What do you do when the United Nations “official report” sounds like a Pallywood cheap low life blogger?
When it hands out, gives the anti Jewish Arab “Palestinian” Jihad, pushing for annihilation, finally to hear that exact same garbage with which they try us all to brainwash with: Namely: “WE ARE ALL VICTIMS SO WE CAN COMMIT ALL CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”.
“Thanks” not to the U.N. for giving an official certification to the “Palestinian entity” to continue it’s declared genocide against Israel.
Here are some of the basic information, missing intentionally from the careless U.N. reporters:
1) The Islamo Arab bigoted war against the Jews in the holy-land began in the 1920’s, a few decades ago before that “occupation excuse” was even born.
2) The “Palestinians” do not refer just to a security checkpoints as “occupation” but to all of the lands of Israel, AKA, the ARAB RACISM is not giving the non Arabs a “right” to exist at all in that area.
3) How can one make any argument that an anti terror safety measure such as acheckpoint or road block “causes” terrorism, when it was established only BECAUSE of that?
Will the U.N. from now on call the checkpoints we all have in an airport, or on a football field as “apartheid”? AND why not? Is it not an orchestrated anti Israel Islamic led apartheid?
Shall the U.N. now disable all its security facilities on all its premises as “apartheid coplonialism ocupation”?
In other words, Israelis don’t have any right to survive against Arab racist terrorists, and all it’s efforts to guard it’s babies from genocide bombers and other terror acts are just “ocupation stuff”.
[Indian Israeli American] Zubin Mehta hopes to end North Korean isolation through music Zubin Mehta hopes to end North Korean isolation through music …London, February 25 (ANI): Zubin Mehta, the president of the famous New York Philharmonic orchestra, has said that he hopes that the group’s upcoming show …
Follow the Money: Obama contributor Talat M. Othman 23 Feb 2008 by to be announced Khalidi, a “virulent critic of Israel”, has “denounced Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state.” Pipes wrote that Othman is “president of the founding committee of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). …
Anger towards Israel by its Arab neighbors is out of proportion to Israel’s sins. What we are witnessing in the Middle East is anti-Semitism, not politics. It is Jew-hatred, not a dispute over borders or rights or Palestinian statehood. This present conflict is the direct result of Arab racism and Arab intolerance.
As long as middle-eastern Arabs teach their children to hate Jews, there will be no lasting peace.
We who once held a similar disdain for black people should understand better than most what sort of challenges the Middle East faces. Generations have been taught hatred. Generations have been taught that Jews are not human beings. Generations have been taught that every piece of bad fortune has Jewish conspirators at its heart.
That sort of irrational racism can’t be eliminated by UN resolutions. It can only be reversed by sane and tolerant Arabs who are willing to speak out against their brothers.
And they better speak out soon.
This Middle East anti-Semitism has become much worse than anything we ever saw here in America. When Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks unapologetically about genocide, any student of history can see that the racist fires of hatred are blazing hotter than they ever were in the American South. Our Ku Klux Klan was a murderous bunch of hate-mongers armed only with rifles and dynamite. Think what might have happened if they’d had Katyusha rockets and Kalashnikovs. Hezbollah is the Klan on steroids.
And like the Klan, Hezbollah is being driven by a warped religious zealotry. It believes that killing Jews is God’s work.
Are there righteous Muslims in the Arab world who will stand up and say that Allah does not hate Jews? Are there righteous Muslims in the Arab world who will say that groups like Hezbollah are distorting the teachings of Islam for their own purposes?
I doubt that peace in the Middle East is possible. I doubt that an entire generation of Arabs will come to repent of their anti-Semitic hatred. Jews make useful whipping boys for the powerful but incompetent Arab leaders who can’t make the trains run on time, or provide decent lives for their citizens.
Until Hezbollah and Iran and Syria agree that Israel has a right to exist, and that Jews have a right to live in peace, Israel needs the protection of the West against the Hitlerian plans of the powers that surround it. The West, which has learned a few hard lessons about the evils of racism, needs to come to Israel’s defense.
“Receive – Embrace All Human Beings with Cheer and Joy.” – Talmud — “Do not do unto others that which you dislike.” – Talmud How interesting it is that Haters from the Islamo Militant Propaganda Camp, that claim to have a ‘beef’ with Zionism only, mix the Old Lies on Talmud (already exposed) with their Political Agenda.
