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Temple B’nai B’rith | Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly With …

Posted By on January 15, 2017

SAVE THE DATES !!!! Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Challah Baking Club 6PM in TBB Kitchen.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 Thursday Night Hebrew School

Friday, September 30, 2016 Friday Night Shabbat Services at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, October 1, 2016 LAST CHANCE TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT!! PLEASE DO BY: THURSDAY, September 29th, 2016 Havdallah Sleepover at JCC Camp 6PM. PLEASE CALL OFFICE TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT!! We Need to know if you are only staying for Havdallah and the fire or if you spending the night! WE HOPE EVERYONE CAN COME TO THIS AWESOME EVENT!

Sunday, October 2, 2016 NO SUNDAY RELIGIOUS SCHOOL!!!! Erev Rosh Hashana Services Begins At 8 PM,

Monday, October 3, 2016 Rosh Hashana Services Begins at 10AM

Thursday, October 6, 2016 Thursday Hebrew School 4:30-6PM

Friday, October 7, 2016 Friday Night Shabbat Services 7:30 PM

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 Tashlich 11:30 AM – Bring Your Own Lunch Meet at the Pavillion next to the Pond at Kirby Park.

TBB Cemetery Services 2 PM.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Kol Nidre Services at 8PM

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 YOM KIPPUR SERVICES BEGIN 10AM-6PM REMEMBER YOUR FOOD FOR THE FOOD DRIVE!!!

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Temple B’nai B’rith | Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly With …

ADL Drops Claim Breitbart Is ‘the Premier’ Alt-Right Site

Posted By on January 14, 2017

Greenblatt said he was referring to the words of Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who had used the word platform.However, after questioning from Nazarian, Greenblatt backed away from the word premier.

Bannon was appointed Sunday by President-elect Donald J. Trump to serve as Chief Strategist and Special Counselor in the White House.The ADLs strident statement opposing Bannons nomination fueled widespread attacks on Bannon and Breitbart News.

The exchange between Nazarian and Greenblatton Thursday followed the Anti-Defamation Leagues decision to back away from allegations that Bannon is an antisemite. On Thursday morning, Breitbart News reported that the ADL had indicated: We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.

BREITBART: So I know that you have backed away from allegations that Steve Bannon is [an] antisemite; on the website you issued a statement. The ADL has also claimed that Breitbart News is the premier alt-right site. And that Steve Bannon is the chief curator of the alt-right.

GREENBLATT:Right.

NAZARIAN: Thats also not true, though.

GREENBLATT: What do you mean?

NAZARIAN: Its not true that Breitbart News is not the premier platform for the alt-right.

GREENBLATT: So

NAZARIAN: Could you correct that statement?

GREENBLATT: Ok, so, Im just going to read to you.

NAZARIAN: Sure.

GREENBLATT: It says , This summer this is an article from the National Review, even though youknow it. This summer, Bannon cheerfully informed Mother Jones that Breitbart had become the platform for the alt-right. Thats what he said. the platform for the alt-right. So Im just going to read, not my words, his words: the platform for the alt-right. Thats what it thats what he said. So just to understand, just to clarify so I can answer your question, is that wrong? Did he not say that or did he say that?

NAZARIAN: So, his statement is different than the ADL stating that it is the premier site for the alt-right.

GREENBLATT: OK, so lets just read it. He was happy to had become the platform for the alt-right. So, just to make sure Im clarifying. I just want to know. You probably know him a lot better than I do because you work for Breitbart.

NAZARIAN: I do.

GREENBLATT: Just like I know what we said better. Maybe.

NAZARIAN: I do. I know him very well. Hes not [an] antisemite. Thats for sure.

GREENBLATT: Ok. So hold on one more sec. Which is fair, right?[Checking Twitter for article]Here we go. So, we said that he presided over the premier website of the Alt Right We call on So, thats that only thing I actually said about him. Did I actually say he was an antisemite in there?

NAZARIAN: Yes. I can pull up that statement.

GREENBLATT: You should. Because, if you want to talk about what I said, Im happy to talk about that.

NAZARIAN: Absolutely, absolutely. Ok. Let me pull this up.[Checking Twitter] It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists is slated to be a senior staff member in the peoples house.’ So, basically, you call him to so, basically, youre saying that he represents antisemitism and

GREENBLATT: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I said he presided thepremier website of the Alt Right.

NAZARIAN: Yes.

GREENBLATT: So am I wrong about what the alt-right is, do you think? Is the alt-right not about white nationalism? Now, Im just going to ask because I want to make sure I get this right with you.

NAZARIAN: Sure. Breitbart News is not the premier site for the alt-right though. Thats what Im asking for you to clarify, to correct.

