Major Jewish institutions show a marked propensity to promote and celebrate the enemies of Israel and even antisemites. Here are some examples, working backwards chronologically:
Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University: Plans to give its International Advocate for Peace Award to Jimmy Carter, author of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, on April 10.
Movie poster for "Rachel."
92nd St. Y: Scheduled (but then postponed) a talk by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, leading exponent of artistic boycotts of Israel and purveyor of antisemitic canards.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia: Hosted a keynote address by Sari Nusseibeh, who rejects the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: Showed Rachel, a film hailing anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, and had Corrie's mother speak at the showing.
Brandeis University: Bestowed an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, who says "it would have been better if Israel never happened" and accuses Israel of "ethnic cleansing" Palestinians.
Republican Jewish Coalition: Invited Christopher Hitchens to address it, despite his calling Ariel Sharon "vile" and Zionism a "false messiah for the Jews."
Cardozo Law School: Gave its International Advocate for Peace Award to Desmond Tutu who has said that "Israel is like Hitler and apartheid."
These examples hardly exhaust the list: last month, for example, the Barrack Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia hosted Abdulaziz El Sayed Nosair, the son of El Sayed Nosair who killed Meir Kahane in 1990.
Roger Waters, 2nd from right. (That's Noam Chomsky 1st on the left.)
What is it about Jewish organizations that they acclaim their opponents? A belief that treating opponents generously will inspire reciprocity, even though this almost never works.
Here is a more serious example of this same impulse, concerning the Israeli government in 2000, as explained by David Wurmser in an article published a few days ago, "The Geopolitics of Israel's Offshore Gas Reserves":
To help the development of the Palestinian economy – which was seen as key by Israeli and American leaders to politically moderating the Palestinian population and solidifying peace – and lay to rest any potential arguments in the future over the resource, Israel carved from within the demarcation of its proposed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between itself and Gaza an indentation rather than run the demarcation line straight from the coast as is done in every other EEZ demarcation across the globe. Israel agreed to allow the line to be indented to Israel's disadvantage so that the entirety of Gaza Marine will be included in the Palestinian Authority area. The gas, which was to be used both inside Gaza for electricity production and exported to Israel, was to help the Palestinian Authority fund itself, have resources to build up its stature among Palestinians, and by stimulating development, to encourage political stability and moderation.
Comment: One watches and waits in vain for a recognition that being nice to enemies does not solve problems. (April 8, 2013)