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April 30, 2017 12:08 pm

An Open Letter to Ed Asner on Israel

avatar by Jack Saltzberg

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Ed Asner. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Dear Mr. Asner,

Some of my best early memories were of watching you on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was proud when I learned that you were Jewish, and I was in awe when I eventually watched you and Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin lead our Yom Kippur service at the Stephen S. Wise Temple. Therefore, it personally pained me to have to lead a campaign to stop you from being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Jewish Journal’s Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, and sponsored by, among others, the Anti-Defamation League.

You see, Mr. Asner, your distinguished career and professional achievements in the context of a Jewish film festival are incompatible with your serving on the advisory board of arguably one of the most active and virulently anti-Israel organizations: Jewish Voice for Peace.

Knowing that you are a good person, forever fighting for the underdog, I can only believe that you were inadvertently misguided about Jewish Voice for Peace. If that is the case, you should know the following:

  • According to the Anti-Defamation League: “Jewish Voice for Peace is the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States. Despite the neutral tone of its name, JVP works to demonstrate Jewish opposition to the State of Israel and to steer public support away from the Jewish State.”
  • According to NGO Monitor: “JVP’s strategy is to create ‘a wedge‘ within the American Jewish community, while working toward the goal of eliminating US economic, military, and political aid to Israel.”
  • Jewish Voice for Peace’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, was the presenter of the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale to Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the global BDS campaign.

Jewish Voice for Peace:

You have said that you “do not support BDS,” but, as you clearly see, JVP is one of the most aggressive supporters and promoters of BDS globally.

You have said that you “just want peace.” So do the Israelis, who have endured almost seven decades of war and brutal terrorist attacks. The Israelis who grew up in bomb shelters and lost family and friends — they too, want peace. The Jewish parents who send their children to the army to protect Israel — they too, want peace. But Jewish Voice for Peace has never sought peace for Israel; JVP has only supported those who refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist, and have committed atrocities against our people.

Mr. Asner, you can’t be an advisor to one of the most hateful anti-Israel organizations, and at the same time distance yourself from their values, platform and actions.

When you received your Lifetime Achievement Award, hopefully you said a few comforting and sympathetic words about Israel. I’m sure that the people there would have appreciated that from a legendary Jewish figure. Yet my greatest hope was that, when you received your award, you would have publicly denounced Jewish Voice for Peace, and then resigned from their advisory board. Then, Mr. Asner, you truly would have been worthy of a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Jack Saltzberg
Founder / Executive Director

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  • robert Davis

    This kind of lefter jew deserves to be spat on not pity. Either he’s dumb or a selfish opportunist who cares only for himself.

  • robert Davis

    Your Historical facts are right but not your analysis: you can’t “outlaw” antisemitism not paludism nor cancer etc. This is meaningless. You can bring about new situations, teatments that can heal antisemitism, paludism or cancer. Israel is the new treatment. Other nations can’t be bothered by how Israel does its work. As to democrats they would rather work to destroy than help Israel!

  • robert Davis

    Not sad a war situation. These people must be DEFEATED not talked to.

  • robert Davis

    The only way to prove such thick headed ego maniacs they are nuts is to actually SHOW they therm they are wrong. How? by expelling arabs from J+S.

  • robert Davis

    Your comment is so stupid I misunderstood it. People don’t “occupy” people you half wit. Pals can’t occupy the whole of Palestine.

  • robert Davis

    And HOW do you do that? just by saying it? it will end only when arabs are expelled from J+S and even Gaza. If you want to achieve that you must demand arabs are expelled not just hope for your wish to be fulfilled by…others.

  • robert Davis

    It will be so until arabs are expelled from J+S and gaza. Then it will be as useless as shouting against the moon.

  • PhillipNagle

    Asner is a dedicated leftist who puts his twisted political ideology ahead of his religion or any rational thought. He will do whatever the in thing on the left is without thinking. We should all work hard to keep unthinking Israel haters like Asner from receiving awards.

    • robert Davis

      asner is not important just an opportunist who thinks he can get awards supporting leftwing “ideology”,he’s only an EFFECT not the cause which is arabs’e squatting J+S. Of course leftwing “ideology” does not care only for anti Israel policy, it also supports taking the money from the rich etc but this is not our problem and will take them no where since no one gets rich by taking other peoples’ money. They will find it out with time.

  • Danny_Albany

    So disappointing yet not uncommon when good, talented intelligent people, especially Jewish people, are so ignorant about Israel and the negative impact their misguided actions have on Israel.

    • robert Davis

      They are not ignorant, they are opportunists.

  • robert Davis

    This guy asner knows all that and just like all of these antisemite fake “liberals” who don’t even have the courage to admit they are socialo-communists think their careers are more important to them than Israel. As opportunists they think it’s more of a priority for them to be distinguished which can happen only if they are anti Israel and make money than contribute to save Israel and jews altogether. These people are rats.

  • Erica Ling

    I wonder how many thousands of well meaning people take these organisations at face value, failing in their duty to themselves , to find out the reality behind the beautiful façade, the wholesome name ?

  • Holy Shirt

    Trained to convince the masses they are people they are not, actors and actresses are pressured to “go into character” to [temporarily] become those characters. After several roles, many with weaker personalities “adopt” the best traits of their favorites, essentially developing alter egos with fictitious roles (usually free of real-world health issues) gaining dominance. The Asners and their J Street ilk may be morally blind, but they’re not stupid. Jewish birth and Zionist upbringing are beyond our control. The empty yiddisher kopp rarely overflowed.

  • enubus

    I suspect your letter is pure sarcasm, because Ed Asner is and has always been a Commie dupe and a supporter of cop killers and terrorists.

  • muttkat

    Asner is a good man.

    • robert Davis

      A “good man” who gets rich by killing people.

      • muttkat

        Hows that?

        • robert Davis

          Being anti Israel gets this sort of man orders from the medias, honour etc. It pays off to be anti Israel presently but at the end it will end up into ww3

          • muttkat

            Thanks to people like Netanyahoo and the William Kristols of the world and of course AIPAC.

    • robert Davis

      To arabs and useful idiots anyone against Israel is…”a good man”!

  • Hopefully, Mr. Asner received and read the open letter with an open mind. Presently, there is no evidence Mr. Asner resigned from Jewish Voice for Peace’s advisory board. (See below)

  • RichieM

    Ed “Shonda” Asner.
    Nuff said.

  • Jeremy

    What does it matter what he says? It is what he DOES that matters!

    Actions speak louder than words – always!