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Jewish news agency edits out editor’s role as settler advocate

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The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is the leading Jewish news service, headquartered in New York. Its “briefs editor” is Marcy Oster, and here’s how JTA describes her:

Marcy worked at the Cleveland Jewish News for nearly 12 years and was a senior staff reporter before moving to Israel in 2000. She has won several awards for her writing from The Press Club of Cleveland, the Society for Professional Journalists, Women in Communications and the American Jewish Press Association.

That item leaves a lot out. In many other Jewish publications, Oster is clearly identified as a settler and an advocate for settlers, living in an illegal community north of Ariel, deep in the West Bank– not in “Israel,” as the JTA asserts. Oster writes for the Cleveland Jewish News, and here’s bio on an article this month opposing what liberal Zionists want, boycotts of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements:

Marcy Oster is a former Clevelander who covers the Middle East for the Cleveland Jewish News from Karnei Shomron, West Bank.

Palestinians show up in that article– as terrorists threatening Jews in the occupied territories.

Back in 2008, Oster was fundraising for mobile homes to be built in Karnei Shomron, so that young people would move there despite the international disapproval of settlements. She quoted the settlement’s mayor, telling north American Jews that the settlements are “THE project” of the Jewish people:

“Putting up this new neighborhood in Karnei Shomron is the response to Annapolis [George Bush peace initiative], a way for Jews around the world to make their voices heard, clearly, saying that we have a right to build a Jewish state on our land.”

In 2006, Oster told the Jerusalem Post that Karnei Shomrom is safe and special. She praised the settlers-only roads and promoted her illegal community:

“There really is something for everyone here,” says Marcy Oster, assistant director of the Karnei Shomron Foundation, a local civic group.
….”Thanks to upgraded roads in the area, especially Road 444, route 6 and the upgrades at the Kessem junction, commuting nowadays is easier than ever,” says Oster, with commutes to Tel Aviv running 30 to 40 minutes, while a ride to Jerusalem via route 6 will take “about an hour.”
“There’s a sense of community here that you just don’t find anywhere else,” says Oster. “Maybe it’s a shared sense of experience, or maybe it’s the quiet lifestyle, or maybe it’s the fact that parents are not afraid to let their kids roam the streets here, but this yishuv has a great deal of ‘staying power.’ … [T]he housing stock in town has something for everyone’s pocketbook, she says.
A few years ago, she said that Jews should be able to pray on the Temple Mount.
So Oster is an outspoken settler, representing communities that violate international law. And the leading Jewish news service leaves those facts out. Settlers are now an essential part of the Israeli political leadership, all over the governing coalition. They hold similar status in the center-right American Zionist world. Working together, these folks destroyed the two-state solution a long time ago. Because it’s “Jewish land.”
Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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10 Responses

  1. DaBakr on October 27, 2017, 4:47 pm

    It isn’t just “settlers” that believe jews have a right to pray at the site of the temple. As far as international law is concerned Israel is the legal occupier of the land. There is widespread agreement between pro Palestinian supporters that settlements are + illegal’ (their point being aided by former US President Obama)
    PW continues to assume the right to define what American Jews are or are not as well as assume how a jew living in Israel should define themselves. If he did this using black or brown people as an example he would be hounded off this blog into an even tinier corner of the internets . pw always struck me in his writing as the most like the selected judenrat in the ghettos.
    . And not to be too politically correct but let’s face it, German Jews in America either pre 1880s or from German middle classes have always had a superiority complex within American Jewry. An intrinsic paternalism towards other Jews who they feel distaste for. They know better. But did they ever? It’s no different today then it was back in the 19th century

    • Misterioso on October 28, 2017, 10:57 am


      To be brief:

      “There is widespread agreement between pro Palestinian supporters that settlements are + illegal’ (their point being aided by former US President Obama)”

      Sigh. Not only “pro Palestinian supporters” and “US President Obama.”

      To wit:

      (A) In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked ‘Top Secret,’ Meron wrote unequivocally: ‘My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

      (B) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

      “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”

      (C) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

      (D) Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

      (E) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void.”

      (F) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines “the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

      (G) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War…. The international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the occupied territories.”

      (H) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

      (I) US Secretary of State, John Kerry: “The US views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” (13 August 2013, Reuters)

      (J) British Foreign Secretary William Hague regarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank (5 April 2011): “This is not disputed territory. It is occupied Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law…”

      And of course, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016:
      “Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

      “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

      “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,….”

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

    • MHughes976 on October 30, 2017, 4:26 am

      Oster’s essay on the Temple M was written for the Temple Institute in 2013 in support of a proposal to allow organised Jewish prayer there. This had reached the stage of a Knesset bill but seems to have been rather vague – Oster says she doesn’t know what would happen to non-Jewish visitors during Jewish prayer times – and perhaps wasn’t really meant or expected to pass. I agree with DaB’s implied point that an average Western reader would probably think her views reasonable, perhaps jibbing (maybe not) at the point where she refers to the proposition that there is no such thing as the Temple Mount not merely as disagreement, not even as absurdity, but as ‘incitement’, which should on reflection appear as highly supremacist talk. It’s interesting that this is a point which the settlers have never been able to carry.

  2. Mooser on October 27, 2017, 6:13 pm

    . “And not to be too politically correct but let’s face it, German Jews in America either pre 1880s or from German middle classes have always had a superiority complex within American Jewry”

    And they do form an elite cohort in the US. If you lose them, you’ve lost the game. And they will influence the rest of us.
    Or does Zionism figure to make lots of ideological headway among the Jewish proletariat in America?

    • DaBakr on October 28, 2017, 2:42 am


      No. American German Jews are a thing. Not going anywhere. It’s like Harvey: everybody knows

      • Mooser on October 28, 2017, 1:33 pm

        “No. American German Jews are a thing. Not going anywhere. “

        Right you are. And if the elite “American German Jews”, the most affluent and influential cohort of Jews in America, turn cool towards or even turn against Zionism, well, Israel is screwed.
        Oh well, all fads and styles come to an end. And all of us balegoolas will follow the lead of the balebatisheh yiden. What else can we do? We want to keep our jobs.

      • Mooser on October 28, 2017, 1:39 pm

        “It’s like Harvey: everybody knows”

        You bet. Down in Texas they say “If you want to see FEMA, you better get up on the bimah!”

  3. JosephA on October 27, 2017, 9:21 pm

    So she is a proud racist, but she is able to keep her job.

  4. eljay on October 28, 2017, 7:47 am

    Marcy Oster is a Jewish supremacist (Zionist) who, like other Jewish supremacists, believes that the religion-based identity she has chosen to hold entitles her:
    – to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality she would not have others do unto her.

    Her pleasant smile doesn’t excuse her hateful and immoral hypocrisy.

    • lonely rico on October 28, 2017, 11:32 am

      Her pleasant smile …

      How doth the little crocodile
      Improve her shining tail
      And pour the waters of the Nile
      On every golden scale!

      How cheerfully she seems to grin
      How neatly spreads her claws
      And welcomes little fishes in
      With gently smiling jaws!

      Lewis Carroll

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