AIPAC event in Connecticut features anti-Semitic humor, from an Israeli editor

US Politics
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On Tuesday night, David Horovitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel, began a speech sponsored by the Israel lobby group AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, at Temple Israel in Westport, CT, by telling the story of his family, and he made this joke:

My brother in law [Zion Evrony] is ambassador to the Vatican, which of course is the best job in Israeli diplomacy because you live in Rome and you don’t have to deal with the Jews.

Raucous laughter followed from the 120 or so people in the synagogue. Horovitz added:

I thought I was bad for telling that joke, and you should feel bad for laughing at it.

Of course, the same joke told by a non-Jew in public life would do a number on his career. Horovitz gets away with it because he loves Israel and wears a yarmulke and is a member in good standing of the tribe. Though you can’t help wondering, when all those people laughed: What do they think of Diaspora Jews? Are they saying, We know we’re demanding?

P.S. The event was a fundraiser for AIPAC, whose representative said that building close bonds with politicians in both parties is essential to maintaining America’s support for Israel. Horovitz’s speech was otherwise thoughtful but extremely pro-Israel. He repeated the word “complicated” many, many times. He said that all Israelis would want to sign a peace deal tomorrow, but they had no confidence at all in Palestinian society or in Palestinian leaders who inculcate their young people not to accept the Jewish state. He said that Israel needs a strong Jewish majority to exist as a “democratic Jewish state,” and that Palestinian citizens are subject to discrimination in municipal funding and in education but that Israel is working on that. He said no one likes Benjamin Netanyahu very much, but he’s the devil you know, and no one feels safe replacing him. Though many in Israel disapprove of his stunts in Washington opposing the Iran Deal. He said that former PM Ehud Barak is one of the smartest guys in Israel, but he and many others wanted to give up the Golan Heights for a peace deal with Syria 17 years ago, and if they’d done that, it would be a complete disaster now, with ISIS coming to Israel’s border. He said he couldn’t understand why young people in the U.S. focused on Israel when there was a slaughter going on in Syria (hint: US is on one side in the Israeli brutalities), said the situation in the Middle East was so complicated and threatening now that it’s understandable Israel doesn’t want to make a deal to create a Palestinian state, and said the young Egyptians in Tahrir Square in 2011 were demonstrating for Egypt to be like Israel. He repeatedly called on Americans to go out and see Israel for themselves and see how happy and fulfilled Israelis are.

Oh and by the way, for the Zionism is part of Judaism file, Horovitz and AIPAC were introduced with a lot of praise by Rabbi Michael S. Friedman, below right, a graduate of Yale with an impressive resume in Reform congregations.

David Horovitz and Rabbi Michael Friedman, Temple Israel in Westport, CT

David Horovitz and Rabbi Michael Friedman, Temple Israel in Westport, CT

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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9 Responses

  1. Marnie
    May 19, 2016, 11:31 am

    “He said that all Israelis would want to sign a peace deal tomorrow, but they had no confidence at all in Palestinian society or in Palestinian leaders who inculcate their young people not to accept the Jewish state.” Oh my gosh this is the most tiresome trope. Maybe its just bad neighbors but I haven’t met a single israeli yet who wants peace with Palestinians. Not one. We know that the top dogs of israeli “society” don’t want peace now and never have. Does anyone with a functioning brain and heart think that Palestinians feel anything other than suspicion and revulsion by israeli society? It isn’t up to Palestinians to make concessions, it’s up to israelis to stop killing Palestinians and start seeing them as human beings and brothers and sisters. David Horovitz is such a jerk.

  2. Dan Walsh
    May 19, 2016, 11:55 am

    If Zionism-is-Judaism what does this conflation do to America’s historic separation-of-church-and-state principle?

    How do contemporary Americans criticize and/or condemn a political movement, Zionism, if it has morphed into a religion without seeming to be condemning a religion, Judaism?

    Is Zionism in the American context forever privileged because the discourse cannot/has not/will not separate it out from Judaism? Does this conflation of an ancient religious tradition with a new (1897) and alien political ideology explain and debunk the claims of Israel advocacy that there is a “New Antisemitism”?

    Could it be that the “New Antisemitism” is actually legitimate and healthy political disagreement aimed at directly at political Zionism but incorrectly (mis)interpreted as antisemitism (aimed at Judaism) because the two have become one?

    We must ask how well this New Conflation is understood by the mass of ordinary people in the US – or even the elites – and what the discourse, outside of Mondoweiss, is doing to redress this gaping void in the public consciousness.

    View posters on the subject of American Zionism here:
    http://palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/american-zionism

    View posters on the subject of anti-Zionism here:
    http://palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/anti-zionist

  3. hophmi
    May 19, 2016, 12:21 pm

    “Of course, the same joke told by a non-Jew in public life would do a number on his career. Horovitz gets away with it because he loves Israel and wears a yarmulke and is a member in good standing of the tribe. ”

    Oh please. Horowitz gets away with it for the same reason that Jay-Z gets away with using the N-word. In modern America, minority groups can joke about themselves. Others do not have that privilege, and your writing a piece on this is transparently silly.

