NIF, Peter Beinart & J Street: They Can’t Love
On Thursday, The New Israel Fund placed a full page ad in The New York Times, which of course bashed Israel. I found myself thinking, ‘I have never opened the paper to read an ad from an Italian-American organization blasting Italy, or an Arab-American organization blasting an Arab country but a fringe radical organization in Israel and their American supporters continuously criticize a country they claim to support.
No one says Israel is 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 the Jewish state 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 to protest Syria’s mass murder of her citizens or other Arab atrocities.
Folks like The New Israel Fund, Peter Beinart & J Street would do well to simply read 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.”
Over 100 years ago, Jabotinsky spoke of Jewish intellectuals who displayed an ambivalent attitude towards their people.
“The bitter root of our shame and our suffering,” he writes “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.”
Groups like the New Israel Fund and J Street, and individuals like Peter Beinart, have very little influence in Israel but in America, it’s a different story. Perhaps on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Park Slope, Brooklyn these people have influence, but they have no influence anywhere in the Jewish world other than in America. If only the liberal media would recognize that.
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in speaking of the 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.”
New Israel Fund, Peter Beinart and J Street, maybe you can start loving another country rather than the Jewish state? This “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.”