Jewish Leaders Ask Dow Constantine to Reinstate Anti-Israel Bus Ads

Comments

1
Good for them, and an awesome letter.
2
What leek said. Freedom of speech may be tiresome, but it's still important.
3
Who are the signatories?
4
@3, Howard hasn't yet provided me with a complete list but here are a few of the names he sent me: Paul Loeb, Philip Bereano, Paul Bigman, Dimitri Iglitzin, Neil Fox, and Bert Sachs.
5
You know, about 40% of Jews living in Israel do not approve of the way their government is handling the Peace Process. It only makes sense that a good chunk of local Jews feel the same way and to ban those ads because of the ADL or similar groups baseless accusations, makes them look like jerks in the eyes of the community.
7
How exactly are these signatories "leaders" in the Jewish community?
8
@7:"How exactly are these signatories "leaders" in the Jewish community?"

By standing up and signing this letter. That shows some real leadership right there.
9
@7: just the few names that Cienna lists in @4 is a pretty damn good who's who. They ought to be readily recognizable to anyone who has lived in the Seattle area for more than a couple of years.

And yes, this is a great letter.
10
Paul and Phil are two of our region's most distinguished social justice advocates.

http://www.paulloeb.org/
http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org/2010…

The others are no slouches either.
11
@8-10 when I think of the term Jewish Leaders, I guess I think of the people who lead and speak for the Jewish community. These seem to be a group of very intelligent and passionate social justice advocates who happen to be Jewish, not Jewish Leaders. Leaders who are Jewish maybe, but not leaders in the realm of Judaism; I really think those are two different things.
13
Fantastic. Simply fantastic.
14
Great letter. Good for them. Let the ads and counter-ads fly!

15
I don't see how any factual debate on Israel and Palenstine is bad for Israel and those that support her.

I also think whomever came up with this idea got a really good deal from the County. How much free press have they gotten through this ban?

Then again, now we're talking about free-speech instead of the rights of our allies and their responsibilities to their neighbors.
16
#11: "when I think of the term Jewish Leaders, I guess I think of the people who lead and speak for the Jewish community." That's one way of looking at it. However, conscious, progressive Judaism includes tikkun olam in all its forms--social justice, environmental conservation, etc. I believe you'll find that Jews are represented in the leadership of these movements in much higher % than in the U.S. demographic. In that sense, the signers of this letter are "Jewish leaders" in the best sense of the word.
17
The headline is a bit misleading "anti-Israel bus ads" since the whole point of the letter writers is that these ads are not anti-Israel, they are anti-war crimes.

But anyway, thanks for putting this letter up here.
18
Regardless of other definitions you might have of leadership, the use of the phrase "Jewish leaders" here is misleading. Had it said "Christian leaders", for example, most people would expect the signatories to be ministers or heads of Christian organizations.
19
I'm Jewish and I've lived here for years, and I've never heard of any of these so-called "leaders".

Who exactly do they lead?
20
I am hopeful the self-described local Jewish community leaders listed above will also consider the longer term issue of local perceptions of Israel and by inference the Seattle Jewish community as they relate to Mideast peace issues. I challenge these leaders to move beyond the high-fives and/or hand-wringing over the Constantine decision and eventually join those who have begun to plan next steps as we begin to craft a plan to get people talking about Mideast peace issues in an informed and respectful manner.
21
Are these leaders who decry the behavior of the aggressor state Israel, Jewish enough for those here who question the letter author's leadership?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjnvQHWy…

This is what these good Rabbis are against:

http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/pa…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQLM9SrL7…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlGB_O8l6…

22
If the purpose of these ads is allegedly to promote an open discussion of "war crimes," why not include such incidents on both sides of the conflict in a single ad? There has been no mention of Hamas suicide bombings of buses and restaurants, targeting civilians, rather than military installations! Aren't those actions "war crimes" as much as those Israel is accused of committing?

Perhaps the only difference between Palestinian and Israeli killing of civilians is that Palestinians target civilians as a matter of tactics, while Israelis kill them inadvertently through mistakes in targeting terrorists. A balanced and objective ad would address the excesses of both sides and even perhaps call for a non-violent resolution of the conflict guaranteeing security for both parties. That is the most glaring omission from the proposed ads!
23
Are these leaders who decry the behavior of the aggressor-state Israel, Jewish enough for those here who question the letter author's leadership?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjnvQHWy

This is what these good Rabbis are against:

http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/pa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQLM9SrL7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlGB_O8l6

24
The thing about "Judaism" and "Jewish leaders" is that Jewishness, unlike Christianity, is more than a religion; it's a whole culture (it's a whole civilization according to Kaplan). Jewishness/Judaism is about the food, the history, the culture, the the art, the humor, the music, the social activism ("tikkun olam") and sometimes, yeah, the religion. But you don't have to be be religious--many Jewishly engaged people are complete atheists, INCLUDING a few rabbis, and many Jewish Israelis identify as "secular"--to be deeply a part of Judaism and the Jewish community. I've been to Bat Mitzvah ceremonies where the Bat Mitzvah girl's speech was about how she didn't believe in G-d, and no one as much as batted an eyelid.

Unlike Christianity, where you aren't really part of the community if you don't believe Jesus was the son of G-d and accept the resulting tenets. Can you really take a leadership role in a church if you believe Jesus was just some hip dude with a beard?

So, it's disingenuous to say that these individuals aren't Jewish leaders because they aren't "leaders in the realm of Judaism"--what, because they aren't rabbis?--since "Christian leaders" would necessarily be ministers and priests. It's comparing apples to oranges, or at least oranges to tangerines.

These are Jewish leaders as far as I'm concerned.
25
Paul Loeb, Philip Bereano, Paul Bigman, Dimitri Iglitzin, Neil Fox, and Bert Sachs are not leaders of the the Jewish community or Jewish leaders. Unlike the 25 rabbis who signed onto Rabbi Jonathan Singer's column in the Seattle Times ("The Big Lie"), who represented all but one pulpit rabbi between Tacoma and Bellingham, or the four organizations that opposed the "Israeli War Crimes" ad, which together represent probably 95 percent of the active Jewish community the Puget Sound area, the 40 or so individuals who signed Howard Gale's letter are just that, 40 out of the nearly 45,000 Jews in Washington State. They are not "leaders" except perhaps among their own small group of Jews who can find nothing good to say about Israel and nothing bad to say about the Palestinians.