    • talknic
      May 19, 2016, 1:49 pm

      @ hophmi
      “Horowitz gets away with it for the same reason that Jay-Z gets away with using the N-word. In modern America, minority groups can joke about themselves.”

      Precisely what was said // Horovitz gets away with it because he loves Israel and wears a yarmulke and is a member in good standing of the tribe //

    • Mooser
      May 19, 2016, 7:22 pm

      “Others do not have that privilege…”

      That’s your idea of a “privilege”? Making racist jokes? Sure, “Hophmi” whatever.

    • Misterioso
      May 22, 2016, 7:42 pm

      hophmi

      Sigh.

      At least you’re consistent. Once again you strike out.

  4. maliban
    May 19, 2016, 1:43 pm

    the zio extremists throw around the “anti semitism” way too much. There was nothing anti Semitic about the humor.

    To identify the truly sick racists google: chief rabbi of Israel says only purpose of goyim is to serve jews, life of goyim worth same as donkey. Obadiah Yosef.

    Netanyahu says this loser was the greatest mind of this generation.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/5-of-ovadia-yosefs-most-controversial-quotations/

  5. just
    May 19, 2016, 3:54 pm

    Why do synagogues sanction the speeches of only Zionists?

    One year ago in ye old Temple Israel, Westport CT:

    “Israeli protestor speaks out about arrest at Temple Israel

    WESTPORT — After a failed attempt to ambush a pro-Israeli luncheon at a Westport synagogue landed two New Haven men in handcuffs, one of the suspects is speaking out in defense of their actions.

    Daniel Fischer said he and fellow activist Gregory Williams planned to “peacefully protest” a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) luncheon at Temple Israel in an effort to shed light on the experiences of those living under an “apartheid regime in Palestine.”

    Their message, however, was squelched by uneasy guests who alerted Westport police, which prompted an evacuation of the luncheon and a lockdown of area schools.

    “I wasn’t expecting to get a standing ovation from the crowd, but I didn’t expect to be tackled and have police officers show up with machine guns,” Fischer said. “Unfortunately it escalated into a dangerous situation because someone gave false information to the police. Their (FIDF) reaction interrupted their own event.”

    Fischer and Williams, both of whom are 25 years old and reside in New Haven, showed up unannounced to the women’s luncheon – where an IDF Brigadier General was speaking. Fischer and Williams were protesting in an effort to read testimony from a Palestinian woman (Nabilah Abu Halima) whose son was killed in Gaza in 2009.

    Fischer said he and Williams were told to leave the building because they did not have tickets to attend the luncheon and were told they were not supposed to be there.

    “They then restrained us and I began reading the testimony from my cell phone,” Fischer said. “The phone was smacked out of my hand, so we started chanting, ‘Free, free Palestine’ and ‘Long live the Intifada,’ which means uprising. Those in support of Israel war crimes in my experience tend to be very zealous and self-righteous about their support of Israel. Their reaction was a symptom about not wanting the truth about Palestine to get out and to silence criticism of Israel.”

    Fischer, who grew up in Fairfield and attended Wesleyan University, is currently attending Southern Connecticut State University and is an activist with the Middle East Crisis Committee and Capitalism vs. the Climate.

    Williams, a student at Yale Divinity School who plans to attend Duke University this fall to obtain his Ph.D., said in a statement, “I am a Jew coming to a synagogue today. I want to be part of a religion based on emancipation and democracy, not one based on colonialism, white supremacy and apartheid.”

    Neither Fischer nor Williams, who are both Jewish, contacted the FIDF of their intentions to speak at the luncheon.

    Both were charged with first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of peace. After each posted $1,500 bonds, they were given court dates…

    In December 2014, Fischer was arrested in Cromwell after blocking the driveway to Spectra Energy while in opposition to its proposed pipeline expansion.

    “In that instance, I expected to get arrested, but in this one (at Temple Israel) I did not,” Fischer said. “We were not armed and the fact that schools were locked down over some hysterical woman calling the police. Palestinians are not getting the equal rights they deserve and believe it or not, the American-Jewish community has quite a lot of influence over the situation. If Jews started speaking out and questioning why leaders are siding with the racist apartheid regime, they could make a change. Instead they are allowing injustice to continue.”

    In response to Tuesday’s incident, State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) said she is “very proud of the Congregation and Westport police for taking control of this awful situation.”

    “It is one thing to stand on public property and peacefully protest regarding something you believe in no matter how objectionable some finds it,” Boucher said. “It is another matter however, to barge into a luncheon filled with women and children shouting in a menacing way.”

    Boucher denounced the protest, saying the suspects exhibited a “menacing act.”

    “I call on the Yale Administration to condemn and take the strongest possible action regarding this student (Williams),” Boucher said. “The Divinity program should be a model for peace, tolerance and understanding of all religions in the often hostile world we live in.”

    http://www.thehour.com/news/westport/israeli-protestor-speaks-out-about-arrest-at-temple-israel/article_b6b66243-84e8-58ae-9256-920ef1d6337d.html

  6. Mooser
    May 19, 2016, 7:17 pm

    “Oh and by the way, for the Zionism is part of Judaism file,”

    It might be the other way round. Judaism is a part of Zionism.

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