May we Voice Criticism of Israel in Public?

Recent Opinions in Jewish Week and Washington Post

A good friend brought this opinion by Seymour D. Reich to my attention today.

A word to the wise…just might…

Multi-million dollar daily cash infusions are the price of eternal vigilance. “Keep moving. There’s nothing to see here. Keep moving…”

pal.nothing.to.see.here

Bernie Sanders did not say many words (measured rhetoric) on a theme of the “disproportionate force” but each word has sprung multiple leaks.

Media in the US and in Israel form the corpus politic. Tangential reporting relies on short attention spans in the audience, a single word must never gain purchase. Hasbara is serious business.

“For decades, most American Jews who cared about Israel’s welfare and security adhered to the maxim that we don’t voice criticism of Israel in public.”

Source: Israel’s Assault On Democracy: Time To Speak Out | The Jewish Week

to.learn.who.rules.over.you
Source: Piercing the Veil or Reality

Speaking of hope, I read David Bernstein’s opinion in yesterday’s Washington Post.

Bernstein is a frequent contributor to the WP and has performed his perfunctory best at pressing the “hate site” label onto Philip Weiss, half of the Mondoweiss founders. Philip keeps getting into Mr. Bernstein’s craw and it’s hard to remain level-headed when your craw is aching. I understand.

cartoon.sheldon.adelson

See also “antisemitism” and “anti-defamation” to learn less of the truth about Palestine and the Palestinian people, as refugees under occupation, as a people in exile for 68 years now.

I admit this: I am a comment reader, an observer of scary stuff that goes on in the worlds of Israel and her BFF. It festers as ever: Israel as promised land (“Because He promised. I swear He did”) Honey, milk, physical and spiritual perfection. A place where birthright yields more independence and recognition than birthplace.

birthright.birthplace

The whole construct relies upon holding fast to denial: the perfected society has skeletons in its closet (carpentered in 1948). PTSD is not unknown among IDF soldiers and veterans. They are breaking their silence.

Witness storied operations inspired by the sling of David, but remain unaware of the murderous occupation maintained for cleansing ethnicity.

Let’s say that your guess is as good as mine.

 

peace.and.conflict.politics

Similarly, a Twitter page for those wishing to band together and fight Arabic fascism.

zvi.lando.arab.fascism
Nothing facile about this logic. It’s from the gentle Zvi Lando.

 

 

Jewish Voice for Peace

Full disclosure: I am a card-carrying member of Jewish Voice for Peace and a soft-spoken person. I aspire to stand on the side of peace and social justice.  I am also not antisemitic. To repeat, Jewish Voice for Peace consists of Jewish people and their friends and relations. It also does not imply that I question Israel’s right to exist.

Criticism of Israel is an exercise in free speech, it is not antisemitism.

Israel and Palestine: an animated Introduction

I’ve just read an appeal by Rabbi Margaret Holub on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace: “The Wisdom To Love Well.”

When she talks about JVP she is often countered with questions: What about China in Tibet? Minorities in other Arab countries? Congo?

Rabbi Holub:

“Of course I want justice everywhere. And, also, I care personally and heartfully about Israel and Palestine because I love Judaism and I love Jews. I care about what is being done in our names…Love is not always easy, and the love JVP calls for is a difficult love. I wish it weren’t necessary. But since it is, I am so grateful that there is a Jewish Voice for Peace to provide community, the structure and the wisdom to love well.”

Updated 17 July 2015