Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The NIF Slogs On

Someone broke into the Jerusalem offices of the NIF. The CEO of NIF Israel, Rachel Liel, says she and Naomi Hazan are receiving threatening letters.

Assuming the burglary has anything to do with anything, these are disturbing developments, and must be unequivocally condemned, with no "ifs or buts".

Proportions, however, that's another matter. An unknown number of unidentified hoodlums, probably cowardly acting anonymously, remain unidentified and hoodlums until proven otherwise.

Daniel Sokatch, on the other hand, the CEO of NIF, is a public figure with some authority; people respect him, take him seriously, admire him for his commitment to Israel and its causes. (In America. In Israel no-one has ever heard of him). When he sends out a mass e-mail calling on America's Jews - or at least those of them identified by the NIF - to write large checks ASAP, because only the NIF can save Israel's soul, this is partly pure cynicism, and partly a demonizing of Israeli society, and largely breathtakingly arrogant, and above all a distorted falsehood.

We have our work cut out for us. Ha’aretz reported today that more than half of Jewish Israelis believe that the free speech rights of organizations like the New Israel Fund should be limited. The survey finds that a majority of respondents think there is too much freedom of expression in Israel.

Please make an urgent contribution to the New Israel Fund today. Your support will help us take a stand against extremism and protect democratic values in Israel.

This new demonstration of the decreasing commitment to bedrock democratic principles presents one of the most fundamental challenges in the long history of the New Israel Fund. We are committed to reversing this trend and we need your support to make that happen.

As profoundly disturbing as this news is, it should come as no surprise to us, in light of increasing efforts to stifle dissent within Israel. The attacks on NIF in particular have been exceptionally virulent. We continue to confront scurrilous public campaigns fueled by outright false allegations and willful misrepresentations of who we are. Our adversaries have gone so far as to call for people to pray for harm to us and our allies who dare to question government policy -- a truly despicable act.

The New Israel Fund is not standing idly by as freedom of speech and conscience are sacrificed to a dangerous political agenda. Our work in Israel is the single most important investment that you can make in democratic values and freedom and justice for every Israeli.

From a human rights march that drew thousands of ordinary Israelis to victories in the High Court ….from strengthening liberal voices in the Orthodox community to empowering Israel’s minorities to fight for their rights ….the work of the New Israel Fund family is the antidote to the creeping erosion of democratic values.

The ferocity of the attacks on NIF and the organizations we support demonstrate the fear and anger that underlie nationalist and religious extremism. Our adversaries know that we will not retreat from our vision of a Jewish and democratic Israel that actually lives up to its standing as the only democracy in the Middle East.

Thank you for your support, and please make a special contribution to allow us to build new programs to defend democracy in Israel. Together, we’ll build a Jewish and democratic Israel we can all be proud of – an Israel that rightfully keeps its place in the ranks of free and democratic societies.

Then there's this revealing little news item (only in Hebrew, obviously): The NIF's Palestinian program is calling for proposals to build programs that will reduce the level of violence in Palestinian society. Somewhere, deep down in the psyche of the NIF, someone seems to have at least some grasp on reality.

But don't expect Sokatch to be sending out e-mails about this anytime soon.

46 comments:

Alex Stein said...

This is infantile: "In America. In Israel no-one has ever heard of him)." I think it makes good fundraising sense to try and turn crises to your advantage. NIF's main constituents are presumably those concerned about negative developments in Israeli society; unfortunately saying everything's ok isn't going to have them reaching for their wallets. In short, he's doing his job.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

It's easy to construct a post mirroring this for a nationalist US Jewish philanthropy supporting political work in Israel. You might even be able to find one on my blog.

Since NIF is not a foreign government, substantial debate is predicated on clarification of your position regarding the involvement of Diaspora Jews in internal Israeli affairs.

Respectfully,

Didi

Yaacov said...