GREENBLATT: I guess what I would just do, is just go back to Steve Bannons words, where he said that Breitbart had become the platform for the alt-right. So this says premier website. This says, the platform. So, I guess we can dispute whether premier website means the same thing or something different than the platform. I think it essentially means the same thing.

NAZARIAN: May I look up the definition of premier?

GREENBLATT: Sure. It probably means leading, I would think, or number one,or something.

NAZARIAN: It says here [crosstalk]

GREENBLATT: But I get it. Premier means, like, leading. So, he said it was the platform. We said he made it the premier website. So, respectfully, if youd like, I could say where is that quote? Just read back what Steve Bannon said. So, in his own words, its a sad day when a man who presided over the premier Im sorry the platform. I mean, if you want me to say it that way, I can. But all Im going to do is quote from him. Not from myself.

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ADL Drops Claim Breitbart Is ‘the Premier’ Alt-Right Site

Anti-Defamation League – politico.com

Posted By on January 14, 2017

One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany? Donald Trump tweeted. | Getty

The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday called on President-elect Donald Trump to either apologize for or explain why he compared the present-day intelligence agencies in the U.S. to Nazi Germany.

ADL always has maintained that glib comparisons to Nazi Germany are offensive and a trivialization of the Holocaust, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. We have a long record of speaking out when both Democrats and Republicans engage in such overheated rhetoric. It would be helpful for the President-Elect to explain his intentions or apologize for the remark.

Story Continued Below

Incensed over reports alleging that the president-elect was presented with a two-page synopsis Friday of claims that Russia had compromising information about him, Trump blasted the stories from his Twitter account as fake news and questioned whether he was living in Nazi Germany.

Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to leak into the public, he tweeted Wednesday morning, one of four posts lashing out over the allegations. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?

He doubled down when asked about his tweet at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. I think it was disgraceful disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out, he told reporters. I think its a disgrace, and I say that and I say that and thats something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do. I think its a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public.

Greenblatt said Trumps use of Nazi Germany to make a political analogy is not only an inappropriate comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust.

There are legitimate questions on all sides regarding foreign influence in the 2016 presidential race, he continued in the statement. But the United States has democratic elections, a free press, rule of law and a civil service including our intelligence agencies that is deeply loyal to the U.S. Constitution. These facts invalidate any analogies between America and totalitarian societies.

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Zionism – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on January 11, 2017

Zionism is the nationalist movement to create a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.[1] This movement resulted in the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The word “Zionism” comes from Zion, which means Jerusalem. Theodor Herzl started the Zionist movement. At the time, Palestine was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. The British during the First World War made a statement called the Balfour Declaration agreeing to support a Jewish homeland in Palestine, although they opposed an independent Jewish state. After the war Palestine became a British colony and the British allowed a Jewish homeland to be created there. Hitler’s regime in Germany gave limited support to Zionism during the 1930s as a means of removing Jews from Germany. Hitler’s regime in 1933 negotiated an agreement with the Jewish Zionist Federation of Germany, that supported the emigration of the German Empire’s Jews to Palestine and allowed them to keep their wealth. Some German leaders opposed the agreement because they feared it would result in the creation of a Jewish state that would become a center for Jewish agitation against Germany, but Hitler decided in 1937 and in 1938 to renew the agreement because he felt that it was more important to get the Jews out of Germany than to prevent a Jewish state from being created. However, Hitler restricted his support of Zionism to supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine under British political control, and opposed an independent Jewish state, because of the concern it would be a center of Jewish agitation against Germany. Hitler’s regime stopped supporting Zionism after World War II began in 1939. [2]

Some evangelical Christians believe that the migration of Jews to Palestine is linked to the apocalypse and prophecy, and therefore support it.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month – Wikipedia

Posted By on January 9, 2017

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the group’s heritage and culture.

Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and first proclaimed President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.[1][2] The commemorative week was expanded by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban E. Torres (D-Pico Rivera) and implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period (September 15 – October 15).[1] It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.[3]

Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America, starting with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. A map of late 18th-century North America shows this presence, from the small outpost of San Francisco founded in the desolate wilderness of Alta California in 1776, through the Spanish province of Texas with its vaqueros (cowboys), to the fortress of St. Augustine, Florida the first settlement in North America, founded in 1513, ninety-four years before the English landed in Jamestown, Virginia.

During HHM, communities celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities for students.

Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, established 2013 by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.[4]

The El Barrio Latin Jazz festival: This event in the Bronx, NYC starts on September 15 and continues through September 25. People attending the event can learn more about the Latin music scene in Harlem and its global impact while enjoying live jazz performances.

