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Words of the Week: Jane Eisner

“But divestment is not only about wielding punishment; it’s about shaping a moral conversation. Some of us feel as good about withholding our dollars as we do about spending them. The Presbyterians stressed that the vote was a statement about the occupation, not about Israel’s right to exist or, heaven forfend, their love of their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Ah, but it is. Because when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?

As for their love for me and my Jewish brethren, it may be sincere but it’s awfully misguided. You’ll not usually find me in the Netanyahu amen corner, nor am I prone to identify anti-Semitism at every turn. But when Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism.”

Source, Jane Eisner, “Why Presbyterian Divestment Feels Like Anti-Semitism,” in The Forward.

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1 Responses »

  1. Ah, good morning Jane Eisner! So – you have woken up and smelled the coffee!

    Next step: as you get out of bed, realize that the real issue is not Bibi Netanyahu’s style or the tenor of his extemporaneous remarks. The real, serious issue is the creeping, worldwide delegitimization of Israel as a Jewish country, the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Those that oppose this will use any and all means to destroy Israel, be it kidnapping children, blowing up buses, cutting off academic contacts or selling stock.

    Judging “Jewish treatment of Palestinians” (I assume you mean Israeli, not Jewish) by stricter standards than how Moslems worldwide treat Christians is just part of this equation. Why are Israelis held to “a standard that the others are not obligated or expected to meet”?
    Think about the answer to that one as you proceed on with your day, Jane. You might come up with some unwelcome conclusions about worldwide attitudes to Jews in general and Israelis (chutzpadik Jews!) in particular. For instance, that if Israel as a Jewish state is de facto B-A-D, then nothing can be done to rectify the situation except dissolving it….

    Sound crazy? Check out the relevant websites for yourself. And as you do so, remember what Hillel said.
    ALL of it.
    Have a nice day.

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