Well, Alex, it would rather depend upon what the crises actually is that needs to be turned to one's advantage, wouldn't it. My understanding is that in the face of a growing antisemitic campaign to discredit the legitimacy of a Jewish state, a campaign which uses every falsification it can find to besmirch the Jews as a nation, the crises is that the NIF and others of its ilk are adding coal to the furnace, and they're doing so on many levels. In response, a growing number of Israelis - the ones being slandered - are losing their patience with the minority among them which is contributing mightily to the slander. If I were Sokatch (thankfully, I'm not), I'd launch a rethinking of the NIF positions, a re-examination of their activities, a re-calibration of their policies, and an adaptation of their behavior to the predicament of the Jews as a nation. This would call for funds, obviously, so it would by no means be less of a pitch than the one he chose. (I agree with you that his main job in life is to raise money. That's obvious).

Didi - it would be interesting to know if the NIF solicits funds from foreign governments, though, wouldn't it?

Anyway, my current problem with the NIF is not that it's a foreign government, but that it is disseminating lies about Israel to well-meaning American Jews. It is taking the combination of their American-conditioned understanding of the world, and telling them that in Israel this understanding of the world is under attack; specifically, that Israel is turning against democracy. Since the NIF is trusted by many of its constituents, the effect is that it is inculcating slander of Israel in their minds. Some of them - the Bernard Avishais, say - have immediate experience of Israel and if they wish to agree with the NIF analysis they're free to do so and no-one can reproach the NIF. Most, however, don't know Hebrew, rarely come here, and have next to no understanding of the reality Israelis live in nor how they relate to it. These American Jews have an innate support for Israel (which their children are probably losing), but it can be whittled away, and will be whittled away if they come to believe that Israel is trampling the values they hold dear. The NIF is playing with fire.

Alex Stein said...

Yaacov - can you be more specific about which organisations you think the NIF should no longer support, which ones you would begin support in their place, and which ones you would keep supporting?
Thanks,
Alex

Barry Meislin said...

Ha’aretz reported today that more than half of Jewish Israelis believe that the free speech rights of organizations like the New Israel Fund should be limited.

Hmmm. Reading between the lines, one would think that Ha'aretz is reporting that "more than half of Jewish Israeli" are against FREEDOM OF SPEECH (and, of course, one can infer, against DEMOCRACY).

But then, one always remembers that this is, well, Ha'aretz....

That's right, the Ha'aretz we all know and love....

Oh, and by the way, more pearls from the Libyan leader....

Lest there be any understanding, I'm in favor of throwing the book at any and every arsonist. Catch the person or people who started that fire and throw them in jail.

Barry Meislin said...

Correction. Instead of "arsonist" should be "break and enterer(?)".

Anonymous said...

Alex
how about telling me what the connection of "Combatants for Peace" to the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is?
Silke

Yaacov said...

Alex: I'm not going to fall into that trap. It's not the identity of the organizations, it's their actions. Thus, when Physicians for Human Rights treats undocumented foreign laborers in Israel, that's admirable; when they tell Goldstone that the IDF is terrible, that's not.

As a general statement, I'd say any activity meant to make Israeli society a better place in concrete ways, is great, since we have much about us that could be improved. Slandering us isn't.

I don't know what Silke uncovered, by the way, but the Heinrich Boell Foundation is the German Green party. Is CFP supported by them? If so, why?

NormanF said...

The NIF slandered Israel and helped its enemies and its now finding itself on the defensive? Well, in undermining Zionism and Israeli society it has reaped what it has sown.

I have little regard for its plight. The NIF made its bed so to speak and must now sleep in it.

Morey Altman said...

Public opinion polls are always wonky. This one polled only 500 people, a pretty low number in a diverse population. Typically, it takes around 1,500 people to get a margin of error of 2.5%, with 95% accuracy.