Bibliography

(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

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Diverse Minds – B’nai B’rith International

Posted By on January 4, 2017

South Jersey contest winner: The dragon who teaches tolerance

The drop is long, and the king is certain of his death until a friendly dragon scoops him up and deposits him safely on level ground.

The unexpected rescue teaches Firemarth, who had previously feared the dragon – and all different-looking beasts in the kingdom – that “you shouldn’t deny someone respect simply because they’re different.” So goesThe Legend of Firemarth, a children’s book written and illustrated by Paulsboro High School sophomore Samson Beaver, who took home first prize this week in B’nai B’rith’s “Diverse Minds Writing Challenge” in South Jersey.

Beaver’s prize was a $5,000 college scholarship he hopes to eventually put toward art school. And 1,000 copies ofThe Legend of Firemarthwill be professionally printed and distributed to local schools, libraries, and community organizations.

Mcgraw-Hill Education Partners With B’nai B’rith To Bring Diversity Writing Challenge To Columbus High School Students

The finalists and winners were recognized and congratulated by McGraw-Hill Education senior vice president Lisa Carmona and Bnai Brith International board of governors member Peter Perlman.

In addition, Ba and McCloskeys teacher, who oversaw the creation of their winning book, will receive a $500 stipend to use for classroom or organizational materials. Olentangy Orange High School will also receive a $500 grant.

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Donate – B’nai B’rith International

Posted By on December 28, 2016

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The Jewish Museum – Programs – Families

Posted By on December 27, 2016

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Open today from 11 am – 5:45 pm.

1109 5th Ave at 92ndSt New York, NY 10128 Directions

Come visit the Jewish Museum and discover why 5th Ave at 92nd St is the intersection of art and Jewish culture. LearnMore

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Anti-Defamation League Backs Down: We Are Not Aware of …

Posted By on December 27, 2016

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The statement appears at the end of an article on the ADL, Stephen Bannon: Five Things to Know.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

The five things are:

The first two claims are false. The next two claims are true, and innocuous. The final claim is exculpatory.

The ADL further explains:

While there is a long fact pattern of evidence that Breitbart served as a platform for a wide range of bigotry and there is some controversy related to statements from Mr. Bannons divorce proceedings in 2007, we are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements made by Bannon himself. In fact, Jewish employees of Breitbarthave challenged the characterization of him and defended him from charges of anti-Semitism. Some have pointed out that Breitbart Jerusalem was launched during his tenure.

Nevertheless, Bannon essentially has established himself as the chief curator for the alt right. Under his stewardship, Breitbart has emerged as the leading source for the extreme views of a vocal minority who peddle bigotry and promote hate.

The statement that Breitbart served as a platform for a wide range of bigotry is completely false, and reflects the ADLs left-wing ideological orientation rather than objective reality. The statement that Bannon is the chief curator for the alt right is alsocompletely false, and defamatory.

The ADL, which calls itself the nations premier civil rights/human relations agency, launched a defamatory campaign on Sunday against Breitbart News and Bannon, the companys Executive Chairman, when Bannon was named Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor by President-elect Donald J. Trump. (Bannon has been on leave from Breitbart since his appointment in August as CEO of the Trump presidential campaign.)

In a statement noting that the ADL strongly opposes Bannons new White House appointment,ADL president Jonathan Greenblatt a former aide to President Barack Obama called Bannon a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.

Thatis a completely false accusation.

Breitbart.com is not the premier website of the Alt Right. The only supposed alt-right content on the site, among tens of thousands of articles, isone widely-cited journalistic article, An Establishment Conservatives Guide to the Alt-Right.

As one author more familiar with the alt-right noted recently, the main alt-right sites are /r/altright, Stormfront, and 4chans politics board not Breitbart News.

Given the wide international interest in the presidential election, and the evident popularity of Trump among some portions of the alt-right (and unpopularity on the far-left), Breitbart has attracted wider attention beyond the companys core audience of center-right and conservative readers.

But Breitbart is not an alt-right publication, and the daily news content of the website speaks for itself. Moreover, there are no white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists working at, or published by, Breitbart.

On Wednesday morning, nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager who has written a widely-respected book on antisemitism called the accusations against Bannon libel and said that the ADL had damaged itself with the false claims.

Reacting partly tothose false claims, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday evening to stage ademonstration against Bannon, including signs referring to Bannon as a Nazi.

Also on Wednesday, the ADL initially denied press credentials to Breitbart News Adelle Nazarian, who was to cover a conference on antisemitism in New York on Thursday.

Nazarian, who is Jewish, is an experienced journalist who has coveredantisemitism and foreign affairs for Breitbart News, and most recently covered the 2016 presidential campaign as part of the national traveling press corps.

