Recently The New Israel Fund placed a full page ad in The New York Times which bashed Israel. I have never opened the paper to read an ad from an Italian-American organization condemning Italy, or an Arab-American organization attacking an Arab country – but a fringe radical organization in Israel and their American supporters blast a country they claim to support in a foreign country.
Israel is far from perfect – like any democracy there are problems – but one wonders why an organization which claims to be dedicated to “a vision of Israel as the Jewish homeland” feels the need to bash Israel in a foreign country’s newspaper. What good can that possibly do the State of Israel during these trying times? Unsurprisingly, these folks who are concerned with the Middle East didn’t take out any advertisements about Syria’s mass murder of her citizens or other issues of Arab atrocities.
Folks like The New Israel Fund, Peter Beinart & J Street would do well in simply reading history – Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote an essay in 1908 entitled “Without Patriotism,” which he headed with a quote: “Have pity on me that I cannot love.” Jabotinsky over 100 years ago spoke of Jewish intellectuals who displayed an ambivalent attitude to their people – “The bitter root of our shame and our suffering,” he wrote, “is that we do not give our own people the full love of a patriot. It would be better if we did not love our people at all, if we were unconcerned as to whether it existed or had disappeared, rather than that we should love it halfway, which means to despise it. The Jewish character has some negative qualities; yet it is not because they are negative that we despise them, but because they are Jewish. As for those qualities of our race which are morally or esthetically irrelevant, they awaken our disgust because they remind us of our Jewishness.
“The Arab name Israil carries a beautiful and poetic sound to our ears, but those among us called Yisrael are never happy with their “ugly” name. We readily accept the fact that the Spaniard’s name is Jaime, but turn up our noses when we have to pronounce the name Chaim. The gestures made by an Italian we find captivating; they annoy us when a Jew makes them. The specifically Jewish intonation in our speech is not pleasant. The southern Germans and the Swiss articulate exactly the same jarring singsong and we do not complain; but the same sound from a Jew seems intolerably tasteless to us…”
New Israel Fund, Beinart, J Street – these people have very little influence in Israel – or in fact anywhere in the Jewish world except America. Perhaps on the liberal Upper West Side and Park Slope these people have influence – and on their computers – but they have no influence anywhere in the Jewish world other than America. Now if only the liberal media would recognize that.
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in speaking of Zionist hero Yosef Trumpeldor, a symbol of Jewish self-defense said: “In Hebrew his favorite expression was en davar (never mind); and they say it was with these words on his lips that he died, five years later, at Tel Hai. There was a complete philosophy contained in this en davar: do not exaggerate; do not see danger where none exists; do not regard a man who does his duty as a hero – for history is long, the Jewish people everlasting, and truth is sacred, but everything else, trouble and care and pain and death, en davar.”
En Davar – never mind – New Israel Fund, Peter Beinart and J Street maybe you can start loving another country rather than the Jewish state? Your “love” is better directed elsewhere.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of the largest PR firms in the U.S. He is author of Amazon best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.” The book was referred to by Likud Knesset MK Danny Danon as the “best book ever written regarding Israel’s PR.”