The poll is the work of Leftist professor Daniel Bar-Tal, notorious for polls and articles aimed at delegitimization of the State. (Bar-Tal has written: "There is no basis for any direct negotiation...only external intervention that will impose and supervise a cease fire, together with political advancement, can bring a new spirit to the region")

The poll was also deliberately taken immediately after highly-publicized stories about an alleged theft of military secrets and an ongoing battle between the New Israel Fund (which provides funding for primarily left-wing groups) and right-wing organizations.

Here's the thing about Israel: this is a country in which everyone must have an opinion. Actually several, sometimes simultaneously. (It's breathtaking to watch). Which they will eagerly offer, often loudly, at the drop of a hat. But, it's also normal to see two Israelis in a heated argument, who will then laugh and go for dinner together; they will scream and shout at the TV, then flip over to the soccer game, completely forgetting why they were so agitated; and they will say the most outrageous things to pollsters so as not to appear ambivalent.

At the end of the day, a shoddy poll by a biased pollster says nothing. Short on scientific accuracy, this one actually says: less than 500 people - who self-identified as right-wing in political orientation - out of a population of 7.5 million, "said human rights groups should not have the right to freely publicize immoral conduct on Israel's part." That actually sounds pretty good to me.

Incidentally, Tamar Herman, Academic Director of the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at the Tel Aviv University, which hosted the conference at which Bar-Tal's poll was officially released, is also on the Advisory Committee of the NIF. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this blog for many months and enjoy its perspective immensely. W/r/t the commentators, Alex and Didi's responses seem a little too orchestrated. As part of their effort to "engage" the "traditionally Zionist" community, do "progressives" coordinate monitoring and challenging non-enlightened blogs like this? Didi and Alex's tendentious consistency in calling for "specific" names and details in order to discredit points that contradict their agenda does suggest a pattern. Of course I will be accused of "distraction by association," but I am sincerely interested in the influence of M.J. Rosenberg on Didi. It seems to me that Rosenberg, formerly high level at NIF before their recent financial implosion, now of Media Matters (and a leader of "progressive" Israel viewpoint through his platform at talkingpointsmemo and huffingtonpost) cultivates the "cool" young Jewish progressive crowd, and possibly even helps find funding? Rosenberg's Facebook friends list are the best roster of this crowd available. BTW, Didi, compliments on coteret.com - I really appreciate the maariv and israel yayom translations.
Dan W.

Victor said...

"Combatants For Palestine" is so militaristic, unusually so for a leftist org. Usually such groups are named "Peace-Loving, Puppy-Saving, Peaceful Doves for Peace in Peaceful Palestine, Peacefully", with "Puppy" being the key word, obviously.

Is it a new trend on the left, to become more aggressive lately? This fits in with the Sheikh Jarrah manifesto they released some weeks back, "the Left of struggle".

What kind of reception would a group called "Combatants For Settlement" receive? I'm just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I had to interrupt listening to this interview because I couldn't believe this Dr. Ahmad Tibi was really an Israeli member of parliament
http://www.palestinecenterblog.org/2010/04/interview-palestinian-mk-dr-ahmad-tibi.html

he is talking to an outfit based in Washington D.C. i.e. in a foreign country. I am sure there once was a time when behaviour like that would have been regarded as treason.
Of course he also tells that deportation myth.

I am full of admiration for any decent Israeli who is capable of any kind of cooperation with a guy like that.

Silke

Alex Stein said...

Silke/Yaacov - I will try to find out asap and get back to you. In the meantime, what's the problem with the Heinrich Boell Foundation?

Victor - it's a pun in Hebrew, and it's also a reference to the fact that the group was established by Israeli and Palestinian combatants. Given that we are committed to non-violence, I think the militaristic allegation is rather misplaced.

Yaacov said...

Alex,

Legally, at the moment, nothing is wrong with the Heinrich Boell Foundation - except that its exactly the case of a foreign government intruding in sovereign Israeli politics. Actually, not quite a government, but rather a political party, using government funds. Perhaps you also might want to look into that particular party, and see who it is you're taking money from (if you are), and give a thought to how it may make the rest of us perceive you.

