Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Friday, November 23, 2007

Who you callin' a ....?

Isi Leibler lashed out at American Jewish critics of Israel. Seymour Reich and Marvin Lender reply. Everybody is right and everybody is wrong. It is certainly right to criticize policies of the Israeli government that people think are wrong. It is certainly wrong to do it in the way that many of the "Zionist" organizations have been doing. It is one thing to criticize things that Israel actually does. It is quite another to market a film of Azmi Bishara, the Israeli Arab traitor, as "Zionist Hasbara," as UPZ did. It is also off limits to call Israel an "Apartheid State" and urge that it should be treated like Apartheid South Africa as Ameinu did. It is also inexcusable for Israel Policy Forum to time and again use false statistics about terror to advance the absurd thesis that Israeli "intransigence" was responsible for the failure of the peace negotiations in 2000. Disseminating untruths, popularizing the views of spies and traitors and urging international ostracism of Israel on specious grounds cannot possibly be constructive. They are not part of legitimate Zionist debate.
Ami Isseroff  
Who are you calling 'Jews against Zion'?
seymour d. reich and marvin lender ,
As American Jews who have served in many national leadership positions in the community, including the chairmanships of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and of the United Jewish Appeal, respectively, we share Isi Leibler's concern over the indifference to and even alienation from Israel on the part of many American Jews under 35, as expressed in his November 12th Post column, "Sending our youth the wrong signals."
This is a very serious problem that Jews in Israel and the Diaspora must confront together (and are in many instances), and not blame each other for the current situation.
However, we completely disagree with Mr. Leibler's approach. It is not only misguided and misinformed; it actually exacerbates the problem. In fact, what many under-35 Diaspora Jews say push them away from Israel is the type of criticism Leibler levels at "Diaspora Jewish leaders" who provide "communal platforms" for controversial Israeli or Jewish speakers who take issue with (or "delegitimize," in Leibler's parlance) the way the "Jewish state behaves."
Hearing contentious or disturbing ideas, or opposing views, does not lead to the indifference or alienation we are all concerned about. On the contrary. The under-35 Jews in the Diaspora welcome the same open, vigorous debate over the way Israel behaves that is displayed daily in Israel's newspapers and body politic. They are turned off by attempts to squelch such debate - especially when characterized as "anti-Israel" or "anti-Zionist" - and may become disaffected with Israel and the Jewish community as a result. That sends them the wrong signal.
Mr. Leibler's gratuitous attack on Israel Policy Forum, which we currently serve as president and chair respectively, is particularly offensive and deplorable. If we were "Jews against Zion" (Leibler's repugnant description), would Rabin, Sharon, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, Olmert, Livni, Ramon (to name just a few Israeli leaders, current and past) speak at IPF events or meet with IPF leaders? We think not.
SINCE ITS inception in 1993, IPF has been working with US administrations and Israeli governments, with members of Congress and the Knesset, on both sides of the aisle, and with many other interested parties, to support and encourage efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to attain long-term security for Israel and to end the shedding of Israeli and Palestinian blood. IPF is now energetically backing the current attempt by Secretary of State Rice to convene an Annapolis conference and follow-up meetings aimed at forging an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Along with Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice, and many others, we at IPF understand that, in Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, Israel has negotiating partners who have demonstrated their commitment to reaching an accord with Israel.
Supporting these critical activities is "pro-Israel." Supporting peace and security for Israel through negotiated agreements is "pro-Israel." Supporting this process is not only vital to Israel's well-being, but is also in America's interest. Opposing these efforts and believing that the status quo can remain forever is unrealistic in today's complicated world, especially in the Middle East, and dangerous to Israel.
Why would increasing the risk to Israel and placing more Israeli lives at risk be considered a "safer" policy and more "pro-Israel" than working to promote Israel's peace and security through negotiations, if that is at all possible?
This, not incidentally, is the point of view of the majority of Israelis and American Jews, particularly those under 35 and even more predominantly among those on college campuses. Advocating this position and facilitating honest and open debate on Israel-related issues - activities which IPF embraces and Leibler spurns - is the best way to build a connection between Diaspora youth and Israel.
Reich is president of the Israel Policy Forum and past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Lender is chair of the Israel Policy Forum and past national chairman and president of United Jewish Appeal.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory