Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Young Jew, With Whom Do You Stand?

Young Jews Disrupt Netanyahu at Jewish General Assembly from stefanie fox on Vimeo.

For the first time ever, American and Israeli Jews interrupted the Prime Minister of Israel's Address to the General Assembly of the North American Jewish Federations with a simple message: The actions of the Israeli government are delegitimizing the State of Israel.

I urge you to look at the video here, even if you, like I, don't like shouting down a speaker. Not only did it take courage to do what those young people did (especially the ones at the end, when the crowd turned ugly) but their message was not particularly radical or off-the-wall. In fact, what they said is what many Israelis say, and what the pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby J-Street also says. Some will disagree with their tactics, but the sad truth is that for too long Jews have said, privately, that they disagree with the Occupation – and then have turned the page and gone on with their support. These young folks are shaking up those who need to be shaken up.

And that had to make a lot of reps to the GA uneasy. I understand the need for many American Jews to listen respectfully to the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and to pledge support for the state against its enemies. But when American Jewish liberals, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic, hear statements shouted by protesters –statements with which they agree – then that confuses and saddens the hell out of many of them.

And when they see the viciousness of some of the other delegates, the hatred and violence in the eyes – listen to the crowd's reaction as it gets progressively nastier – it just makes things harder for them.

Kudos for JVP for facilitating this. I hope the "GA 5" visit some college campuses soon to spread the message; I know that JVP is setting up "chapters" at a college near you.




Anonymous said...

Regardless of the courage it took and regardless of the message, all this does is make you look like holigans and deligitimizes your own message.

Unknown said...

@Nathan- that's the usual response to unusual behaviour. As it used to be said there are two crimes one should be proud to have one's record "Disturbing the Police" and "Creating a Public New Sense"

Anonymous said...

by "new sense" I think you meant nuisance. Either way, I fully disagree. If a position is rational, intelligent, and obviously more moral - then act like it.

wrpn said...

I saw the video. The GA 5 showed great courage & made me proud to be Jewish. With deepest regrets, this year's General Assembly was not the usual kosherized version of the old Supreme Soviet with Israeli PM's playing the role of Leonoid Brezhnev, receiving his "THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE" from brainless apparatchiks.

Abdellatif Housni said...


If those pictures could reach the rest of the world (especially the muslim part) it could bring hope in the future...

thank you