You also ought to call yourselves Veterans for Peace. The Hebrew pun comes out bad in English, as a number of people have already told you.

Silke - what do you have against Achmad Tibi? He's one of our most colorful public figures! And believe me, he's much worse than this recording might tell. Maybe I'll write a post about him some day. In the meantime, he's living proof not only of the freedom of speech in Israel, but of our tolerance of things that in most countries would be criminal, such as being Arafat's personal aide while serving in Israel's parliament at a time of war.

Barry Meislin said...

Silke, for some reason, you seem oblivious to the fact that treason is the very epitome of patriotism.

Likewise, that nationalism, for a variety of reasons, is anathema, taboo, verboten.

(Unless, of course, one is referring to Palestinian nationalism....)

So many thing to learn in dis brave new woild....

Alex Stein said...

Yaacov - just to be clear, is your problem with organisations receiving money from foreign governments or from foreigners בכלל? Are you arguing that Israeli organisations (of whatever stripe) should be registered as foreign agents if they receive money from foreign governments?

Barry Meislin said...

One would think, by now, that the whole point of this blog is crystal clear (I mean honestly, where have you been?):

Organizations in Israel should ONLY receive foreign moneys, contributions and financial (as well as moral) support as long as they pledge to SLANDER, DEFAME and MISREPRESENT with the intention of DESTROYING THE LEGITIMACY of the State of Israel, and act accordingly.

Any attempt on the part of said organizations (or misguided individuals) to defend the right of the State of Israel to exist, or to otherwise defend its legitimacy, renders that (shameful, or shameless?)organization (or individual) beyond the pale and opens it to justifiable accusations of betrayal and treason, of disingenuousness and immorality (not to mention foolishness---though maybe, they could plead the insanity defense).

One might add bad taste as well as fuzzy thinking---loathesomeness in general, why not?....

Know, however, that since Israel is a democracy, such organizations (or individuals) that dare defend the State and/or its legitimacy are (at least, in theory) toleated and (at least, in theory) allowed to operate, even if it is wise, for all involved, to keep a low profile. Make that, very low profile.

Yaacov said...

I've only said this twelve times, or thirty.

Foreign governments intervening in out internal politics. It's not tat complicated.

SOme countries, by the way, have harsher restrictions. The USA, so far as I know.

Didi Remez said...

Dan "W.":
Gratuitous "guilt by distraction" is best implemented after getting the facts straight. MJ Rosenberg was of IPF (Israeli Policy Forum a very different organization which does not engage in funding Israeli projects.) I've never met him and read him only occasionally. We come from very different perspectives: he is interested in the future of US Jewry and I am interested in the future of Israel.

Yaacov:
I will answer any question you pose if you finally answer my question on the legitimacy of Diaspora Jews using funds to intervene in internal Israeli matters, especially controversial ones. The fact that it's material to this discussion is pretty clear from the fact that you responded by asking whether foreign governments fund NIF.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

"Slander" (as opposed to, say, "airing dirty underwear outside") implies knowingly defaming using false information.

You use the term repeatedly yet rarely, if at all, describe, not to mention contest, the information the groups publish. If the information is correct, it is not slanderous.

Mind you, this focus is not yours alone, but seems to be at the heart of the current campaign to suppress Israeli civil society groups whose work does not sit well with government policies.

By focusing on the funding, rather than the facts, are you admitting that the facts are correct but should only be debated in-house? If that's the case, why don't you apply the same standards to a multitude of right-wing groups who engage in Israel-policy (many times critical of the Israeli government) in the US (with non-Jews as their audience as well? If the facts or analysis are incorrect, specificity is in criticizing them is a precondition for credibility.

Respectfully,

Didi

Alex Stein said...

