Siegman and the National Post

The United Jewish Appeal placed an extraordinary full page ad in their favourite paper The National Post. It was a surefire sign that the right wing element in the Jewish community particularly in Toronto  is getting very worried that worldwide the Palestinian narrative of ethnic cleansing and exclusion in modern day Israel has taken hold. That towering man of integrity and the former head of the Reform mopvement in the USA Henry Siegman summed it all up in an article written recently in Hebrew in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz.

“Israel’s problem is not the Palestinian or Arab refusal to recognize it as a Jewish state. It is, rather, the increasing difficulty of Jews familiar with Jewish values to recognize it as a Jewish state. Rather than demanding that Palestinians declaim on Israel’s democratic and Jewish identity, or conjuring non-existent threats to Israel’s existence, Netanyahu and his government would be better advised adjusting Israel’s policies toward a people that has lived under its unforgiving military occupation in a way that honors their country’s democratic and Jewish beginnings. That would contribute far more to its “legitimacy” and to its long-range security than its present undemocratic and very un-Jewish course.”

My response to the ad (Not acknowledged by the Post), went as follows:

Kudos to the UJA for challenging the Jewish community to regeneration and renewal. In a consumerist environment which does indeed lead to “apathy, indifference and lack of knowledge”, young Jews as well as young Christians and Muslims need to deepen the well of compassion which is at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths.

Sadly Activism U’s “training of high school and university students to stand up for Israel in the halls of academia  is in danger of pure narrow ideological brainwashing.

I suggest that these kids be immediately sent to Israel with the Torah under their arms to meditate on the meaning of the Exodus and the admonition in Deuteronomy 16:20  to “Tzedek,  tzedek tirdof”-justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live.

The brave Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel will gladly mentor these young folks.

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