1) (Even if one disagrees with A. Sharon‘s Defense Policies), Sharon and Govt. just as the early and founders of the Zionist movement, are not ‘Talmudists’, nor religious, but rather 100% Secular, all the way!
2) The most Anti Zionist religious Jews are the most fervent Talmud learners and followers.
3) (Today) Only Jihadists Islamic Militants use Religion to Kill, one can Never connect this holy Compassionate Talmud book to anything immoral whatsoever (but on the contrary)!
Links are not necessarily an endorsement. Neither is this page in any shape or form an expounder of the holy divine Talmud, but unmasking Haters’ bluff.
Some True Quotes from the Holy Talmud
By Michael Gruda: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following brief list of quotations from Talmudic literature clarify the attitude of the sages to non-Jews. Many more examples can be adduced but this short list should be sufficient for the purposes of this article.
1. “They said of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai that no man ever greeted him first, even idol worshippers in the market” [i.e., Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai was the first to greet every person, even idol worshippers] (Berachot 17).
At the same location the sage Abaye advocated soft speech and words of peace to everyone, especially including idol worshippers.
2. “[it is proper to] support the idol worshippers during the sabbatical year …. and to inquire after their welfare [commentators: even on the days of the holidays of their idols, even if they do not keep the seven Noahide commandments] because of the ways of peace.” (Shevi’it 4,3)
3. The rabbis taught: ‘We support poor Gentiles with the poor people of Israel, and we visit sick Gentiles as well as the sick of Israel and we bury the dead of the Gentiles as well as the dead of Israel, because of the ways of peace.” (Gitin 61a)
4. The Talmud contains many references to righteous gentiles whose behaviour is held up as a model for all people. The example of Dama ben Netina is known to all Jewish children (Kidushin 31a):
‘They asked R. Eliezer how far one should go in honoring parents. He said to them: Go and see how one idol worshipper in Ashdod honored his father, and Dama ben Netina was his name. The sages wished to purchase gems from him for the Ephod [for a tremendous profit] … but the key [to the box containing the gems] was under his father’s pillow [while his father was sleeping] and he did not trouble his father [by waking him even though he gave up a tremendous profit].’ Dama was rewarded for his virtue the next year when a red heifer [required for the Temple service] was born in his flock. When he sold it to the sages he told them that he knew that they would pay any price he asked for it, but he asked only for the amount he had not earned the previous year when he refrained from waking his father.
5. Another example of righteous gentiles whose behaviour is held up as a model is to be found in the story of the King of Katsia and his subjects.
One of his subjects purchased a ruin from his neighbor and found a treasure in it. He insisted on giving it back to his neighbor, claiming he had purchased only the ruin, and not a treasure. His neighbor refused to take it, insisting that he had sold the ruin and everything in it. The two litigants came to the King to decide the issue. When the King discovered that one neighbor had a son and the other one had a daughter he ruled that the children should marry and share the treasure. It is related that Alexander of Macedonia saw this judgement and was amazed by it. He told the King of Katsia that in his country the two neighbors would be executed (since in his land found treasure had to be delivered to the King at the pain of death). The King of Katsia is reported to have asked Alexander if the rain fell and the sun shone and if there were animals in the land of Alexander. When Alexander answered affirmatively the King of Katsia told him that the sun shone and the rain fell in the merit of the animals, not the people of his land. (Gen R 33 – further sources are referenced at this location).
6. Baba Kama 38a: “But we learned: R. Meir says – whence do we learn that a gentile who is occupied in the Torah [the reference is to those commandments which apply to gentiles] is like the High Priest? As it says [a proof text is given]….”
7. Kidushin 32 contains descriptions of the manner in which our sages honored and respected the elderly. The passage specifically refers to elderly gentiles who were honored in various fashions by the sages.
8. In TY Baba Metzia there are a number of descriptions of sages going out of their way to return lost objects to gentiles (Elu Metziot).
9. Avot 3,14: “He [Rabbi Akiva] was accustomed to say: Beloved is man [commentators: the reference is to all mankind], for he was created in G-d’s image ..”
10. Tosefta BK 10,8: “.. it is more grievous to steal from a gentile because of the desecration of G-d’s name ..”
11. Tosefta BM 2,11: “.. one who sees a lost donkey of an idol worshipper must take care of it exactly the way he takes care of the lost donkey of an Israelite ..”
