel is worse (all italics added):

“I see more and more similarity between Israel and South Africa in the apartheid period….I say that if there isn’t serious and foreseeable progress soon in the peace talks, the world will treat Israel the same way it treated South Africa….The thing is that, to a large extent, Israel
today is worse than South Africa. Because if you compare the situation of the blacks under apartheid to the situation of the Palestinians under the Israeli military occupation, the Palestinians’ situation is much worse.

“….[the blacks under apartheid] were free to travel, to go to the cinema, to go to work, or wherever else they wanted. Here the Palestinians are not free to move because the military dictatorship of this government doesn’t allow it.”

Of course, Fletcher still has a way to go in the bias department to even come close to the Prince of Palestine, ABC’s Peter Jennings. Here’s how the story of the arrest of Prof. Sami Al-Arian was introduced last Thursday on the evening news broadcasts of the three networks:

John Roberts (subbing for Dan Rather), CBS Evening News.: “On the terror trail in this country, federal authorities today accused a university professor and seven other people of, in effect, operating an international terror cell from a college campus in South Florida. Some
suspects are still being sought tonight….”

Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News: “And in the war on terror, arrests tonight. Attorney General John Ashcroft made the announcement. Eight people, four of them American, one a controversial college professor in South Florida, charged with helping to run a violent Palestinian terrorist group….”

Prince of Palestine, ABC World News Tonight: “Good evening, everyone. We’re going to begin tonight with the government’s aggressive campaign in the U.S. against people it accuses of supporting terrorism. Today the Attorney General John Ashcroft said the Bush administration is charging eight people, four of them in the U.S., with helping what the
government calls a terrorist group overseas….” [Italics added.]

While CBS and NBC played it straight, Jennings used his intro to imply that there was something arbitrary, even sinister, in the way U.S. government was acting. And he couldn’t even bring himself to call Islamic Jihad a terrorist organization, suggesting instead that such a
characterization was nothing more than the opinion of the Bush administration.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com  

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/no-media-bias-check-out-fletcher-jennings/2003/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: