Two years ago Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times got in trouble when she observed that Palestinians in Gaza were “ho-hum” about their children’s deaths. Well it turns out she was warm: Israelis and Americans are “ho-hum” about Palestinian children’s deaths. Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to Israel to accept a “Jewish values” prize and in a long article in the New York Times, there wasn’t one word about the killings of two unarmed Palestinian youths a week before at a demonstration, a story that has gone round the world.
From the Times, the award:
Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who served three terms as mayor of New York, was the one receiving — and then returning — the first-ever Genesis Prize, which honors achievement steeped in what it calls “Jewish values.”
Instead of pocketing what to him might be considered pocket change, Mr. Bloomberg and the Genesis organization announced a global competition with 10 prizes of $100,000 available to entrepreneurs ages 20 to 36 with big ideas, also based on Jewish values, to better the world…
What are Bloomberg’s Jewish values?
Mr. Bloomberg, 72, visited Israel frequently while in office, and he has donated millions of dollars to Jerusalem institutions, financing a hospital wing named for his mother and an ambulance center named for his father…
Mr. Bloomberg said his religiously observant parents had inculcated Jewish values around the dinner table, and he identified those qualities Thursday night as “freedom, justice, service, ambition, innovation.”
“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values that, I hope, Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists learned from their parents,” he said at an earlier appearance. “They’re all centered around God put us on Earth and said we should take care of each other. We have an obligation not to just talk about it but to actually do it.”
Freedom and justice? But that’s what those young men want who were at the Nakba Day demonstration last week. Shouldn’t Jews be talking about that? I think they should.
Jay Leno was there too. Hosting the prize ceremony. I guess Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths, too:
Mr. Leno, 64, is not Jewish and had not been to Israel before Tuesday, when he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“This is just like a Hollywood awards show but with fewer Jews,” Mr. Leno cracked Thursday night. Taking note of the preshow buffet featuring falafel, gefilte fish, goulash and roast lamb, which was billed as “Jewish cuisine from around the world,” Mr. Leno said it was “what is known in New York as a deli.”
He made light of the recent sentencing of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to six years in prison for taking bribes, but avoided the political minefield of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians except to say that the “least popular boys’ name” is “John Kerry,” a reference to the secretary of state.
More Jewish values:
Candidates for the $100,000 prize [announced by Bloomberg with his prize money] need not be Jewish, though the video promoting it showcased an all-Jewish cast of achievers, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Marc Chagall, Levi Strauss, Mark Zuckerberg and Sarah Silverman.
Again: not a word about the killings of two Palestinian youths protesting an illegal occupation, days before. A shame.