12. At Avoda Zara 18a the Talmud relates the remarkable story of how a Roman guard of one of the sages who was brutally murdered by the Romans repented. It was made known to the sages that the guard and the sage were welcomed to the World to Come together.
13. At Hullin 7a there is a report of how the sage Pinchas ben Yair miraculously split a river in order to speed his way to carry out the commandment to redeem captives. He went out of his way to split the river again in order to allow a gentile who was accompanying his group to also cross the river to speed his way.
This approach characterized sages throughout all generations. Some examples have been quoted in the earlier parts of this article. Two further examples of interest follow. Many more appear in the literature.
14. Maimonides (over 800 years ago) in Laws of the Sabbatical Year and Jubilee, Chapter 13, Halacha 13, writes .. “and not only the Tribe of Levy [merits special closeness to G-d] but every single person of those who walk the earth who … walks straight in the manner G-d created him … behold this person is sanctified as the Holy of Holies and [he will receive his reward in the World to Come] as the Priests and Levites.”
15. Tiferet Yisrael (Boaz) (approximately 150 years ago) on Avot 3,14 writes, ” … even if our sages had not explicitly taught [that righteous Gentiles have a place in the World to Come as we learn in Sanhedrin 105 and Maimonides Chapter 8 of the Laws of Kings] we would have understood this ourselves since G-d is righteous in all His ways … and we see many of the righteous Gentiles who not only recognize the Creator and believe in the divine origin of the Torah and also act charitably … we will say something which is a commandment to publicize … for behold, some of the them have done tremendous good for all mankind, such as Yenner who invented the … which saves tens of thousands of people from disease and death and deformities … and Draka (?) who brought the potato to Europe thus saving [people] from hunger … and Gutenberg who invented the printing press, and some who never received any reward in this world such as the righteous Reuchlin who risked his life [to prevent the burning of the Talmud] … Can anyone imagine that these great deeds are not repaid in the World to Come? ..”
Above portion by: By Michael Gruda email@example.com
Live well. It is the greatest revenge. The Talmud
Never expose yourself unnecessarily to danger; a miracle may not save you…and if it does, it will be deducted from your share of luck or merit. The Talmud
The Lady ‘Bruria’ interprets (King David’s Psalms 104:35), “Do not (target) say the ‘sinners’ should vanish, but rather the SINS, Should vanish from earth.” The Talmud -Berachot. More
Whoever destroys a single life is as guilty as though he had destroyed the entire world; and whoever resues a single life earns as much merit as though he had rescued the entire world. The Talmud, Mishna. Sanhedrin.
‘An Eye for an Eye’ Literally? Not according to the Holy Talmud!
One of the most (Characteristic) noticeable of the Need of Talmud’s interoperation of the Bible -Old Testament, is probably the commonly misconception about the Bible’s text: ‘An eye for an Eye’, it might be very surprising for so many to hear that the Holy Talmud explains that it does not mean –at all– ‘taking someone’s eye out as a ‘retaliation’ or ‘punishment,’ but rather merely a (high) penalty in monetary payments.
Be among the disciples of Aaron:
Love peace and pursue peace;
Love all fellow creatures,
And bring them near to the Torah.
Translation note (1:12): This begins: “Hillel and Shamai received from them. Hillel said …”.
“Who is a wise man? He who learns of all men.”
“Join the company of lions rather than assume the lead among foxes.”
“Receive – Embrace All Human Beings with Cheer and Joy.” Talmud – Avot
Avot d’Rabbi N. (33:4) teaches: “If a person gives his friend all the gifts in the world with a sour face, he has given him nothing. But one who receives his friend with a cheerful face, even if he has given him nothing else, has given him the greatest gift in the world.” Talmud – Avot R.N. (33)
Civility is, indeed, a Torah value. Derakheha darkhei no’am: pleasantness is the hallmark of the path of Torah Judaism. Hevei mekabel et kol ha-adam be-sever panim yafot:greet each person with a pleasant demeanor. De-alakh sani le-chaverakh la ta’avid: do not do unto others that which you dislike. Talmud – Avot 1
The Jews are (and obliged to be) Compassionate, Humble and Charitalbe. – The children of Israel share three traits: they are “bayshanim,” modest, “rachmanim,” merciful, and “gomlei chasadim,” doers of acts of kindness and generosity. By giving willingly, lovingly, the giver provides a sign that he is part of this nation. Talmud
— If wine spills like water in one’s house there is blessing and if not-not.
