Wednesday, February 1st | 10 Shevat 5783

May 2, 2014 7:41 am

What We All Can Learn From the Despicable Donald Sterling

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avatar by Irwin Graulich

Jewish NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announcing his decision to ban and fine LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments. Photo: Screenshot / ESPN.

Jewish NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announcing his decision to ban and fine LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments. Photo: Screenshot / ESPN.

Prime Minister Netanyahu should learn a thing or two from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who understands the need to protect his NBA nation in the world of public relations. Donald Sterling, aka “Tokowitz,” a non-practicing Jew by birth and rather disgusting human being, was even more cruel to the nation of Israel than he was to the NBA. In his racist, bigoted rant, Sterling said that “You go to Israel, the blacks are treated like dogs.”

Yet, for the first time in the history of the world, blacks went from slavery to freedom during Operation Moses and Operation Solomon, where Israel sent Boeing 747s to rescue black Jewry from their horrific lives in Ethiopia. Anyone who has been to Israel has seen that black Jews are treated exactly the same as white Jews – rudely. That happens to be the nature of the country. Virtually every American black who has visited Israel, Jewish or not, has told me the very same thing – it was the first time in their lives that they actually forgot about their skin color. That is the ultimate compliment for Israel’s color-blind society.

Israel’s public relations have always been considered the absolute worst of any country in the world. An occasional Abba Eban-like speech at the UN does not make up for the horrible unanswered attacks by politicians and the media worldwide against one of the most moral nations in history. Bibi Netanyahu should be obligated to protect Israel’s reputation in the same manner that Adam Silver protects the NBA.

Yet, there is not a peep from the Prime Minister about Sterling’s remarks concerning black Jews in the Holy Land. What happens now is that Sterling’s false statement pertaining to racism in Israel will go into the memory banks of people. Since it was not opposed publicly, a majority of individuals will consider it as truth. The pathetic Israeli PR machine fails again.

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Donald Sterling is an embarrassment to America and to the Jewish people. His character displays an important lesson of the Holocaust about humanity – that someone can be very well educated and extremely successful, just like Donald Sterling, and yet be a despicable human being.

Wealthy German architects with PhDs joined the Nazi party, and went on to design and build Auschwitz. Sterling’s behavior teaches us the same lesson – your kids can go to great universities and terrific law schools – in Sterling’s case, Southwestern Law School – and still be detestable people. Many Americans and especially Jews today think that a Harvard, Yale, or University of Michigan experience produces a moral young adult. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Donald Sterling’s character might be explained as the result of dropping religion from one’s life, in his case Judaism. Sterling is guilty of worshipping the false gods of money, real estate, and law. The fact that he gave a pittance of contributions to a few Jewish institutions is meaningless, just like his dispassionate donations to the NAACP, most likely done for politically correct reasons.

The fallout from this fiasco is a great lesson for Benjamin Netanyahu, in terms of how he needs to focus in on the haters and liars in Israel, such as Neturei Karta and other ultra right wing phony religious fanatics who call for the dismantling and destruction of the Jewish state. The old saying is that “freedom of speech stops when you call fire in a crowded movie theater.” Yelling “fire” is nowhere near as horrible what these anti-Zionists say. What they are actually doing is attempting to burn down the movie theatre.

Therefore, what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to announce tomorrow is this: “Effective immediately, I am banning all Neturei Karta members from Israel for life from any association with the state of Israel or living in the land of Israel. Neturei Karta members may not travel to Israel for any reason or participate in any business transactions related to our country. All Israelis and most Jews worldwide condemn this disgraceful so-called religious group’s views about Israel, which mirror al Qaeda. They simply have no place in our world today.”

What people should learn from this entire experience is that someone who dislikes Jews and Israel, like Donald Sterling – who hated his own Jewish birth so much that he changed his Jewish surname – will go on to hate other groups as well – or as in the case of Neturei Karta, will embrace evil, as they have done with Iran. The world should clearly see from history that the bad guys come for the Jews or Israel first, but never last. You are next!

Irwin N. Graulich is a well known Jewish motivational speaker on Judaism, ethics, morality, religion, and politics and president of Bloch Graulich Whelan Inc., a leading marketing, communications, and branding company in New York City. His website is

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