Bad Night At A Reform Synagogue In Northern California: What Can We Learn?

UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Friday, March 28 2014:

*It now appears that the next release of Palestinian murderers scheduled for tomorrow is not going forward.  As you know, 78 murderers are already walking the street again and planning kidnappings and murders of Israeli citizens, but another 26 murderers were scheduled to join them.

What has caused this turnaround in Israeli policy? Is it that the “peace talks” are going nowhere? Is it that the Palestinians have yet to make one concession for peace? Is it that Israeli-Arabs were to be included in this latest batch and Netanyahu didn’t have the votes to get it approved?

Almost certainly it was Netanyahu not having the votes.

**Speaking of Netanyahu not having the votes, the Likud convention scheduled for next week has been postponed by a Likud internal court until late May (supposedly). There was every indication that Danny Danon was poised to push Netanyahu aside and take over the party completely. He is still so poised, but will now have to wait indefinitely.

**Do you want to know what would happen to Jewish religious rights in the Old City of Jerusalem should we go back to the 1967 borders? What would happen is the same that happened from 1948 to 1967 when Jordan and the Palestinians ethnically cleansed the Old City of every Jew–there would be no religious rights at all.

Yesterday, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs and the former Palestinian President of the “Supreme Court of Religious Affairs” both issued a statement that it is “forbidden” for Jews to pray at the Western Wall because it is part of the Al-Aksa Mosque “compound.”


Last night, your humble servant had first hand confirmation of how some reform Jewish synagogues in the U.S. are becoming centers of vicious anti-Israel activity.

Specifically, my wife and I attended a program co-sponsored by a synagogue “group” called “Israel Peace Alternatives” and the NGO New Israel Fund (NIF). As all israelstreeters know, the NIF bankrolls a startling number of left-wing NGOs operating everywhere to delegitimize Israel. There were about 35 people in attendance–90% of whom seemed over the age of 70.

By the way, we knew exactly what we were walking into and were only there so that a differing viewpoint would be given.

The program last night was a showing of a movie entitled “My Neighbourhood” put together by the Sheikh Jarrah movement centered in the neighborhood of the same name in eastern Jerusalem. The 25 minute movie “documents” the travails of a Palestinian family who are evicted from half of their house in the neighborhood. The story is told through the eyes of an adolescent boy in the family.

What the movie purports to show is the “horror” that the family experiences when they are evicted from half of their house by the Jerusalem police, and subsequently how young leftist Israelis take up their cause and attempt to come to their defense (the Sheikh Jarrah Movement”).  

The experience is “horrible” because of the “apparently” ruthless way in which the police carry out the eviction (we see them outside the house while hearing glass breaking inside the house), and because of the apparently heartless “settlers” who move into the side of the house from which the family has been evicted.

All in all, the Arabs are portrayed as victims; the police and Israeli government are depicted as jackbooted thugs; and the Jews are described as religious extremist intruders.

What is not described at all is:

–the historical context of the neighborhood which was always a mixed Muslim-Jewish-Christian area until the Jordanians threw the Jews out between 1948-1956 and gave their homes to Arabs (the house in question, was one of the homes).

–the decades long struggle in the Israeli judicial system over the particular house in question and how the Israel Supreme Court–no friend of Israeli “settlers”–ruled in favor of the Sephardic community organization that sought recovery of their land and homes.

–the complete refusal of the Palestinian family in question to obey the law and peacefully remove themselves from the property.

What was striking was the crowd reaction which was made up of a few Jews from the “Peace” group in the synagogue, the regional head of Jewish Voice for Peace, the head of the local “Palestinian Rights” committee, social leaders from local Methodist and Quaker religious groups, and other assorted Israel-bashers.

“The Israeli police are like Nazis”; “the Palestinians are like American Indians”; “the Israeli government is also trying to evict Bedouins in the Negev”; “the American government must do something to stop Israel”; “Jews have been violent since the beginning of Israel”; “the Jews in Israel are colonialist, exploitative, and discriminatory”. And on and on. With no word of support for Israel except from your humble servant and wife.

One of the most telling moments of the meeting came when an Israeli man stood up beside me and pathetically pleaded with the crowd to recognize that “all Israelis are not as bad as the settlers in the movie.” That statement was immediately met with a statement that yes, in fact, all Israelis are as “bad” because they support the Israeli government which in turn supports the “settlers”.

Your humble servant concludes today’s blog with a few observations:

1. Fight the New Israel Fund tooth and nail whenever it appears in your neighborhood.

2. Fight groups within your synagogue tooth and nail whenever they put on programs that bash Israel.

3. Recognize those in your community who fight against Israel and take the fight to them!

4. Never try to “make nice” with the other side. They will only use your words against you.

5. Do something this weekend to support Israel. What have you done for Israel today? 









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