Late Wednesday, the ADL reversed its decision andcredentialed Nazarian for the event.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book,See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Cant Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Anti-Defamation League Backs Down: We Are Not Aware of …

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment | by …

Posted By on December 19, 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu; drawing by John Springs

In 2003, several prominent Jewish philanthropists hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to explain why American Jewish college students were not more vigorously rebutting campus criticism of Israel. In response, he unwittingly produced the most damning indictment of the organized American Jewish community that I have ever seen.

The philanthropists wanted to know what Jewish students thought about Israel. Luntz found that they mostly didnt. Six times we have brought Jewish youth together as a group to talk about their Jewishness and connection to Israel, he reported. Six times the topic of Israel did not come up until it was prompted. Six times these Jewish youth used the word they rather than us to describe the situation.

That Luntz encountered indifference was not surprising. In recent years, several studies have revealed, in the words of Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis, that non-Orthodox younger Jews, on the whole, feel much less attached to Israel than their elders, with many professing a near-total absence of positive feelings. In 2008, the student senate at Brandeis, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored university in America, rejected a resolution commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the Jewish state.

Luntzs task was to figure out what had gone wrong. When he probed the students views of Israel, he hit up against some firm beliefs. First, they reserve the right to question the Israeli position. These young Jews, Luntz explained, resist anything they see as group think.’ They want an open and frank discussion of Israel and its flaws. Second, young Jews desperately want peace. When Luntz showed them a series of ads, one of the most popular was entitled Proof that Israel Wants Peace, and listed offers by various Israeli governments to withdraw from conquered land. Third, some empathize with the plight of the Palestinians. When Luntz displayed ads depicting Palestinians as violent and hateful, several focus group participants criticized them as stereotypical and unfair, citing their own Muslim friends.

Most of the students, in other words, were liberals, broadly defined. They had imbibed some of the defining values of American Jewish political culture: a belief in open debate, a skepticism about military force, a commitment to human rights. And in their innocence, they did not realize that they were supposed to shed those values when it came to Israel. The only kind of Zionism they found attractive was a Zionism that recognized Palestinians as deserving of dignity and capable of peace, and they were quite willing to condemn an Israeli government that did not share those beliefs. Luntz did not grasp the irony. The only kind of Zionism they found attractive was the kind that the American Jewish establishment has been working against for most of their lives.

Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to fosterindeed, have actively opposeda Zionism that challenges Israels behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens. For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionisms door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.

Morally, American Zionism is in a downward spiral. If the leaders of groups like AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations do not change course, they will wake up one day to find a younger, Orthodox-dominated, Zionist leadership whose naked hostility to Arabs and Palestinians scares even them, and a mass of secular American Jews who range from apathetic to appalled. Saving liberal Zionism in the United Statesso that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israelis the great American Jewish challenge of our age. And it starts where Luntzs students wanted it to start: by talking frankly about Israels current government, by no longer averting our eyes.

Since the 1990s, journalists and scholars have been describing a bifurcation in Israeli society. In the words of Hebrew University political scientist Yaron Ezrahi, After decades of what came to be called a national consensus, the Zionist narrative of liberation [has] dissolved into openly contesting versions. One version, founded on a long memory of persecution, genocide, and a bitter struggle for survival, is pessimistic, distrustful of non-Jews, and believing only in Jewish power and solidarity. Another, nourished by secularized versions of messianism as well as the Enlightenment idea of progress, articulates a deep sense of the limits of military force, and a commitment to liberal-democratic values. Every country manifests some kind of ideological divide. But in contemporary Israel, the gulf is among the widest on earth.

As Ezrahi and others have noted, this latter, liberal-democratic Zionism has grown alongside a new individualism, particularly among secular Israelis, a greater demand for free expression, and a greater skepticism of coercive authority. You can see this spirit in new historians like Tom Segev who have fearlessly excavated the darker corners of the Zionist past and in jurists like former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak who have overturned Knesset laws that violate the human rights guarantees in Israels Basic Laws. You can also see it in former Prime Minister Ehud Baraks apparent willingness to relinquish much of the West Bank in 2000 and early 2001.

