Now that the “Christmas” clip part of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption “Help Them Come Home” campaign has been withdrawn and the initial blowback-cum-outrage has dissipated (somewhat), we now have a second wave of comment pondering why it is (some, vocal) American Jews were offended by the content. One such piece, by Gil Troy, chastises American Jews and their “freak-out”:
Oh noes you didn't!
…given all the talk lately about how Israelis must learn to take criticism from Americans and American Jews without freaking out. The “big tent” looks less welcoming if the criticism only flows, like the donations, from enlightened America to benighted Israel. “Hugging and wrestling” must be mutual; otherwise it becomes moralizing and finger-pointing. With Jewish Voices for Peace becoming ever louder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comparing Israel to theocratic Iran and the segregated South, while Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta browbeats Israel to kowtow to the Palestinians, Americans have shown they know how to disparage Israel.
For Troy to lump in Jewish Voices for Peace alongside two high-profile US government officials as if all those voices carry equal weight within and without the Jewish community is disingenuous if not purposely deceptive. But I digress…
I also came across a piece by Jeffrey Goldberg whose sole output these days for The Atlantic seems to be his Jewyness. He points to a Michael Moynihan piece about Kalle Lasn, Lasn’s “record of anti-Jewish invective” and “his peculiar obsession with perfidious Jews”. Lasn, as you may know, was the editor of the Canadian magazine Adbusters who theoretically inspired the #OccupyWallStreet movement. He, as discreditors of #OccupyWallStreet (and now Jeffrey Goldberg) also point out, said some not-nice things about Jews.
These two pieces, though unrelated, are like two satellites sharing the same geosynchronous orbit around the planet J’Accuse. (Do not dwell on the image for too long. Read on. Read on.)
… Which led to me ponder the following questions: Is there any circumstance where it is EVER kosher to express dislike of Israeli policy on anything? And can one do it without being immediately attacked as an anti-semite (if the critic is not Jewish, like Lasn), a self-hater (if the critic is, say, the extremely powerful, globally popular Jewish Voices for Peace) or at best, a WATB (if the critics are North American Jewish bloggers)?