Sunday, March 4, 2007

You Can't Claim the Moral High Ground When You're Standing in the Sewer

The "muzzlewatch" blog, run by Jewish Voice for Peace, continues its claim that Jewish anti-Israel voices can't be heard-- ironically, by citing the cascade of various media stories and Op-Eds by and about Jewish anti-Zionists. They apparently seek some validation from a Feb 23rd opinion piece in the Forward by Dan Fleshler. However, in their craving for endorsement of their anti-Israel position, they obviously failed to read Fleshler's article, in which he states

"From conversations with people engaged in these efforts, it becomes clear that Jews who agree with many of the left’s objections to Israeli policies can have more of an impact than those who don’t.
The ideal candidates for addressing the claims of the far left aren’t afraid to say publicly that the occupation is morally repugnant. They want to be able to talk about Israel in the public arena with the same candor that can be found in the Israeli media. They want the American government to have the political wiggle room to occasionally push and prod both sides of the conflict, if that is what is necessary to preserve hope for a two-state solution.
At the same time, they proudly say they are pro-Israel. They want to change the atmosphere on campuses and on the Internet, where so-called “progressives” often see nothing wrong with comparing Israeli Jews to Nazis, praising suicide bombers as freedom fighters or proclaiming that the very idea of the Jewish people is an illusion — what is known in leftist parlance as “Jewish particularism.” And these moderate leftists insist that Palestinians and other Arabs not be absolved of responsibility for the Arab-Israeli conflict."
JVP and its supporters are the PROBLEM that's being addressed, not the solution. Those who stand with keffiyeh-shrouded Hamas supporters at anti-Israel demonstrations, those who co-sponsor events with the likes of ISM and MECA, those who refuse to even endorse the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state-- these are the people that Fleshler decribes as the "so-called progressives" who have allowed the atmosphere on campus, in the media, and on the Internet to be poisoned against the very concept of a Jewish state. If JVP wants to claim the moral high ground, it first needs to extricate itself from the sewage.


  1. Major mainstream Jewish organizations have refused to share a platform with us in a public discussion of Israel/Palestine. This includes AIPAC and the Jewish Community Relations Councils of several major American cities. Why is that? And more synagogues than not turn down our offers to participate in educational events. Why is that?

  2. "Major mainstream Jewish organizations have refused to share a platform with us in a public discussion of Israel/Palestine."

    Well, Alan, last year I went to talk entitled "Is Peace Possible?" in Marin County, California sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace. Mitchell Plitnick, Jess Ghannam and Stephen Zunes were the panelists.

    Many people wanted to know why the panelists didn't include any advocates for Israel- the response from JVP was that the pro-Israel perspective was widely available in other venues.

    So why it it only the obligation of the established Jewish community to provide balance, when you and yours don't feel the need to?

    I'm active in my local synagogue and JCC, and if JVP ever came a knockin, I'd listen politely before I shut the door. I wouldn't give Neturei Karta the time of day either. Or Jews for Jesus.

    The views of the mainstream Jewish community widely support the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. And until JVP can state the same, I see no reason to extend hospitality to them.