But in Israel today, this humane, universalistic Zionism does not wield power. To the contrary, it is gasping for air. To understand how deeply antithetical its values are to those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus government, its worth considering the case of Effi Eitam. Eitam, a charismatic excabinet minister and war hero, has proposed ethnically cleansing Palestinians from the West Bank. Well have to expel the overwhelming majority of West Bank Arabs from here and remove Israeli Arabs from [the] political system, he declared in 2006. In 2008, Eitam merged his small Ahi Party into Netanyahus Likud. And for the 20092010 academic year, he is Netanyahus special emissary for overseas campus engagement. In that capacity, he visited a dozen American high schools and colleges last fall on the Israeli governments behalf. The group that organized his tour was called Caravan for Democracy.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman once shared Eitams views. In his youth, he briefly joined Meir Kahanes now banned Kach Party, which also advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israeli soil. Now Liebermans position might be called pre-expulsion. He wants to revoke the citizenship of Israeli Arabs who wont swear a loyalty oath to the Jewish state. He tried to prevent two Arab parties that opposed Israels 20082009 Gaza war from running candidates for the Knesset. He said Arab Knesset members who met with representatives of Hamas should be executed. He wants to jail Arabs who publicly mourn on Israeli Independence Day, and he hopes to permanently deny citizenship to Arabs from other countries who marry Arab citizens of Israel.

You dont have to be paranoid to see the connection between Liebermans current views and his former ones. The more you strip Israeli Arabs of legal protection, and the more you accuse them of treason, the more thinkable a policy of expulsion becomes. Liebermans American defenders often note that in theory he supports a Palestinian state. What they usually fail to mention is that for him, a two-state solution means redrawing Israels border so that a large chunk of Israeli Arabs find themselves exiled to another country, without their consent.

Lieberman served as chief of staff during Netanyahus first term as prime minister. And when it comes to the West Bank, Netanyahus own record is in its way even more extreme than his protgs. In his 1993 book, A Place among the Nations, Netanyahu not only rejects the idea of a Palestinian state, he denies that there is such a thing as a Palestinian. In fact, he repeatedly equates the Palestinian bid for statehood with Nazism. An Israel that withdraws from the West Bank, he has declared, would be a ghetto-state with Auschwitz borders. And the effort to gouge Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] out of Israel resembles Hitlers bid to wrench the German-speaking Sudeten district from Czechoslovakia in 1938. It is unfair, Netanyahu insists, to ask Israel to concede more territory since it has already made vast, gut-wrenching concessions. What kind of concessions? It has abandoned its claim to Jordan, which by rights should be part of the Jewish state.

On the left of Netanyahus coalition sits Ehud Baraks emasculated Labor Party, but whatever moderating potential it may have is counterbalanced by what is, in some ways, the most illiberal coalition partner of all, Shas, the ultra-Orthodox party representing Jews of North African and Middle Eastern descent. At one point, Shaslike some of its Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox counterpartswas open to dismantling settlements. In recent years, however, ultra-Orthodox Israelis, anxious to find housing for their large families, have increasingly moved to the West Bank, where thanks to government subsidies it is far cheaper to live. Not coincidentally, their political parties have swung hard against territorial compromise. And they have done so with a virulence that reflects ultra-Orthodox Judaisms profound hostility to liberal values. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shass immensely powerful spiritual leader, has called Arabs vipers, snakes, and ants. In 2005, after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed dismantling settlements in the Gaza Strip, Yosef urged that God strike him down. The official Shas newspaper recently called President Obama an Islamic extremist.

Hebrew University Professor Zeev Sternhell is an expert on fascism and a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize. Commenting on Lieberman and the leaders of Shas in a recent Op-Ed in Haaretz, he wrote, The last time politicians holding views similar to theirs were in power in postWorld War II Western Europe was in Francos Spain. With their blessing, a crude and multifaceted campaign is being waged against the foundations of the democratic and liberal order. Sternhell should know. In September 2008, he was injured when a settler set off a pipe bomb at his house.

Israeli governments come and go, but the Netanyahu coalition is the product of frightening, long-term trends in Israeli society: an ultra-Orthodox population that is increasing dramatically, a settler movement that is growing more radical and more entrenched in the Israeli bureaucracy and army, and a Russian immigrant community that is particularly prone to anti-Arab racism. In 2009, a poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 53 percent of Jewish Israelis (and 77 percent of recent immigrants from the former USSR) support encouraging Arabs to leave the country. Attitudes are worst among Israels young. When Israeli high schools held mock elections last year, Lieberman won. This March, a poll found that 56 percent of Jewish Israeli high school studentsand more than 80 percent of religious Jewish high school studentswould deny Israeli Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset. An education ministry official called the survey a huge warning signal in light of the strengthening trends of extremist views among the youth.