The answer is that we have received funding from Heinrich Boll; I do not accept that this amounts to foreign government interference in internal Israeli politics.

Anonymous said...

Barry Meislin
please forgive me for being quite an ignoramus on patriotism - it is a feeling I have started to learn about rather late in life.
- Having grown up in post-Nazi Germany lots of us youngsters thought doing away with patriotism would safeguard us from evil. I got my first doubts from young German-South-American young Jews who were unabashed patriots for their South-American homelands while loosing no time in gathering information on how to go to Israel and help/fight in 1967. I found this display of unquestioning loyalty feeding on LOVE very attractive
On a more sober note I believe one owes allegiance and taking money makes allegiance look suspect ... there is truth in "wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing" - whose bread I eat his song I sing.
Silke

Anonymous said...

thanks Alex
it will probably take me a while to find what the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is aiming at when funding Israeli NGOs - I'll get back to it - for now just believe me that from what I know how a huge part of German public opinion is made whatever they do or aim at is far from irrelevant.

Didi
that there are facts that are facts and nothing else is a chimera that "we the people" are getting asked constantly to believe in.
Probably the only instance where a fact really is a fact and nothing else is 1 + 1 = 2 - everywhere else so called facts are selective and have to be so by nature, after all life is at least three-dimensional and on top of that forever moving.

In school I was told that Heraklit said one can't step twice into the same river - an image I find very worth remembering to this day whenever somebody starts throwing facts with a capital F at me.

as promised I have started sleuthing from the bottom up on your links at Benor i.e.
http://www.yesh-din.org/site/index.php?page=about.us&lang=en
the first claim on who funds the outfit from Germany led me to the Foreign Office. I am working on finding out more but it seems a bit unlikely to me that you would receive German government funds directly from ministries. On the other hand the Goethe Institut is funded by our Foreign Office. Is Yesh-Din getting funds from them?

I trust that you will help my quest and thank you in advance

Silke

Barry Meislin said...

Indeed, it can be a delicate, complex subject.

And if one may err, on which side might it be better (preferable?) to err?

And if one has doubts, what is the best (better?) way to express them?

I imagine that that is the dilemma, here; though for some, it may not be a dilemma at all.... (but if not, why not?---Therein lies the crux of the debate, I think.)

Yaacov said...

Didi -

Diaspora Jews putting money into Israel is fine, except if it contravenes our laws and specifically the laws of election-campaign finances. Other than that, no problem. It's one of the few likely ways they have of being committed to the Jewish state.

You apparently haven't been reading this blog if you think I don't give concrete examples of slander. Anyway, slander is the willful misrepresentation of Israel's actions or policies in a detrimental way. Of course, you'll say that the radical left only wants Israel's best so their actions are never detrimental, but that's not serious, on any level.

Yaacov said...

Alex,

I don't remember anyone asking you what your opinion was on the matter. German federal funds financing Israeli political actors is intervention, whether you like or not. It's not a matter of opinion.

One reason, btw, that AIPAC never takes funds for Israeli governmental agencies: because in the US such behaviour is unacceptable, and probably illegal.

Alex Stein said...

You obviously know more about Heinrich Boll than me. It says they are affiliated to the German Greens. On what basis do you make the claim that they get their money from German federal funds?

Alex Stein said...

It's also more complicated because CFP primarily operates over the Green Line, which - according to most of the international community - is occupied territory. In other words it can't be described as solely an internal Israeli matter. Also, we are an Israeli-Palestinian organisation; and I don't think you can tell the Palestinians not to take money from the Germans. In short, it's a bit more complicated than you are trying to make out. And we really don't get much money from anyone, which is why 96% of our activities are reliant on volunteers.

Yaacov said...

You're missing the point Alex. Two, actually. One is that I know the money is federal, because I know something about how the German government works. You folks, on the other hand, didn't bother to ask where the money was coming from and why it was on offer.