Talmud Bavli Eruvin 65b
— Who is wealthy? One who is happy in their lot.
Pirkie Avot 4:1
— Blessing is only found on a thing that is hidden from the eye.
Talmud Bavli Ta’anit 8b
— There is no vessel that holds blessing like Peace.
Talmud Yerushalmi Berachot 2:4
— A person gives a minimal coin to a poor person and merits to receive the Divine Presence.
Talmud Bavli Bava Batra 10a
— Charity is only made whole by the kindness within it.
Talmud Bavli Sukkah 49b
— The world only exists because of the breath of children learning Torah in school.
Talmud Bavli Shabbat 119b
— Satan only accuses in a time of danger.
Talmud Bavli Shabbat 32a
— A wild animal does not dominate a person until the person appears to the wild animal as an animal.
Talmud Bavli Shabbat 151b
— A person dies only out of uselessness and boredom.
Avot De’Rabbi Natan 11:1
— The soul does not leave the body until it sees the Divine Presence.
Pirkie DeRebbi Eliezer 34
— A person does not stub their toe below, unless it is decreed upon them from above.
Talmud Bavli Chullin 7b
— What is Divine Service that is done with joy and goodness of heart? This is song.
Talmud Bavli Arachin 11a— What is a small portion of scripture that all foundations of Torah are dependent on? ‘In all your ways acknowledge God’
Talmud Bavli Berachot 63a
— We do not push off the performance of a commandment. Talmud Bavli Succot 33a
— The Divine Presence rests not amidst depression or laziness, rather amidst the joy of one doing a commandment.
Talmud Bavli Shabbat 30b
— There is no merit like one who makes the public meritorious.
— One should not innovate stringencies of the law and place them upon Israel if only they would keep what is obligatory for them.
Radbaz Responsum 163
— We do not pass by Commandments.
Talmud Bavli Pesachim 64b & Yoma 33a
Evil — There is no bad that does not have within it good.
Tzror Hamor 24, 2
— There is no exile that is as difficult for Israel as the exile of Ishmael.
Zohar Shemot 17a
— A person without friends is like a right hand without a left.
Talmud Yerushalmi Horayot 3:1
— Either friendship or death.
Talmud Bavli Ta’anit 23a
— Every herb has some healing element to it, in regards to some kind of condition.
Midrash Hanelam Berieshit 4,2
Source of last portion : integrativetorahstudies.org
U.N., Hamas are blaming Israel for
Palestinians’ self-inflicted problems By Ira Sharkansky
JERUSALEM—What else is new?
John Holmes, the United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs indicated he was shocked by a “grim and miserable” situation he found in Gaza. He traced it to Israel’s closing of the borders, and allowing in limited supplies of food, fuel, and other goods.
Holmes said that only 10 percent of the previous flow of goods was going into Gaza. ” . . . people are not able to live with the basic dignity to which they are entitled . . . what is essentially needed is an opening of the crossings, a lot more goods coming in.”
If Holmes’ views accomplish anything, they are likely to add to Palestinian misery. The United Nations already feeds more than 80 percent of Gazan residents. This is not a new program reflecting current miseries, but represents an activity that has been going on since 1950. It is a large part of Palestinian dependence, and their refusal or inability to deal with what happened to them six decades ago.
The visit did not set the region on its toes. The Jerusalem Post published a story of about 450 words in length. I found no reference to the visit in Hebrew-language papers with much larger circulation. Israel’s government spokesman did not exactly grovel at the claims of the Undersecretary-General. He said an improvement depended on an end to rocket fire. “If terrorists in Gaza were to cease firing rockets into Israel, trying to kill our people, the situation could very quickly return to where it was,”
The Post indicated that Holmes was scheduled to visit Sderot. So far no news about his impressions there.
Outside of Israel the noise was not much greater. The Washington Post had a brief article, shorter than that in the Jerusalem Post. The New York Times seems to have avoided it altogether. If there was anything in the internet edition of Al Jazeera, I could not find it. The BBC web site reproduced a story virtually identical to that in the Jerusalem Post, but without mentioning Holmes’ plans to visit Sderot.
More prominent than the visit of the man from UN with an elaborate title is news about an explosion in Gaza that killed a key operative of Islamic Jihad and five of his family members, and injured more than 40 others. While some Palestinians are claiming that the explosion resulted from a missile fired by the Israeli Air Force, the IDF has denied conducting any operations in the area. Hamas own police are saying that the cause of the explosion was unclear, and that it may have been a “work accident” (i.e., caused by someone who did not know how to handle munitions).