You might think that such trends, and the sympathy for them expressed by some in Israels government, would occasion substantial public concerneven outrageamong the leaders of organized American Jewry. You would be wrong. In Israel itself, voices from the left, and even center, warn in increasingly urgent tones about threats to Israeli democracy. (Former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak have both said that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state if it continues to hold the West Bank. This April, when settlers forced a large Israeli bookstore to stop selling a book critical of the occupation, Shulamit Aloni, former head of the dovish Meretz Party, declared that Israel has not been democratic for some time now.) But in the United States, groups like AIPAC and the Presidents Conference patrol public discourse, scolding people who contradict their vision of Israel as a state in which all leaders cherish democracy and yearn for peace.

The result is a terrible irony. In theory, mainstream American Jewish organizations still hew to a liberal vision of Zionism. On its website, AIPAC celebrates Israels commitment to free speech and minority rights. The Conference of Presidents declares that Israel and the United States share political, moral and intellectual values including democracy, freedom, security and peace. These groups would never say, as do some in Netanyahus coalition, that Israeli Arabs dont deserve full citizenship and West Bank Palestinians dont deserve human rights. But in practice, by defending virtually anything any Israeli government does, they make themselves intellectual bodyguards for Israeli leaders who threaten the very liberal values they profess to admire.

After Israels elections last February, for instance, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Presidents Conference, explained that Avigdor Liebermans agenda was far more moderate than the media has presented it. Insisting that Lieberman bears no general animus toward Israeli Arabs, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Hes not saying expel them. Hes not saying punish them. (Permanently denying citizenship to their Arab spouses or jailing them if they publicly mourn on Israeli Independence Day evidently does not qualify as punishment.) The ADL has criticized anti-Arab bigotry in the past, and the American Jewish Committee, to its credit, warned that Liebermans proposed loyalty oath would chill Israels democratic political debate. But the Forward summed up the overall response of Americas communal Jewish leadership in its headline Jewish Leaders Largely Silent on Liebermans Role in Government.

Not only does the organized American Jewish community mostly avoid public criticism of the Israeli government, it tries to prevent others from leveling such criticism as well. In recent years, American Jewish organizations have waged a campaign to discredit the worlds most respected international human rights groups. In 2006, Foxman called an Amnesty International report on Israeli killing of Lebanese civilians bigoted, biased, and borderline anti-Semitic. The Conference of Presidents has announced that biased NGOs include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, [and] Save the Children. Last summer, an AIPAC spokesman declared that Human Rights Watch has repeatedly demonstrated its anti-Israel bias. When the Obama administration awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, former UN high commissioner for human rights, the ADL and AIPAC both protested, citing the fact that she had presided over the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. (Early drafts of the conference report implicitly accused Israel of racism. Robinson helped expunge that defamatory charge, angering Syria and Iran.)

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are not infallible. But when groups like AIPAC and the Presidents Conference avoid virtually all public criticism of Israeli actionsdirecting their outrage solely at Israels neighborsthey leave themselves in a poor position to charge bias. Moreover, while American Jewish groups claim that they are simply defending Israel from its foes, they are actually taking sides in a struggle within Israel between radically different Zionist visions. At the very moment the Anti-Defamation League claimed that Robinson harbored an animus toward Israel, an alliance of seven Israeli human rights groups publicly congratulated her on her award. Many of those groups, like BTselem, which monitors Israeli actions in the Occupied Territories, and the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, have been at least as critical of Israels actions in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank as have Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

All of which raises an uncomfortable question. If American Jewish groups claim that Israels overseas human rights critics are motivated by anti- Israeli, if not anti-Semitic, bias, what does that say about Israels domestic human rights critics? The implication is clear: they must be guilty of self-hatred, if not treason. American Jewish leaders dont generally say that, of course, but their allies in the Netanyahu government do. Last summer, Israels vice prime minister, Moshe Yaalon, called the anti-occupation group Peace Now a virus. This January, a right-wing group called Im Tirtzu accused Israeli human rights organizations of having fed information to the Goldstone Commission that investigated Israels Gaza war. A Knesset member from Netanyahus Likud promptly charged Naomi Chazan, head of the New Israel Fund, which supports some of those human rights groups, with treason, and a member of Liebermans party launched an investigation aimed at curbing foreign funding of Israeli NGOs.

To their credit, Foxman and other American Jewish leaders opposed the move, which might have impaired their own work. But they are reaping what they sowed. If you suggest that mainstream human rights criticism of Israels government is motivated by animus toward the state, or toward Jews in general, you give aid and comfort to those in Israel who make the same charges against the human rights critics in their midst.

In the American Jewish establishment today, the language of liberal Zionismwith its idioms of human rights, equal citizenship, and territorial compromisehas been drained of meaning. It remains the lingua franca in part for generational reasons, because many older American Zionists still see themselves as liberals of a sort. They vote Democratic; they are unmoved by biblical claims to the West Bank; they see average Palestinians as decent people betrayed by bad leaders; and they are secular. They dont want Jewish organizations to criticize Israel from the left, but neither do they want them to be agents of the Israeli right.