The second point is simply weird. An Israeli organization excuses itself from what the Israeli public should or shouldn't be interested in, because it's beyond the Green Line? You want to think that one thru again? Didi won't like it.

Alex Stein said...

I wasn't missing the point, which is why I asked the question: "On what basis do you make the claim that they get their money from German federal funds?" Now, instead of telling me how much you know, can you please explain it to me?

Also - stop with this "you folks". I wasn't involved in the application; I am sure whoever applied knew why they were doing so. I am also sure they understood that the foundation supports the same political goals as we do, and on that basis decided to apply for the money. If - as you say but haven't explained - it's government money, then it's not ideal, but I certainly think it's a lesser evil given the circumstances.

As for the second point, it's weird because you've distorted it to the point that I don't understand you.

Anonymous said...

Alex
give me time I'll come back to it with all the details I can find - but right now you better believe Yaacov - below is what "Böll" has to say at first glance about its financing. "Öffentliche Mittel" translates roughly as public financing - but if you insist I will dig into it (they must have a Rechenschaftsberich somewhere) and find out how much of it is from which of our collectors of taxpayers money.

BTW can you tell me anything about SHATIL?
They say it is their Israeli training center. Also I seem to remember that they say something about offering world wide training courses in civil disobedience or whatever it's called. I trust you don't need that but then tree planting sounds like they might like it.
As I am beginning to enjoy myself, are there any other German outfits your CFP takes funds from?

They seem to have offered a dossier on Gaza which seems to be online only as this remnant - you see I'll have lots and lots of interesting stuff I can look forward to - that said they have also done something together with Aktion Sühnezeichen, to which due to Ulrich Sahm's comments on Israel I am biased favourably.
http://www.boell.de/internationalepolitik/aussensicherheit/aussen-sicherheit-5807.html

As to your not having been involved that's what I call a chain of command argument and no serious person should use it in the way you do to "exculpate" himself.
Silke

on page 76 of their last report offered on the website it says in the last sentence:
Im Jahr 2008 standen der Stiftung rund 45 Millionen aus öffentlichen Mitteln zur Verfügung. http://www.boell.de/stiftung/jahresbericht/jahresberichte-6779.html

Alex Stein said...

I wasn't using it to 'exculpate' myself (I have no problem with us getting money from this group), I was just stating it as a fact. I quite literally wasn't involved in the organisation at that point. I would suggest to you, Silke, that there are more important things to worry about than where we get the pennies we do manage to fundraise, but feel free to keep digging nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Alex
so Shatil is the place where "Böll" and the NIF meet
http://www.nif.org/programs-and-partners/shatil/

- did you get your "plant a tree/create a ruckus"-expertise from them?

I agree there are a lot more important issues to worry about like what will I like for dinner tonight but as it happens I have always been fascinated by how and where hubs are and mating takes place. So just be generous and let me have my kind of fun.

Do you get funds from any other German outfits?

Silke

Yaacov said...

Silke,

You don't know how funny this is. The word Shatil means seedling, a tiny plant that will grow to be big.

Alex Stein said...

Shatil is a resource for Israeli charities and non-profits of all stripes, and it's safe to say almost all of them would be worse off without access to their info about where to apply for funds etc (I say this in my capacity as a fundraiser for an Israeli children's charity, which is my day-job).

We have just changed our website, but we intend to put up a page with all our donors. When that is ready you will be ablt to look.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

Thanks for the clarification.

What's your position on Christian Zionist funding of Israeli political issues?

Best,

Didi

Anonymous said...

Alex
thank you I really appreciate that

here is an example of how things work:
according to Ulrich Sahm Hamoked is confirming the "ethnic cleaning myth" - according to its mission statement the protestant church who is said to fund them this church will aid them in making their views in Germany heard.
As the protestant church is a if not the most major member in the Rundfunkräte they will take care that Hamoked's view gets fed into German public radio and TV which still dominates our news market and Hamoked's view will have been labelled as vetted for neutrality and balance by the time it reaches my ears and eyes.

