Thursday, August 29, 2013

  • Thursday, August 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
In the coverage I've seen on the Israel-haters taking out a lying ad on Vancouver mass transit, the reaction of the organized Jewish community has been to ban the ads based on, pretty much, antisemitism:

Jewish leaders including Mitchell Gropper, chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, called the ads a provocative attack on Jewish people that will incite hatred. "This is of grave concern to our community at large, because the ads make the use of the buses unwelcome and unsafe," Gropper said, noting that terrorist attacks in Israel often target buses.

"I don't think I've ever seen ads on our TransLink system that attack a section of our society. If the transit system will be used to attack Israel and the Jewish people, who is next?"
Also:
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto issued a statement saying the group is "disturbed to learn about TransLink's agreement to run historically distorted anti-Israel advertisements."

"While Israel and the Palestinian Authority are currently engaged in peace negotiations to resolve their differences and reach a two-state solution, TransLink will be running ads that are provocative and incite hatred and contempt," said group president Avi Benlolo.

The Jewish Federation of Vancouver webpage says pretty much the same thing.

The argument that it is antisemitism is one that has diminishing returns, and I believe that it should be used sparingly, only when it is clear and provable. This is not one of those cases. (Yes, deep under most anti-Israel initiatives is a current of antisemitism, but that is not so easily discernible to people who aren't Jewish.)

What bothers me most is that at no point do any of these Jewish leaders describe the ads as what they are - lies. It is almost like they are conceding that the maps are accurate if perhaps biased, but I really am starting to think that the organized Jewish community is thoroughly ignorant of basic Zionist history - and that they, deep down, believe the dominant anti-Israel narrative, since that is all they are exposed to!

This is a much bigger problem than just bus ads. It points to a fundamental gap in Jewish education in the West, even among its leaders. And this should bother everyone.

Here is my lecture from earlier this year on countering the top twenty anti-Israel arguments. Perhaps I should be giving this talk to Jewish Federations in North America.






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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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