Islamic Jihad has promised retaliation. So this may join the list of self-inflicted wounds used to justify yet another barrage of rockets aimed at Israel. We will have to see how many of those explode on the way to the launching site, or fail to reach Israel and land on a Palestinian.
The tragedy that links the dismal proclamation of the UN official and the explosion in a Palestinian workshop is insistence on blaming Israel for Palestinian suffering. Their self-assigned fate is to be an international basket case. Thanks to the weight of Muslim countries in international forums, there is a bit of food in the basket, and no end of visiting dignitaries who cluck their tongues and speak about misery. There can be no national dignity or a functioning state until Palestinians can take responsibility for themselves, and throw away the beggar’s bowl.
Palestinian Christians live in constant fear [Islamic apartheid] nationalpost ^| 02-18-2008
Palestinian Christians live in constant fear National Post, Canada … The problem is not their behaviour but, in the eyes of the violent Islamist jihadists, their very presence. They must simply live in hope that some faraway event does not inflame the anti-Christian wrath of their neighbours. Is it any wonder that Christians in such situations desire to emigrate? Could anyone judge harshly the few thousand Christians in Gaza if they were to leave entirely?… and the fact that it [the YMCA attack] was not big news, illustrates the dire situation faced by many Christians living in the Palestinian territories.
L.A.’s defenders of Israel , The L.A. battle for Israel’s survival
There is great racism against Jewish students on college campuses within the Muslim student organizations.
L.A.’s defenders of Israel
The L.A. battle for Israel’s survival
By Brad A. Greenberg, Senior Writer
A protester from the international pro-Israel group StandWithUs yells outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles during the conflict with Hezbollah in July 2006. Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press
The notice shocked Karen Klein, head of Students for Israel at Cal State Northridge: Norman Finkelstein, the much-maligned scholar who wrote “The Holocaust Industry” and has spoken glowingly of Hezbollah, had been invited by the provost to lecture for three days this week at her school.
Klein had grown up down the street from campus, followed her father and sister in attending CSUN, and she was concerned about the implications of inviting Finkelstein, whose lectures she assumed would include rants against the legitimacy of the State of Israel.
“The campus is very apathetic, and in the years I’ve been at CSUN, this is the first anti-Israel event that has happened,” said Klein, a senior who plans to move to Israel after she graduates. “I wanted to make sure I handled it in the right way, because I want this to be the first and last instance of anti-Semitic activity at our university.”
First she contacted Hillel, with which Students for Israel is affiliated, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Then she called a group that since it began seven years ago in a Los Angeles living room has become an international leader in pro-Israel advocacy at colleges and universities.
StandWithUs national director Roz Rothstein jumped into action. She phoned Harry Hellenbrand, the provost and vice president who had invited Finkelstein, and explained the complaints her organization had. Hellenbrand wasn’t surprised, and he asked StandWithUs to recommend speakers with a contrary perspective for a future lecture, a gesture he also made in a meeting with Klein. A list of 15 names was drawn up, and the drama was defused.
“That is exactly what we would want to have happen,” said Hellenbrand, who said Finkelstein had been requested by faculty members who wanted to hear how his controversial scholarship had cost him tenure at DePaul University. “In a sense, our lives are made easier if we never have any controversial speakers at all. But that is not going to really happen. The ideal we have, but what rarely does happen, is that people come in and protest and write letters and ask us to support other speakers.”
StandWithUs was born from death, given life by the grisly discovery of two Israeli teens, Kobi Mandel and Yosef Ishran, in a cave outside of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa on May 9, 2001.
“A rock the size of a computer rested on Kobi’s smashed skull,” Time magazine reported. “Both bodies were covered with stones. Blood smeared the walls, and the dirt floor was muddy with it. When the searchers rolled the rocks away, they didn’t see faces but unrecognizable pulp.”
Two of the more than 1,000 Israeli deaths from the Second Intifada, then still in its infancy, the murders spurred a small group of Jews half a world away. A week and a half later, Roz and Jerry Rothstein convened at their home the first meeting of the Israel Emergency Alliance. The group of about 50 rabbis and Jewish leaders, across partisan and denominational lines, would soon take the name StandWithUs, centered around the Web site http://www.standwithus.com, and within a year would establish itself as a trailblazing grass-roots organization, one of a few redefining what it means to be pro-Israel.
