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Israel Kills Controversial Ad Campaign

‘We regret any offense it caused,’ says Oren

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Contributing editor Jeff Goldberg breaks the news. This comes after the ADL and Federation came down strongly against the campaign and its message that Israelis who choose to live in America and take on non-Israeli (if even Jewish) partners are betraying their country and themselves.

Tablet Magazine editor-in-chief Alana Newhouse wrote the following words last year on the occasion of the Rotem Bill, another f-you to the diaspora that had to be aborted due in part to American Jews’ righteous outcry:

The redemptive history of the Jewish people since the Holocaust has rested on the twin pillars of a strong Israel and a strong diaspora, which have spoken to each other politically and culturally, and whose successes have mutually reinforced the confidence and capacities of the other. Neither the Jewish diaspora nor Israel can afford a split between the two communities — a dystopian possibility that, if this bill passes, could materialize frightfully soon.

Ahem.

Netanyahu Cancels Anti-Diaspora Ad Campaign [Goldblog]
Related: Mixed Marriage [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Israel Makes Its Case to Its Own

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andrew r says:

Being an American Jew, Israel doesn’t need to insult me directly. Racial segregation is bad, and that’s the founding ideology of the Jewish state.

Bill Pearlman says:

Interesting outlook Andrew. Please enlighten me has to the reasoning.

andrew r says:

Okay. As a point of departure, most sane people accept Jim Crow and Apartheid as forms of segregation, in theory as well as practice, that is, the segregation was not accidental. No one really tries to explain how the basic aims of Zionism are not segregationist, so they lock up the reality of how it was/is implemented in a black box and any attempt to open the box is met with hostility and evasion.

One popular evasion is to claim all Israeli citizens are equal. That’s clearly bunk when Israel has a legal category called ‘absentee’ and the relevant law clearly designates people in Zionist-held territory after 1949 ‘absentee’. Absentees simply have no right to the property they ‘abandoned’ which is to be requisitioned by a custodian and held by the state.

Another well-worn evasion is that there was a war against the Zionist project in 1948. Yet even in the few years before WWI, some Zionist figures expressed awareness that their basic aims would lead to conflict, and some Palestinian intellectuals were already aware the aim would lead to their expulsion. So the vegetarian national movement that turned militant in the face of Arab hostility is all smoke and mirrors.

No one can really square support for Israel with respect for equal rights so instead they base support on the circumstances of how it was opposed, and portray those who were in the way as the real instigators of conflict. Rescuing Jews from Eastern Europe is the last refuge of hasbara, and even this cover for Zionism doesn’t hold to scrutiny. The WZO-run kibbutzim and the privately-owned moshavim did not unconditionally accept refugees or set themselves up as places of refuge.

Otherwise, nobody can really argue the Zionist project isn’t racially segregated. They simply turn to defending the separation itself.

Bill Pearlman says:

If you go to Israel you see plenty of Jews that are black so I really don’t see the racial segregation there. And do you seriously believe that there was no war in 1948. And lastly, are you saying that the Yishuv turned away Jews escaping from the Germans? If there were any, a difficult proposition getting past the SS.

Daniel Bouskila says:

American Jewry is insulted and feels that this ad campaign makes U.S. Jewry feel inadequate or second class. Yet, ironically, this is the same U.S. Jewry that has declared itself a failure — and Israel a success. I say this, because when the 1991 NJPS declared that 55% of U.S. Jewry is assimilated and intermarried, the desperate response was to create Birthright, and send every last Jewish youngster to Israel for free, to help boost their Jewish identity. If U.S. Jewry is so compelling, then why didn’t the Jewish leaders create “Birthright USA,” sending all U.S. Jewish kids to Jewish summer camps and day schools for free? Why Birthright Israel? Doesn’t that say something? Hard pill to swallow for U.S. Jewish leaders, but Jewish life is much more compelling in Israel than in the U.S. Otherwise, start organizing “Birthright New York” trips.

Israel is only a shining beacon of enlightened success in the benighted minds of the deeply deluded. I live in the USA and that is where I intend to stay.

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Israel Kills Controversial Ad Campaign

‘We regret any offense it caused,’ says Oren

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