Activist Linda Sarsour addresses attendees at a vigil for Nabra Hassanen, a 17 year old teenage Muslim girl killed by a bat-wielding motorist near a Virginia mosque, Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 20, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ALFIKY)
At a time when politics and policy are front and center, a time when we as citizens of the world are seeing shifts in government and tactics, my naive hope that the growing divide we see each time we turn on the news will somehow shake up the Jewish community and bridge the gap between us remains unfulfilled.
Non-Israeli, left-leaning groups often identify as Jewish in order to give credence to their views in the eyes of the international com- munity regarding a country in which most have never lived, served or voted. Their demand that the democrati- cally elected Israeli government consider their positions on Israel while they sit comfortably in their Brooklyn, LA or Miami homes is asinine.
But this divide within the Jewish community existed long before we returned home in 1948. Being forced into the Diaspora saw the Jewish people and their views assimilate into those of their host countries, which many sociologists would argue is a natural and expected occurrence.
Yet, amazingly, the Jewish people have always kept their close-knit sense of community and family, especially during tumultu- ous times.
As the world sees politics shift to more extremist views, Jews seem to have fallen victim to the polarizing effects of this new normal - which is anything but.
It only takes a little investigating into some of these groups that claim to support Israel and actively advocate for solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to find that many do not support Israel at all.
This is a fairly new, albeit ridiculous idea of “self-identifying” as Jews, even if one is not ethnically or religiously Jewish by any accepted standard. This somehow affords individuals the accreditation to speak about Israel from “a Jewish perspective.”
None of this, of course, is news.
So, why the urgency to write this piece? Because of a comment by Women’s March organizer Sophie Ellman-Golan.
Following a blatant antisemitic attack in New York in which “Free Gaza” was spray-painted on a sukkah’s exterior walls – at a time when one might expect Jews from both ends of the political spectrum would come together in support of the community as a whole – Ms. Ellman-Golan responded by tweeting, “You only write on a random sukkah or a synagogue if you blame all Jews for the occupation. Target supporters of the state, not people practicing their faith.”
With her strong connections and support of co-organizer Linda Sarsour – a supporter of Louis Farrakhan, who only a few weeks back called on the American Muslim community to “stop humanizing Israelis” – Ms. Ellman- Golan’s hateful comments are usually part in parcel of her anti-Israel vitriol and rarely surprise me.
But this was different.
What Ellman-Golan has done is place a target on the backs of Jews she considers fair game. A Jewish selection, if you will – certain Jews to the right, others to the left – a chilling reference to a time not that long ago.
Doree Lewak of The New York Post
published an article titled “Israeli Student at Columbia Says She’s Being Bullied by Palestinian Group,” recanting the fearful story of Ofir Dayan, daughter to Israeli Consul-General of New York Dani Dayan. The article featured a photo of Ms. Dayan on campus, wearing a keffiyeh with what appear to be Stars of David woven into the fabric.
No sooner did the article show up online when an editor of The Forward
, a Jewish paper, the tagline of which reads “Jewish. Fear- less. Since 1897,” posted a tweet referencing Ms. Dayan wearing the keffiyeh. “She’s literally wearing the Palestinian national accessory with Israeli flags on it,” The Forward
While one might hope that an individual who holds the position of editor at a paper, a publication that identifies as Jewish no less, would know that the keffiyeh is not Palestinian, but rather Middle-Eastern and worn by Mizrahi Jews and Arab populations for centuries, this editor seems to lack understanding of Jewish cultures other than her own.
Instead, her tweet seemed to accept the reality that a Jewish student who dares to wear a Star of David, (which she incorrectly identified as the Israeli flag) on a piece of clothing she incorrectly identified as “Palestinian,” might expect such attacks to occur.
The “enlightened” Jewish extreme Left is clearly anything but.The writer is an Israeli media personality in Canada and the US as well as an International speaker and author.
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