The group’s ambitions started small: arranging a meeting with editors at the Los Angeles Times to discuss what they felt was the paper’s pro-Palestinian bias in covering the conflict. They then turned to education, focusing on how to inform college students and journalists about other views of Israel than what was being shown in American media and identifying anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses.
“My mother, who was a survivor, always told me that the Holocaust, as she watched it grow, began in the schools and the colleges. The hatred took hold in the youth,” Roz Rothstein said in an interview last week. “We have a motto at this organization that education is the road to peace.”
StandWithUs has grown from a small group of volunteers meeting at the Rothsteins’ home to an international organization with offices in Los Angeles, New York and three other U.S. locales as well as Europe and Israel. With a staff of about 40, a budget of $3 million and a number of printed materials — including a 43-page glossy guide, “Israel 101,” and flyers comparing Walt and Mearsheimer’s book “The Israel Lobby” with “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — StandWithUs acts, as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said, as an “intellectual Delta Force.”
“StandWithUs may have started as a campus organization — and they are our go-to group — but their educational efforts have gone out to pre-university schools, to the community itself,” said Gilad Millo, spokesman for the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles sponsor of the organization’s annual conference, which this year included the Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian affairs reporter, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Palestinian Media Watch’s Itamar Marcus. “Their PR sense is brilliant.”
StandWithUs, of course, has its critics, too, from those who think it is fighting the wrong battle — hustling a pro-Israel information campaign instead of focusing on Jewish education — to those who disagree with the organization’s definition of “pro-Israel.”
“It becomes a zero-sum game: If Israel did good, the other side must have done bad,” said David N. Myers, a UCLA professor of Jewish history and director of its Center for Jewish Studies. “I would like to rethink the way we imagine pro-Israel to say it should also mean pro-Palestinian. The interests of Israelis and Palestinians meet at the point of freedom from occupation and self-determination for the Palestinians…. I find troubling the practice of defending every Israeli action. The fact of the matter is there is no country in the world whose every action is defensible. Robust practicing democracies undertake actions that merit scrutiny, Israel too. And that is not part of the mission of StandWithUs. What concerns me is the very polarized way they see the world, which is represented in the very name StandWithUs, which implies that anyone else is against us.”
Most of the organization’s resources are dedicated to providing materials and strategic support to college students, particularly at embattled campuses such as UC Irvine. But StandWithUs has received broad attention for two other efforts — joining Dershowitz and others in opposing Finkelstein’s bid for tenure at DePaul University and waging an ad war against a pro-Palestinian organization that placed posters in Washington’s subways showing Israeli tanks.
The subway ads were indicative of StandWithUs’ hard-line brand of truth telling. One of the posters showed an Arab toddler in the right arm of his father, who was wearing fatigues and a bandana and was resting an automatic rifle on his left shoulder. “This Child Could Grow Up to Be A” the poster stated, offering three options: doctor, teacher or terrorist. The terrorist box contained a checkmark.
Such pro-Israel advocacy didn’t exist in Los Angeles before StandWithUs came along, and the organized Jewish community has rallied around it. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has given a number of small grants along the order of the $10,000 gift for November’s “Israel in Focus” conference, and the Jewish Community Foundation has given $305,000, including a Cutting Edge grant of $210,000 in 2006 to provide “teaching tools and classroom materials for public high school teachers to use to effectively teach about Israel.”
“Through this breakthrough work, StandWithUs strengthens the fabric of our local Jewish communities by instilling knowledge and understanding of Zionism and Israel,” Marvin I. Schotland, president and CEO of The Foundation, said. “It’s tantamount to a two-for-one payoff for a supporting organization such as ours.”
But this support has also raised questions. While StandWithUs professes to be a non-partisan advocate on behalf of Israel — one whose board bears many shades of the political spectrum and refrains from commenting on the policies of the Israeli government — progressive Jewish leaders consider the organization to be their ideological inverse.
“A number of very good progressive Jewish organizations have applied, in some cases repeatedly, for funding from The Foundation, and they have been denied,” said Daniel Sokatch, executive director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA). “This would seem to suggest that there is particular support in the Jewish Community Foundation for the brand of Israel advocacy that is put forth by StandWithUs, which is a particularly hard-line, conservative version.”
The seminal moment in the transformation of pro-Israel advocacy occurred in the summer of 1993, when the Oslo accords were finalized, and then signed, on the White House lawn.
