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Apr 11, 2011

Jews in Anti-Israel Organizations

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Those of us who are ardent supporters of Israel, who love and cherish her with all our soul and all our might, sometimes, get depressed when the attacks on our beloved homeland and people seem to come without end. It hurts more when the attacks on Israel are made by other Jews. I can be left confused, angry, and even bitter that they don’t see what I see. Israel is our protector and safe haven, where any Jew and non-Jew can practice his religion in peace and express his identity free from persecution. We know that if the Arabs would leave Israel alone, if the Palestinians would really want to co-exist with Israel, then these two peoples would live in harmony and share the blessings of the Holy Land. Why don’t these other Jews believe that?

I am not speaking here of internal political battles for control of ministries and government monies, or even of spats between differing religious persuasions within Judaism. These are normal in a democracy just like in the best marriage. None of my negative feelings are directed at good hearted, well meaning people who simply have a different perspective than me on the best road to peace. Should Israel give up more land for another peace agreement? Should Israel withdraw more forces from the captured lands like the withdrawals from the Sinai, Lebanon, and Sharm-el Shek? Can’t a way be found to allow the Palestinians freer personal and economic access to and through Israel? Will these actions and others better ensure a concord? These are legitimate questions that can be on the table, as long as everyone around the table agrees that Israel will continue as a sovereign nation and Jewish State. If not everyone in the discussion agrees, then we are enemies and there is nothing to talk about, no basis for compromise.

The medium has become the message for those who oppose Israel on any level. There is, of course, the ever present and continuing threat of outright war with Israel. It has been tried and nearly succeeded several times except for inexplicable turns of events that caused this tiny nation with a miniscule population, and civilian army to conquer her attackers. Now again, war by missiles indiscriminately launched daily and the outspoken threat of nuclear attack, looms large as a threat to the lives of Israelis. Hamas is straight forward that they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and will work forever to destroy it.

Boycotts of Israeli made or grown goods, academic affiliations, scientific and intellectual exchanges where Israelis kept from speaking, and their research from being published, are the next medium of attack; the boycotts extend to Israeli government officials keeping them from stepping foot in certain countries under threat of arrest; and preventing Israelis on airplanes to de-plane in certain countries even just to go to the bathroom in an airport during a stop-over en route to a final destination. Boycotts tell people those being boycotted are evil and should be destroyed. Boycotts go in hand with disinvestment and sanctions against Israel. Israel’s enemies want to strangle Israel to death. They buy stocks in these companies, attend the board meetings, ask stockholders to order the management to cease doing business with Israel.

Then there are their efforts are to de-legitimize Israel. Israel is a legal nation state born in the peaceful and legal process of a U.N. vote like the votes that created Jordan and Lebanon, India and Pakistan, and hundreds of other countries out of whole cloth. The aim is to move beyond with boycotts by isolating Israel as a pariah state. Eventually her enemies want Israel alone, isolated from international forums, conferences and councils. Perhaps the best in-depth overview of these efforts was done by The Reut Institute, “Eroding Israel’s Legitimacy in the International Arena,” (Jan. 28, 2010).

Why are there Jews in these movements? Some are leaders, some collaborators, others are fellow travelers. I cannot understand it. I have not read one reasonable explanation. Let us look at one recent case.
A Jewish woman, Arna Mer, who fought in the Palmach, married an Arab professor, Saliba Khamis. Among their children was born Juliano. He fought in the IDF in the Paratroopers Brigade. He defined himself as 100 percent Israeli and 100 percent Palestinian. He pursued a career in acting, directing and was the founder of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin. Juliano starred in American movies, Israeli and Palestinian directed films.

He most recently had a starring part in Miral, a movie by the award winning Jewish director Julian Schnabel. Miral is a film from a book by Schnabel’s Israeli born Palestinian mistress, Rula Jebreal. It recounts her life through the eyes of a Palestinian girl growing up under Israeli rule. She eventually moved to Italy, modeled, and worked in television. He looks nothing like Brad Pitt, but was willing to turn her book into a movie and leave his wife. Schnabel chose to premier his movie at the United Nations. The premier took place just as the U.N. Human Rights Commission was voting Libya off that body, as rebels were being shot in the streets of Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, and China was arresting journalists and artists to keep a lid on regime change there. All these countries, of course, sanction Israel with every vote. What a wonderful venue for Schnabel and his Palestinian girlfriend chose for their premiere.

Then, Juliano Mer-Khamis was assassinated while driving through Jenin with his one year old son and the nanny. Mer-Khamis was shot multiple times in the body and then the head just like the Mafia used to take care of business. He was taken from Jenin and buried on a kibbutz in Israel.

Assassinations and targeted killings in the Palestinian controlled West Bank and in Hamas ruled Gaza are almost daily occurrences. There was hardly a mention of this terrorist act against an honest peacenik in the mainstream European and American press, nothing on CNN and BBC. The PA Prime Minister called it an “ugly crime,” refusing to stand quietly in the face of “a grave violation that goes beyond all principles and human values and it contravenes with the customs and ethics of co-existence.” There were words of regret from Schnabel and Jabreal; they did not attend his funeral. They could have attended his funeral in Israel, but not the memorial service in Jenin.

Rula Jabreal had exposed her body as a model in Western couture dress violating Muslim laws of modesty. She was in an affair with a married man committing adultery; she was the mistress and now girlfriend of a Jew. She will be shot on sight…five shots to the body, two to the head. Perhaps Schnabel will add a trailer to Miral that shows the bloody pictures of Mer-Khamis’ lifeless body in his little red car. I would not object including the beautiful testimony of the PA Prime Minister perhaps read by Johnny Depp. In interviews about Miral, Schnabel talks about the need for young people to see both sides of Israel Palestinian issue. Bill Mahr told Schnabel that would only happen when Palestinian directors make films from the Israeli perspective.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier Chicago, Ill. hgoldmeier@aol.com Dr. Goldmeier was a Chicago Public School teacher, a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University earning a Doctorate in Education, and taught as an Assistant Professor at Tufts Medical School. He worked in government for three Governors, the U. S. Surgeon General, and in children and youth advocacy for nearly two decades. He recently sold his business after nearly three decades. He has been married more than forty years with children living in America and Israel, and a son who recently served with the Israel Defense Forces. He has published more than two-dozen articles in professional journals and popular magazines and newspapers. Dr. Goldmeier currently a writer, consultant to government agencies, and to small businesses on economic growth and marketing. His most recent articles appeared in The Jewish Press on terrorism, and in Haaretz of Israel and he writes guest posts for LifeinIsrael.blogspot.com., Open.Salon.com., and more.

1 comment:

  1. what a depressing read. however, these thoughts have been running through my head for weeks now. i say, there is no end, bc the west, and i include the Israeli Government in that group, simply does not have the 'guts' to finish the job. the touchy feely liberal agenda has taken over, and we will all suffer for it.


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