Tuesday, October 14, 2014

American Values From Basketball to Holiday Greetings

I read this and asked myself: were Jewish Israelis resident in Judea and Samaria invited to participate?

Hoop dreams: Susan Rice plays ball with Israelis and Palestinians
...last week in an unlikely venue: the basketball court on the Southern Lawn of the White House. That’s where U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice spent Thursday morning dribbling and dunking, along with 30 young Israelis and Palestinians — all basketball coaches for children’s teams in Israel and the West Bank.

Rice, who played basketball in high school, wrote on the White House blog: “I had the pleasure and honor to take a few minutes away from my desk and the Situation Room to play basketball with some remarkable young Israelis and Palestinians that have come together through sports to build bridges between their divided communities.”

Rice left the West Wing and changed into sports gear to spend time with the coaches.

...The Israelis and Palestinians came to the United States in the framework of PeacePlayers International, an international nonprofit organization founded in 2001 on the premise that “children who play together can learn to live together.”  The Israeli-Palestinian exchange program was funded by a State Department sports diplomacy program together with PPI, which builds reconciliation and understanding between communities in conflict. The visit is part of a longer two-year process the group is running in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.

As for PPI, I checked and was pleasantly surprised to find one of my favorite terms - "communities":-

PPI - ME works with ethnically and religiously diverse populations, including Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, and is committed to fostering gender equality through sport in both Jewish and Arab communities

Yes, I know that meant there social/ethnic groups of people rather than villages, towns and neighborhoods.

I asked the PPI office if any Israeli participant was a resident of one of the Yesha communities but so far, no response (holiday period).  The Consulate does its own sponsoring which is restricted to Arabs only.

By the way, even holiday greetings to Jews from the Consul-General is limited to Jerusalemites

Statement by Consul General Michael A. Ratney on the Occasion of the Jewish High Holidays:-
"I want to extend my warmest wishes as our Jewish friends and neighbors here in the Holy City of Jerusalem begin the High Holidays..."

What did Netanyahu say about "American values"?

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