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Demonizing Mandy Patinkin is a tough sell

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MandyPatinkin jpg
  Mandy Patinkin (Graphic: The Jewish Press) 

Mandy Patinkin is to receive an award from the American friends of an Israeli medical center at their gala at the Harvard Club in New York next month, and the award is rankling the right guard.

The Jewish Press— the same Jewish Press that published Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s bizarre rant about Dustin Hoffman’s Semitic nose and Emad Burnat as an alleged “Israel-hater”– seems to be demonizing Mandy Patinkin in the green-bearded image above. Because Marcus is ticked that an honor is going to someone who supports boycotting the settlements, “an American Jewish celebrity who supports economic warfare against Jews living and working in Judea and Samaria.”

Working off the original image of his impassioned speech at the Peace Now Conference in Tel Aviv last spring (at which he described America as his homeland and said, “I am certain that this peace process will prevail”), the Jewish Press morphs Patinkin into the very opposite of who he is.

Look at the original:

Lori Lowenthal Marcus knows it; she says “It is hard to listen to Patinkin and imagine anything other than that he has a warm, loving soul and just wants everyone to get along.”

But the award worries her– another soldier in Israel’s delegitimization:

Now we learn that the American fundraising arm of a wonderful Israeli institution – Soroka Medical Center – is poised to honor yet another soldier in the delegitimization war against Israel.

………..And now Jews are left with the choice of not going to a fundraiser for a wonderful, non-political medical center in Israel, or going and watching as an American Jew who encourages the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award.  It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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24 Responses

  1. gingershot
    gingershot on May 17, 2013, 3:33 pm

    ‘By the time I left I didn’t want a memory of this place’ – wow…

  2. American
    American on May 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

    ”the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award. ‘

    gawd….it and they (illegal settlements) are not Jewish towns.

    You know what you should start doing?…instead of just writing up their unfair denunciations of people like Patinkin… should really ridicule the stupidity of the Lori Lowenthal ‘s… in hey honey how STUPID are you to not know that nowhere except in zionist comic books and propaganda are illegal settlements Jewish towns.

    • amigo
      amigo on May 18, 2013, 9:28 am

      2as in hey honey how STUPID are you to not know that nowhere except in zionist comic books and propaganda are illegal settlements Jewish towns.”

      Don,t you mean Jews only towns.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on May 17, 2013, 4:32 pm

    “Soldier in the delegitimization war against Israel” ?? Not so fast with this inescapable Zionist-Expansionist rant.

    Any Zionist who is content with an Israel territorially consisting of pre-1967 Israel (a non-expansionist Zionist) will see that battling the settlement and occupation projects is not anti-Zionist and THUS does not delegitimize Israel (however much it necessarily delegitimizes these two projects).

    But the Expansionists desire to blackmail all Jews into becoming their enablers by use of the familiar “all Jews must stick up for all other Jews” rigamerole, suggesting that these two projects are noble expressions of Judaism, etc., blah-blah.

    I’d hope that just a few Jews could begin to say:

    All Jews who wish to stick up for all other Jews should abandon both the settlement project adn the occupation project, because each of these projects is harmful to Jews living anywhere in the world.

  4. Abdul-Rahman
    Abdul-Rahman on May 17, 2013, 4:33 pm

    These are people who have even tried “demonize” legendary anti-apartheid activists like Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and who have also now moved on to uttering some of the most vile statements imaginable against a renowned intellectual and scholar like Stephen Hawking.

    • Tzombo
      Tzombo on May 17, 2013, 6:02 pm

      I love it when they do that. It makes them look bad without any effort from me.

  5. Cliff
    Cliff on May 17, 2013, 5:06 pm

    There’s no one on Earth and in all of history that Zionists won’t cannibalize for Greater Israel.

  6. pabelmont
    pabelmont on May 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Slogans of doubtful utility:

    (Attributed to Charlie “Engine Charlie” Wilson): “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.”
    What’s good for Goldman Sachs is good for America.
    What’s good for the Settlement Project is good for All Jews Everywhere.
    Whoever condemns those Catholic priests (and bishops) who have grievously sinned is an anti-Catholic.
    Whoever opposes the criminality (or stupidity) of the Israeli government is an antisemite.
    Jews should not honor a Jew who dishonors Jews who do dishonorable things.
    Jewish Press: “It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.” (Hmmm: Whether or not to oppose the Settlement and Occupation Projects?)

  7. tokyobk
    tokyobk on May 17, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Everyone and everything gets morphed in this conversation.

    Patinkin is (at the least) a liberal Zionist, the kind who would be pilloried here in any other context.

    • eljay
      eljay on May 17, 2013, 7:38 pm

      >> Patinkin is (at the least) a liberal Zionist …

      I wasn’t aware that he was pro-“Jewish State”. It’s a pity that he is.

