Sunday, May 22, 2005

ZOA is proud of its accomplishments

I had the merit of hearing Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twersky tonight speak in commemoration of a community member's first yertzeit (the opposite of a birthday for lack of a better definition). As I sat there and listened to his pearls of wisdom and his call to arms for the community to improve and embark on specific missions, the rage I felt against those who infiltrated the auditorium earlier today turned to disgust and despair.

While I love politics dearly and have enjoyed the experiences and opportunities I've enjoyed over the past few years, there is nothing that bothers me more than Jewish politics because it is the nastiest of all. This is because the animosity it creates perpetuates our galus and increases the sin'as chinam within our already (as Mort Zuckerman so proudly exclaimed today) fractious community.

And yet, I felt my blood pressure rising as I read the following email written by one of the ZOA cowards who interrupted Sharon and I became further disappointed and depressed about what happened earlier today. There does not seem to be a way to bring us back together as a community, as a people, or as a nation until this is all over and done with. Can we get through this without bloodshed? Can we get through this without any more hatred? I realized the precariousness of the situation to an extent when I was in Israel in January and heard and read and saw first-hand what was going on as the first round of protests (which, I believe, lasted three weeks outside the Knesset) began. But as my mother so often told me, I needed to learn the hard way.

I will go through it point by point just to clarify the facts for the public:
  • First, they are distorting the truth. There absolutely was not, by any account that I heard including police officers and participants, 2,500 people present at the demonstration outside Baruch College today. Perhaps they like the number because it's one hundred more than double the number of people inside. You'll have to ask them. But when you do, tell them they're making it up.
  • Those inside are lambasted as "uncritical Jews." Good to know.
  • He fails to mention the presence of Yeshiva University President Richard Joel who went on to extoll his institution's achievements as a pro-Zionist university. Then again, I'm not surprised; after today I'm not sure that those people would recognize a true Zionist if it crashed into their bumper-sticker covered cars while they were in the driver's seat.
  • "This was a very selected left liberal audience..." Yeah, I'll bet. I'm a registered Republican, a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, campaigned on behalf of the Republican party for four days last fall in Phildalphia and consider myself on the right of Israeli politics and could go on but will stop there. The individual on my left, and the two next to her, was a registered Republican and proud member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. As I mentioned in my previous post, the founder of the RJC and the current NY director of the RJC were also in attendance. On my left was the new president of the Brooklyn College Hillel, herself in agreement with the ZOA but utterly ashamed at what they did. To her left was an individual who works for the Jewish Agency and encourages Americans to make aliyah and while she, too, was against the plan, she felt it's important to support the government while here in America. And, by the way, anyone who's ever heard Malcolm Hoenlein speak for himself knows that he, too, is certainly not a liberal. But, yeah, clearly a "very selected left liberal audience."
  • "...many on the payroll or receiving funds from the UJA and Federation projects." Hey, Sherlock, guess what!?! The reason there were so many UJA employees there was because the UJA SPONSORED the event and had the right to give some of the seats to its employees. Are you saying that the UJA as an organization is pro-disengagement and that all employees are left liberals? Oh, that's right, my meter indicates we just picked up another overgeneralization!
  • Yes, you're proud that you were taken away right in front of the cameras and pool of reporters. You know, sincere people who want to get things done specifically don't run to the media for attention. They're humble and do things behind the scenes (it's almost always more efficient and effective to work this way, at least in my experiences in politics thusfar). Skilled professionals know not to get to close to the media because one day the media won't be interested in you or might be interested in something against you (see the current media coverage of the AIPAC conference). Skilled politicians don't run to the media for photo-ops all the time and don't make monkeys out of themselves in public or embarass foreign leaders like that. Shame on you for pandering to the media. Yes, the same media you so often call anti-Israel and the same media you say leans towards the left. Well, how will this help make them less "anti-Israel" when JEWS interrupt the Israeli Prime Minister? So you got your coverage on national television. Now what? How will you help heal the division you've just created?
  • For the record, that was a great feeling, getting admonished by hundreds of fellow Jews by the words "Shame on You!" as I left the auditorium. We should have used it against the cowards inside! Actually, no, it was one of the worst feelings I've ever felt and it brought me to tears as I walked down East 23rd street back to my car.
  • It pains me to know that the end of the Israel Day Parade will be marred by more of this hatred. The parade exists to celebrate Israel not to create and deepen divisions within the very community that is supposed to embrace and support it wholeheartedly. I don't like the way you dishonor and disrespect foreign leaders and Israeli Prime Ministers and I'm fearful that you'll hijack the gathering and distort the message of millions of supporters of Israel for your own twisted political objectives.
I'll post the letter in the comments section so as not to make this post too long. Interested readers can follow the link to the comments section to see how they gloat. It sickens me.


Blogger Michael said...

Everybody contributed to a rousing rally outside in the rain against Sharon and Gush Katif/Gaza Expulsion. At least more that twice as many inside....the select bureaucratic officeholders of establishment Jewry and the beneficiaries of their grants.
Several of us chose to go inside to protest, having to hide our orange Gush Katif T-shirts in order to enter, by invitation only. We had to wait for nearly an hour before Sharon spoke,and the uncritical Jews praised the 'disengagement', primarily the heads of the Reform College and JTS, to their everlasting disgrace.
Then Mort Zuckerman, despite articles he's written outling the facts of the impending disaster, and James Tisch, speaking to ego and appeasing power, praised the expulsion of Jews from their homes, schools, graves. This was a very selected left liberal audience, many on the payroll or receiving funds from the Federation and UJA projects.
We had to wait and listen, nauseated, while this scripted charade went on for over an hour. And then Sharon spoke and cleverly began by encouraging aliyah and Birthright and proud to be a Jew. And when he finally talked about the Gaza operation, several of us showed our orange T-shirts and shouted Jews Don't Expel Jews and Gaza Retreat Rewards Terror and then were ejected as the TV and cameras and media noticed and recorded, hopefully not to be edited on the floor.
Of course mainly Israeli media would be influenced as we tried to give lie to the slander that American Jews support Sharon, that is those who are misinformed and confused. But even the ADL poll shows that they don't want a Palestinian state as the ADL markets anti-Semitism to raise money to support Sharon's ghettoizing Jews.
Others who were outside could give you a full report of the success of the rally and the marvelous speakers as at the end when the court Jews came out , the crowd shouted Shame On You, Not One Inch, as if in tribute to the Rebbe. A special Kol Hakoved to the Chabad chaverim for their staging and terrific mobilzation.
Now we are preparing to make the Israel Day Parade have an awareness of Save Gush Katif/Gaza and give great support for the Concert Rally with that theme so ably directed by Dr. Joe Frager.
We are meeting XXXXXXXXX to plan for martialing support for an orange parade and concert rally. Remember these are only the preliminaries as we head to the mid-August disaster rending asunder the fabric of Israeli civil society.

10:44 PM  
Blogger mazeartist said...

While the president of Brooklyn College Hillel went inside to see what Sharon had to say, I(the president of CCNY Hillel) felt that Sharon had nothing new to say, and to sit among a crowd of appeasers and enablers of terror would be uncomfortable.
So I stayed in the orange crowd outside. It was like a Woodstock for the observant, with songs, prayers, cheers, and jeers. The speakers were inspiring, and we all felt a positive energy radiate from the crowd, which numbered in the hundreds.
As for the so-called "Presidents," Foxman, Hoenlein, Tisch, Zuckerman, et al- They are not my presidents and they don't represent Judaism. They only represent themselves!

10:58 PM  

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