These American Zionists are largely the product of a particular era. Many were shaped by the terrifying days leading up to the Six-Day War, when it appeared that Israel might be overrun, and by the bitter aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, when much of the world seemed to turn against the Jewish state. In that crucible, Israel became their Jewish identity, often in conjunction with the Holocaust, which the 1967 and 1973 wars helped make central to American Jewish life. These Jews embraced Zionism before the settler movement became a major force in Israeli politics, before the 1982 Lebanon war, before the first intifada. They fell in love with an Israel that was more secular, less divided, and less shaped by the culture, politics, and theology of occupation. And by downplaying the significance of Avigdor Lieberman, the settlers, and Shas, American Jewish groups allow these older Zionists to continue to identify with that more internally cohesive, more innocent Israel of their youth, an Israel that now only exists in their memories.

But these secular Zionists arent reproducing themselves. Their children have no memory of Arab armies massed on Israels border and of Israel surviving in part thanks to urgent military assistance from the United States. Instead, they have grown up viewing Israel as a regional hegemon and an occupying power. As a result, they are more conscious than their parents of the degree to which Israeli behavior violates liberal ideals, and less willing to grant Israel an exemption because its survival seems in peril. Because they have inherited their parents liberalism, they cannot embrace their uncritical Zionism. Because their liberalism is real, they can see that the liberalism of the American Jewish establishment is fake.

To sustain their uncritical brand of Zionism, therefore, Americas Jewish organizations will need to look elsewhere to replenish their ranks. They will need to find young American Jews who have come of age during the West Bank occupation but are not troubled by it. And those young American Jews will come disproportionately from the Orthodox world.

Because they marry earlier, intermarry less, and have more children, Orthodox Jews are growing rapidly as a share of the American Jewish population. According to a 2006 American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey, while Orthodox Jews make up only 12 percent of American Jewry over the age of sixty, they constitute 34 percent between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four. For Americas Zionist organizations, these Orthodox youngsters are a potential bonanza. In their yeshivas they learn devotion to Israel from an early age; they generally spend a year of religious study there after high school, and often know friends or relatives who have immigrated to Israel. The same AJC study found that while only 16 percent of non-Orthodox adult Jews under the age of forty feel very close to Israel, among the Orthodox the figure is 79 percent. As secular Jews drift away from Americas Zionist institutions, their Orthodox counterparts will likely step into the breach. The Orthodox are still interested in parochial Jewish concerns, explains Samuel Heilman, a sociologist at the City University of New York. They are among the last ones who stayed in the Jewish house, so they now control the lights.

But it is this very parochialisma deep commitment to Jewish concerns, which often outweighs more universal onesthat gives Orthodox Jewish Zionism a distinctly illiberal cast. The 2006 AJC poll found that while 60 percent of non-Orthodox American Jews under the age of forty support a Palestinian state, that figure drops to 25 percent among the Orthodox. In 2009, when Brandeis Universitys Theodore Sasson asked American Jewish focus groups about Israel, he found Orthodox participants much less supportive of dismantling settlements as part of a peace deal. Even more tellingly, Reform, Conservative, and unaffiliated Jews tended to believe that average Palestinians wanted peace, but had been ill-served by their leaders. Orthodox Jews, by contrast, were more likely to see the Palestinian people as the enemy, and to deny that ordinary Palestinians shared any common interests or values with ordinary Israelis or Jews.

Orthodox Judaism has great virtues, including a communal warmth and a commitment to Jewish learning unmatched in the American Jewish world. (Im biased, since my family attends an Orthodox synagogue.) But if current trends continue, the growing influence of Orthodox Jews in Americas Jewish communal institutions will erode even the liberal-democratic veneer that today covers American Zionism. In 2002, Americas major Jewish organizations sponsored a large Israel solidarity rally on the Washington Mall. Up and down the east coast, yeshivas shut down for the day, swelling the estimated Orthodox share of the crowd to close to 70 percent. When the then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told the rally that innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying as well, he was booed.

Americas Jewish leaders should think hard about that rally. Unless they change course, it portends the future: an American Zionist movement that does not even feign concern for Palestinian dignity and a broader American Jewish population that does not even feign concern for Israel. My own children, given their upbringing, could as easily end up among the booers as among Luntzs focus group. Either prospect fills me with dread.

In 2004, in an effort to prevent weapons smuggling from Egypt, Israeli tanks and bulldozers demolished hundreds of houses in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. Watching television, a veteran Israeli commentator and politician named Tommy Lapid saw an elderly Palestinian woman crouched on all fours looking for her medicines amid the ruins of her home. He said she reminded him of his grandmother.

