CORRECTION: Leonard Stern sold the company now represented by Torossian in 2000 and is not a client of Torossian’s. Subsequent changes reflect the error, which I regret. Torossian apparently no longer represents El Al, as this post and his Website state.
Ronn Torossian, the New York-based founder of 5WPR and public relations guru, is not unpracticed at expressing distinctly right-wing views of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. But his latest op-ed, published in the Jewish Reporter, goes further than just condemning President Obama for allegedly trying to force the Israeli leadership to accept unacceptable concessions (“Its [sic] only extreme self-hatred or praying at the altar of liberalism which could make any sane Jew vote for Obama”). It also references “[t]his administration which called for a return to the Auschwitz borders.”
Leaving aside the fact that this is not an administration which called for this—last May, Obama called for the 1967 borders to be a starting point for negotiations that would include land swaps—the term “Auschwitz borders,” originated by Abba Eban and brought out of the attic last May by the Zionist Organization of America, are fightin’ words, to say the least. More to the point, they compare the Obama Administration to the West that watched passively as European Jewry was slaughtered, and the Palestinians to the Nazis.
I asked Leonard Stern, a businessman and philanthropist who underwrote an excellent recent history of anti-Semitism called A Convenient Hatred, what he thought of the remark,
given that a company he owns is represented by Torrosian’s 5WPR (he no longer owns it). “I think any reference to Auschwitz in connection with the State of Isreal is inappropriate,” Stern emailed back. “There are much better ways to frame issues that would not be so inflammatory.” He did not respond to a follow-up question of whether he still feels comfortable being represented by Torossian. (Again, this is my fault: He isn’t represented by Torossian.)
I wanted to reach several of Torossian’s other clients who might be offended by such a remark. But contacting them for this through their publicist seemed to be a prohibitively tricky proposition.
Bibi, Peres, Barak Support for Obama? [The Jewish Reporter]