    • annie
      annie on May 18, 2013, 12:35 am

      bk, open the ‘impassioned speech’ link. you’re wrong.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on May 18, 2013, 2:19 am

        Annie- This is a Peace Now rally. Peace Now is dissed in MW all the time.

      • Cliff
        Cliff on May 18, 2013, 7:29 am

        Does Patinkin support a partial boycott of Israel?

      • Cliff
        Cliff on May 18, 2013, 7:35 am

        Patinkin feels he is misunderstood by those who think he is supporting a cultural boycott of Israel. “No, I am against forcing the Israeli actors to perform in Ariel. I am not sanctioning anything involving an economic boycott of Israel. I have a deep love for Israel, I have never supported taking sides except for everyone to have a deep sense of justice. I care about both Palestinians and Israelis and am willing to talk with anyone on the issue, because we need to establish some trust for peace.

        So Patinkin signed a petition or statement in support of actors who were boycotting performing in Ariel or something.

        He basically respects the right to protest and not be demonized. He himself has said he does not support an economic boycott of Israel.

        I don’t think he’s elaborated beyond these few quotes though. I’d like to know what he thinks about Brand Israel and normalisation.

        The reaction to Patinkin by the right-wing Jewish community is basically to intimidate him and cause him to retract his already very tepid remarks.

        I think this is the main tactic of the Israel Lobby. They (organizations like the ADL for example, or individuals like The Dersh) have to keep up the framing of this conflict and make sure no one pushes the narrative away from what they regard as ‘normal’.

        Any cracks are viewed as threats and all are handled in this exact histrionic manner. It doesn’t matter what the details are because they (again, individuals and organizations) view these ‘cracks’ as potential seeds for change. Opinion matters and they police opinion by intimidation and slander.

    • chinese box
      chinese box on May 18, 2013, 10:12 am


      The fact that we all agree that Peace Now is useless doesn’t negate the emotional impact of Patinkin’s speech.

  8. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned on May 17, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Mandy Patinkin once recorded an album of songs in Yiddish. That is a niche market if there ever was one. Hardly anybody speaks Yiddish any more. I’m guessing that he was proud of his cultural heritage. He definitely didn’t do it for the money.

    Patinkin may well be concerned for the future of Israel, especially if Israel continues the right-wing extremist policies supported by the West Bank settlers.
    The attack on Patinkin is just the Lobby attempting to whip American Jews into supporting everything Israel does, including things that nobody should support.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on May 17, 2013, 10:12 pm

    RE: “And now Jews are left with the choice of not going to a fundraiser for a wonderful, non-political medical center in Israel, or going and watching as an American Jew who encourages the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award. It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.” ~ über-Zionist Lori Lowenthal Marcus

    MY QUESTION: So, who are the Jews that are making other Jews make a tough choice about going to the fundraiser? I would say they are the settlers and their Likudnik supporters (like über-Zionist Lori Lowenthal Marcus), NOT Mandy Patinkin!

  10. piotr
    piotr on May 17, 2013, 10:45 pm

    “Jews living and working in Judea and Samaria.”

    It is a bit mind boggling to me. According to my textbooks, Samaria is the same as Shomron which is the same as Israel, the northern state of the Hebrews, while the southern was Judea and that was it. Thus Judea and Samaria are the lands that Zionists claim to be connected to. If so, one can propose a logical exchange: the territory to the west of Green Line to Palestinians and Judea and Samaria to Jews (small quibble why Jews have a connection to Samaria and not to Judea alone). This version of the 2 state solution would take care of all the settlements in a way most satisfactory for the settlers.

  11. MRW
    MRW on May 18, 2013, 1:39 am

    What a bunch of whiners.

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew on May 18, 2013, 2:26 am

    Who reads the Jewish Press? Right wing Jews and those who like to mock right wing Jews.

    • Cliff
      Cliff on May 18, 2013, 7:40 am

      And right-wing Jews who think they’re reasonable left-wing/liberals.

    • piotr
      piotr on May 18, 2013, 5:21 pm

      Jewish Press proudly features Moshe Feiglin as their regular contributor. Not that he writes for them often, once in two weeks, but the likeness of the adorable MK is displayed on top of the page. Clearly, this is not the frontline of Hasbara effort but the innermost sanctum.

      Even so, the critique of Mandy Patinkin is strangely muted, as it starts with an aside that he is not an Israel-hater, but is guilty of “attacking” SOME Israeli Jews. The same can be said about Im Tirtzu — and this very article for that matter.

  13. just
    just on May 18, 2013, 9:36 am

    What an incredible and moving testimonial from a beautiful & talented human.

  14. Les
    Les on May 18, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Now you are required to be a 100% zionist. 99.4% no longer makes the grade.

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