Friday, December 28, 2007

Didn't Make It Into the JPost Magazine

My letter, that is.

In the discussion touching on the say of Jews from abroad initiated by Calev Ben-David ("Did I forget thee, O Jerusalem?", Dec. 6), Ben-David's opinion is that Ehud Olmert "is correct. The simple truth is that Diaspora Jews don't and won't have much actual say" in deciding "the future fate of Jerusalem, and so much else here". I find that an odd conclusion in that Ben-David recently left a prestigious position harnessing Diaspora Jewry to struggle on Israel's behalf in the field of Hasbara at the Israel Project.

Can it be that Mr. Ben-David thinks it proper to involve Diaspora Jews to fight Israel's media wars and to struggle for public opinion, or as the TIP site states: "to educat[e] the press and the public about Israel", but the relationship ends there and that it is one-way only? Is it not possible that some of the college students fostering TIP programs could be in danger on certain campuses but that there is no liability, moral or otherwise, that the state of Israel is obligated to these activists?

These activists, perhaps convinced by then Mayor of Jerusalem Olmert's words that the city is united were out there getting Israe's message to the public but now, must stay out of the campaign because current Prime Minister Olmert's words have been reversed? I find that nonsensical, illogical and a dangerous suggestion by Ben-David. The ramifications of his message is that when he was in charge of a joint Diaspora Jewry-Israel effort, the situation was acceptable but when a different set of conditions arises, Diaspora Jewry is told we don't want your help, your invovlement nor, perhaps, your money. That is unethical, to say the least.

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