In that moment, Lapid captured the spirit that is suffocating within organized American Jewish life. To begin with, he watched. In my experience, there is an epidemic of not watching among American Zionists today. A Red Cross study on malnutrition in the Gaza Strip, a bill in the Knesset to allow Jewish neighborhoods to bar entry to Israeli Arabs, an Israeli human rights report on settlers burning Palestinian olive groves, three more Palestinian teenagers shotits unpleasant. Rationalizing and minimizing Palestinian suffering has become a kind of game. In a more recent report on how to foster Zionism among Americas young, Luntz urges American Jewish groups to use the word Arabs, not Palestinians, since the term Palestinians evokes images of refugee camps, victims and oppression, while Arab says wealth, oil and Islam.

Of course, Israellike the United Statesmust sometimes take morally difficult actions in its own defense. But they are morally difficult only if you allow yourself some human connection to the other side. Otherwise, security justifies everything. The heads of AIPAC and the Presidents Conference should ask themselves what Israels leaders would have to do or say to make them scream no. After all, Lieberman is foreign minister; Effi Eitam is touring American universities; settlements are growing at triple the rate of the Israeli population; half of Israeli Jewish high school students want Arabs barred from the Knesset. If the line has not yet been crossed, where is the line?

What infuriated critics about Lapids comment was that his grandmother died at Auschwitz. How dare he defile the memory of the Holocaust? Of course, the Holocaust is immeasurably worse than anything Israel has done or ever will do. But at least Lapid used Jewish suffering to connect to the suffering of others. In the world of AIPAC, the Holocaust analogies never stop, and their message is always the same: Jews are licensed by their victimhood to worry only about themselves. Many of Israels founders believed that with statehood, Jews would rightly be judged on the way they treated the non-Jews living under their dominion. For the first time we shall be the majority living with a minority, Knesset member Pinchas Lavon declared in 1948, and we shall be called upon to provide an example and prove how Jews live with a minority.

But the message of the American Jewish establishment and its allies in the Netanyahu government is exactly the opposite: since Jews are historys permanent victims, always on the knife-edge of extinction, moral responsibility is a luxury Israel does not have. Its only responsibility is to survive. As former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg writes in his remarkable 2008 book, The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Victimhood sets you free.

This obsession with victimhood lies at the heart of why Zionism is dying among Americas secular Jewish young. It simply bears no relationship to their lived experience, or what they have seen of Israels. Yes, Israel faces threats from Hezbollah and Hamas. Yes, Israelis understandably worry about a nuclear Iran. But the dilemmas you face when you possess dozens or hundreds of nuclear weapons, and your adversary, however despicable, may acquire one, are not the dilemmas of the Warsaw Ghetto. The year 2010 is not, as Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed, 1938. The drama of Jewish victimhooda drama that feels natural to many Jews who lived through 1938, 1948, or even 1967strikes most of todays young American Jews as farce.

But there is a different Zionist calling, which has never been more desperately relevant. It has its roots in Israels Independence Proclamation, which promised that the Jewish state will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew prophets, and in the December 1948 letter from Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and others to The New York Times, protesting right-wing Zionist leader Menachem Begins visit to the United States after his partys militias massacred Arab civilians in the village of Deir Yassin. It is a call to recognize that in a world in which Jewish fortunes have radically changed, the best way to memorialize the history of Jewish suffering is through the ethical use of Jewish power.

For several months now, a group of Israeli students has been traveling every Friday to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where a Palestinian family named the Ghawis lives on the street outside their home of fifty-three years, from which they were evicted to make room for Jewish settlers. Although repeatedly arrested for protesting without a permit, and called traitors and self-haters by the Israeli right, the students keep coming, their numbers now swelling into the thousands. What if American Jewish organizations brought these young people to speak at Hillel? What if this was the face of Zionism shown to Americas Jewish young? What if the students in Luntzs focus group had been told that their generation faces a challenge as momentous as any in Jewish history: to save liberal democracy in the only Jewish state on earth?

Too many years I lived in the warm embrace of institutionalized elusiveness and was a part of it, writes Avraham Burg. I was very comfortable there. I know; I was comfortable there too. But comfortable Zionism has become a moral abdication. Lets hope that Luntzs students, in solidarity with their counterparts at Sheikh Jarrah, can foster an uncomfortable Zionism, a Zionism angry at what Israel risks becoming, and in love with what it still could be. Lets hope they care enough to try.

May 12, 2010

Peter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and Senior Political Writer for The Daily Beast. His new book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, will be published in June.

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