“The Jewish community essentially had trained itself in one direction and was being asked to turn around immediately,” said Michael Berenbaum, an adjunct professor of theology at American Jewish University. “It had advocated that the enemy was the PLO, and the question was, if all of the sudden [the PLO] are friends, they felt betrayed.”
It was at this moment that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) broke a decades-old code and criticized the Israeli government. While most Jewish American organizations got behind the landmark peace agreement, ZOA President Morton A. Klein predicted the accords would not only fail, but that they would empower Yasser Arafat and endanger Israelis.
“They were completely wrong and we were completely right,” Klein said last week. “Peace is impossible.”
Seven years and 300 murdered Jews after Oslo, the Second Intifada broke out, rupturing the ground beneath American Jewry. Within one more year, 19 Muslim terrorists would hijack four American planes and inflict the worst domestic attack in U.S. history; Jews and the West found a common enemy in the Muslim world, and the crack in the Jewish community severed into two pieces — hawks and doves, hardliners and peaceniks, right and left.
In Los Angeles, the American Jewish Congress had dissolved its local office in 1998 and reformed the following year as the PJA, a liberal organization concerned mostly with domestic issues related to social justice. But the AJCongress reopened here in 2000, bearing little resemblance to its former self.
“People who believed that we could have peace with the Palestinians were shaken out of their misguided view and realized they had no desire for peace,” said Gary P. Ratner, the group’s western region executive director. “Their goal was what they stated openly: The destruction of Israel, whether through the violence of groups like Hamas or through negotiations, that will weaken Israel. I think some of us woke up to the fact that Oslo was a disaster and the peace process would only lead to the destruction of Israel.”
The Jewish state was under attack with no partner for peace; the old model of resolving conflict through compromise had failed. With climbing anti-Israel rhetoric on American campuses and the perception that international media had joined liberal Christians in taking up the Palestinian cause, the hardliners quickly captured the upper hand among Jewish groups in the debate on what it meant to be pro-Israel.
“It’s a painful moment in Jewish life, because there isn’t a place for honest and open discourse,” Gerald Bubis, founding director of the Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, told this paper in a 2002 article titled “The Silencing of the Left?” “People can have very strong differences of opinion about where to go and how to resolve things, but that discourse does not have a place right now. Rather, there is a vituperative argumentation and excoriation.”
Amid this climate, major Jewish organizations slid into the shadows, abdicating their leadership.
“Whatever they said would upset somebody,” Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, said. “As a result, Jews who were frustrated, who wanted to defend Israel and didn’t really know how or didn’t have the ability, they gravitated toward The David Project and its sort of counterpart in StandWithUs.”
The David Project first made headlines in 2004 with a documentary, “Columbia Unbecoming,” which alleged faculty intimidation of pro-Israel students at the Ivy League school.
“We have lost a generation. The Jewish leadership failed to understand the situation we were in. We thought that people who were our enemies would be thugs yelling ‘kike,’ instead of soft-spoken college professors saying Israel is an apartheid state,” Charles Jacobs, president of the Boston-based David Project, said. “In the West today, most people don’t hate the Jews because we are Christ-killers and we are racial vermin, but they hate Jews because they see us supporting what has been unfairly described as the cruelest of nations.”
Just how serious the crisis on college campuses is, how deeply Israel is being vilified, how under attack Jewish students feel, is a source of great debate. Many schools, including USC, UCLA and CSUN, seem mostly immune from the anti-Israel rhetoric 51 weeks of the year. But then Palestinian Awareness Week draws tension between Muslims and Jews at UCLA, or a controversial speaker is invited to any one of those universities and concern crests. More troubling are campuses plagued by frequent protests against Israel, like one at Concordia University in Montreal six years ago that resembled a pogrom.
“There isn’t as much happening on campuses as people think,” said Amanda Susskind, the ADL’s regional director. “But where it is happening, it is happening worse than people can imagine.”
Among the schools most afflicted by Israel-bashing has been UC Irvine, where students frequently march against Israel holding signs that say “Smash the Jewish State” and “Israel, the 4th Reich.” Several times a year since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, radicals like Muhammad Al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali have been invited by the Muslim Student Union to praise suicide bombers as “freedom fighters” and accuse “the Zionist-controlled media” of distorting the human-rights record of “the apartheid State of Israel,” a country that is “a monkey on the American back” and “a cancerous presence.”