Why any Israelis should have an interest in tilting the public opinion towards anti-Israel in Germany of all countries*) eludes me and I can't think of any scenario where it could benefit any of the "normal" people living there i.e. your people

Silke

*) remember we came up with the most comprehensive massacre of your people ever

Sylvia said...

Christian Zionists have funded a few of the street-bus shelters in Sderot, have come to support the residents in spite of the danger, and have generally lend us moral support.
How many street shelters has the NIF funded? How much support have your activists shown, except for calling the criminals from Gaza "freedom fighters"?

Anonymous said...

Didi
how about answering my question as to funding of Yesh-Din earlier in the thread? Surely you could ask your friends there to come forward with the information, if you don't have it yourself?

Silke

Sylvia said...

Silke
There is another way to look at it, and that's from the POV of church alliances/camps. There is an all-out war going on today in the world between the anemic religious left and the demographically vibrant evangelicals, of which the Christian Zionists. So they are all using the conflict as a battle-ground to defeat Christian Zionists.
There are other reasons of course that have to do either with a belief system that didn't quite materialize, or with interests they may have in Muslim countries.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
I am sure that there are all kinds of battles going on but I happen to be a nitpicker - I like to pay attention to detail the more minute the better and here is showing itself a new "hobby" to me, trying to find the paths through which the anti-Israel crowd manages to make its view of Israel dominate our mainstream TV and radio media.

Germany still is a country where they are most likely to find open hearts and minds because in a weird and twisted way whenever an Israeli does something bad a German may start to feel better about his/her ancestors.

Also recent days have taught me much to my dismay that our days of obscurity are likely to be over due to our having the best credit left within the EU, so German public opinion may get a greater say in the EU.

And another point how German masses feel determines how far a politician who wants to be re-elected can go in her support for Israel.

Another point would therefore be for people of an Israel friendly mindset to court those outfits who now seem to concentrate on the anti-Israel groups and try to find, if there might be a friendly rabble rouser within.

I may not come up with much or I may hit a gold mine in the end it will probably change next to nothing but in the meantime I feel less useless and presumptious for hanging around here.

Silke

PS: all this revival of religions fighting eachother is very scary to me as I am afraid of institutions in general

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

Christian Zionists and other non-Jews (politically sensitive/controversial issues only)?

Didi

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
I forgot that I wanted to tell you ...
- last night I was reading about "The Apostles" at Cambridge that "Leonard Woolf and his friends had evolved something they called "the method", a kind of marathon interrogation technique that they used to break people down, take their measure, and expose their weaknesses."
As this reminded me immediately of "your" Rules for Radicals I tried to find something whether "the method" is in any ways related to the Rules but had no luck, probably too long ago.
But I'll keep it in mind - it would be just too nice if there were a line from Cambridge to Bloomsbury's Leonard Woolf to Saul Alinsky.
Silke

Yaacov said...

Didi,

You're funny. We can't agree among ourselves who is or isn't a Jew; now you'd have us figure out which donor in which faraway land is a Jew according to which rabbinate? Hee hee.

To simplify, I suggest the following: No donations from foreign governments, everything else is OK. During election times, no donations to politicians at all except from Israeli citizens.

Simple enough?

Sylvia said...

No, not all non-Jewish religious organizations are equal. Any Church/Muslim organization who hasn't suppressed from its core beliefs the old anti-semitic rantings such as deicide, crucifixion by "the Jews", eschatologies whereby Jews will either convert or be exterminated on Judgement day, have no opinion to contribute to Israels' politics. If - as I suspect - Didi Remez is thinking of Naim Atek anglican Jew hating organization,based in Jerusalem, then it doesn't qualify. And while Catholics had their Vatican II, they recently reintroduced the prayer for Jews to convert. The only ones so far who seem to have shed the antisemitism of old are the Christians United for Israel.