February 7, 2013
Bill Kristol and his Emergency, Bigotry in AJU Ad?
Exposing Bill Kristol
Congratulations to Rob Eshman on a superb piece explaining clearly why Bill Kristol and his Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) not only do not help Israel, but are harmful to her interests (“Emergency?” Feb. 1). His thoughtful explanation is comprehensive, clear and completely accurate. In fact, I have spoken with a number of Israeli leaders across the political spectrum who have expressed to me exactly what Eshman stated in his thoughtful piece. They fear that: 1) the efforts to turn Israel into a partisan, wedge issue in the United States erode, rather than increase, American support for Israel; and 2) that these shrill tactics are crying wolf in a manner that will actually make real emergencies, which inevitably will arise, less believable to Americans who will not be able to distinguish ECI’s false and partisan cries for help from the real thing. It takes courage for Eshman to have written the piece. As someone who cares deeply about Israel’s security and survival, I salute him for it.
Former Congressman (D-Santa Monica)
How does Rob Eshman find the message of Israel’s emergency condition to be bizarre? Has he not gotten the memo regarding Iran’s threat and the preparations to execute it? Did he miss the rain of missiles from Lebanon on northern Israel, and that from Gaza on the south, and the danger from Syria’s poison gas? Does he know of any other nation under perpetual threat of genocide, with frequent attempts to carry it out?
Rob Eshman is wise in calling out Bill Kristol. I hope he ignores the angry, defensive and obstinate critics of his column who take comfort in Kristol and others who distort facts and hide their donors behind Citizens United.
Eshman nailed it. These extremist operatives have turned Israel into part of the arch right-wingnut agenda of dividing the nation over guns, reproductive rights, taxes and wealth inequality, and manage to attract and ensnare well-meaning Jews into their brutish positions.
Bill Kristol is doing a great job. Israel is constantly under siege from the liberal media, of which the Jewish Journal has become a part.
Bigotry in AJU Ad?
Imagine an ad by the Republican right with a picture of a group of Mexican immigrants and the question: “Will they be the only Americans in 100 years?” No question there would be calls of racism and bigotry. At the lead would be liberal Jewish groups.
The ad in the inside front cover of the Jewish Journal by American Jewish University (AJU) is no better (Jan. 25). We see the backs of two traditionally Orthodox Jews — large, round, black hats, payot, in a dark forbidding background. The headline: “Will they be the only Jews left in 100 years?”
The message is clear: Ominous ultra-Orthodox are the future unless you support AJU, as it calls itself “a center for ingenuity and vision.”
AJU’s advertising is degrading and divisive. Its fear-based message fails to reflect the values of pluralism that AJU claims it aspires to instill in its students.
Rabbi David Eliezrie
President, Rabbinical Council of Orange County
As a Modern Orthodox Jew and student at an Orthodox high school, I find American Jewish University’s (AJU) ad inflammatory and distasteful. AJU claims “education demands innovation.” I suggest looking to the Orthodox movement as a positive role model that promotes cross-denominational dialogue and interaction, philanthropy and community service, and commitment to morals and mitzvot.
Since Judaism is not “one size fits all,” let us all be committed to working together, learning from each other and recognizing the contributions all Jewish denominations make to the “American Jewish scene.”
Sigal Spitzer, 10th grade
Shalhevet High School
American Jewish University President Dr. Robert Wexler responds:
Naturally, we are saddened by the prospect that anyone would see a picture of two Chasidic men peacefully davening and label it “ominous” or “insulting,” especially when the text of the ad speaks of the “remarkable resurgence of Orthodoxy.” After World War II, the expectation was that Orthodoxy could not survive the blow it had sustained during the Holocaust — but quite miraculously, it did just that. Now we are told that assimilation and intermarriage will spell the end of non-Orthodox forms of Judaism. The ad is intended to challenge all of us to defy sociological predictions, as Orthodoxy did so successfully, and to work to ensure the future of a vibrant American Jewish community. At AJU, we engage and celebrate all of the streams within Jewish life, Orthodoxy included!