For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Rindsberg - The anti-Israel float at the pro-Israel parade
The Times of Jerusalem..
03 June '12..
A few years ago I was in New York, happily wandering around the city one afternoon when, all of a sudden, I was beset by a parade of trucks and vans bearing signs like “Israel is racist,” and “Dismantle Israel” etc. I was immediately disgusted, and even more so to see that it was religious Jews, members of the Neturei Karta sect, who were decrying the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.
I considered penning an op-ed about this phenomenon, but, I recall, I thought what’s the point. They enjoy almost universal derision among Jews, and their rain-on-Israel’s-parade parade was clearly unsanctioned by any Jewish group or authority. On their own merits, the Kartas came across as kooks.
With this year’s parade, we’re treated to very similar calls and cries about Israel. The only difference this time round is that the Israel bashing will be coming from within the Israel Day Parade.
It’s unclear why, but the New Israel Fund — a group that raises money on behalf of organizations that explicitly call for and work towards the boycotting of Israeli products, divestment from our economy, and sanctions of the Jewish state — is once again being counted among the parade’s “pro-Israel” marchers
On its website, the NIF claims that information regarding their support of “global BDS” is false. The subtlety of the statement’s wording betrays itself, since that innocuous little modifier, “global,” would seemingly allow NIF to hedge on the issue by claiming they only support boycott, divestment and sanctions related to the territories.
Yet hiding behind an adjective, the NIF reveals just how at odds it is with the mainstream Jewish and pro-Israel communities, the vast majority of whom recoil in disgust at the idea of promoting economic warfare against a Jewish state that so many have labored so hard to build up.
But, semantics aside, we can look at the hard numbers, the money numbers, to see where the NIF really does stand. A number of NIF-funded organizations (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, and Mossawa among them) have lobbied European governments for sanctions against Israel. The chair of the board of NIF-funded B’Tselem has loudly called for “effective sanctions” against Israel.
And these are the tame examples. They have funded the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, which published its infamous “Vaseline” poster and its nasty insinuations about Israel and political rape. They also fund the doggedly anti-Israel magazine +972, which artfully propounds the Israel-as-apartheid-state meme.
Another NIF grantee, Adalah, brought suit against Israel for war crimes in 2004. The response by Judge Dorit Beinisch — not exactly an Israel hawk — was: “The comprehensive petition, and the severe allegations in it, do not lay out a factual or legal basis appropriate for a practical and concrete review… It appears to be an attempt to use the court…” To what effect? Judge Elyakim Rubinstein added, “What is hiding behind the legal, scholarly disguise? Is it not that its real purpose is de-legitimizing the state of Israel?”
And that is the whole point: BDS, as it’s affectionately known by proponents, is a fiercely effective legal-economic strategy in the ongoing effort to demonize, delegitimize and, ultimately, destroy Israel. Its supporters say it’s peace they want, and no doubt this is true: peace by way of warfare, albeit warfare of a different kind.
The question we have to ask today is why the UJA, the organizer and funder of the parade, is displaying such equanimity in the face of such strident anti-Israel antipathy, especially given that the majority of US Jews utterly reject ideologies like those of the NIF and its anti-Israel grantees and affiliates.
When the pro-Israel parade becomes a moment for actively anti-Israel groups to vent and propagandize, you have to ask, why have an Israel day parade at all?
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"