The ads were pulled, but the issue won’t go away

The ill-fated ad campaign unwittingly addresses US Jews’ disaffection with Israel.

December 14, 2011 17:55
Aliya ad campaign

Aliya ad campaign 311. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Last Monday’s Jerusalem Post editorial asked an important question about the advertising campaign that sparked the latest spat between Israel and American Jewry: Why did American Jews jump to the conclusion that the young man in the most controversial ad was Jewish? The answer to that question is crucial to understanding two of the major causes of disaffection with Israel among young American Jews.

The ad, one of three sponsored by the Israeli government in an ill-conceived effort to lure expatriates back home, shows a young Israeli woman attempting to observe Remembrance Day. The effort flops when her American spouse misinterprets the memorial candle as lighting for a romantic dinner. Nothing in the clip identifies the man as Jewish, but everyone from blogger Jeffrey Goldberg to the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America concluded that he was a Jew.


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