“There is great racism against Jewish students on college campuses within the Muslim student organizations. The speakers, the programs, the handouts are all indicative of a deep hatred of Israel and, in my opinion, of a very deep racist ideology,” Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, associate rabbi of UC Irvine’s interfaith center, said. “I have been — just this last week actually — the victim of that racism by Muslim students at UC Irvine. I was heckled when I was trying to speak to a group of high school students about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was on Thursday; it was on campus. There is just a wave of hatred and racism directed at Jewish students by Muslim students. It literally permeates everything they do.”
Anti-Israel attacks have appeared across the country, most often where unaffiliated speakers have been invited by pro-Palestinian campus groups. (A 44-minute StandWithUs documentary, “Tolerating Intolerance,” focuses on a handful of these speakers, including Al-Asi, Malik Ali and Finkelstein.) The crisis, however, is not endemic. And even at large universities where the problem seems to be acute — places like San Francisco State a few years ago — many Jewish students report no problems.
“Even at San Francisco State and even in the heat of this,” said Seth Brysk, who was the Hillel director there and is now executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s L.A. chapter, “I had Jewish students say to me, ‘Why are you making such a big deal about this? I’ve never had a problem with anti-Semitism.'”
Roz Rothstein doesn’t believe an unstoppable crisis is racing across academia. But she thinks a pro-Palestinian agenda in favor of the end of the Jewish state is simmering below the surface. And she wasn’t willing to wait until it was too late.
“We are not the victims, and we do not want to be the victims. We are strong enough to say ‘never again,'” Rothstein said. “I didn’t create bus bombings. I was minding my own business before 2000. I was raising a family; I wasn’t working for the Museum of Tolerance or the ADL. This isn’t about anti-Semitism. This is about radical Islam creating a society of little fundamentalists that have radical intentions.”
Rothstein, 55, sat in her undecorated L.A. office on the second-floor of an industrial building, a location the group doesn’t disclose for fear of violence. A handful of boxes were stacked on top of, and in front of, three large bookcases and a smaller one filled with multiple copies of “The Israelis” by Donna Rosenthal, “Exodus” by Leon Uris, “Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Mitchell Bard and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jewish History & Culture.” These aren’t part of Rothstein’s personal collection — that shelf includes Steven Emerson’s “American Jihad” and Jimmy Carter’s “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” — but are used to seed libraries with books that positively represent Israel — more than 3,500 locations so far.
Her focus is divided between disseminating pro-Israel information in the Western world and opposing what she called “the hate training of the Palestinian children.” Strongly influenced by the fact that both parents and her stepfather were survivors, Rothstein draws parallels between indoctrination of Arab children and the Hitler Youth.
“How did they do it? They did it with the same cartoons and hate training that we see today in Arab countries,” she said, using her computer to log onto standwithus.com. She pulled up a flyer comparing anti-Semitic cartoons in Nazi Germany with those found in Arab papers — a giant spider bearing the Magen David, a child being slaughtered in ritualistic baking, a grotesque Jew being kicked off a cliff.
“How do you get people to hate? Use things that were successful. The Nazis got Europe to hate the Jews,” she said. “So they use their model and they do it all over.”
Rothstein is not only the public face of StandWithUs, but its core energy. She started the organization with her husband and Esther Renzer, a like-minded woman who serves as the board president, and is widely credited with its meteoric rise, something admired by both critics and supporters.
“Their success, in no small part, is a testament to the dynamic leadership of Roz Rothstein, who is a creative and entrepreneurial executive, not to mention zealous in her love and advocacy of Israel,” said Schotland, of the Jewish Community Foundation.
She is motivated by a deep conviction that avoiding conflict is the worst strategy for the Jewish people. In summer 2006, Rothstein joined the campaign to strip an L.A. County Commission on Human Relations award from Maher Hathout, a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who had called Israel an “apartheid state” run by “butchers.” Though Hathout got to keep the award after a month of contentious public hearings and news articles probing the Egyptian immigrant’s past, Rothstein said she was proud of their efforts.
“If you Google him, then you will not see that he received an award he shouldn’t have, but that he was a controversial guy who attended Hezbollah rallies and told Muslims they should not communicate with Israel,” Rothstein said.
“Two years ago,” she said, “the Presbyterian Church nearly voted to pull $7 billion in investments out of Israel — $7 billion. Do you know why that happened? Neglect. Our neglect of the defamation of Jews or Israel will never amount to anything good.”