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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:52 AM

My support for Israel is not ‘pink-washing’

by jayson littman

Growing up as a black-hat Orthodox Jew, I never celebrated Israel in a Zionistic fashion. Zionism was a secular concept, sort of like Thanksgiving.

I studied in yeshiva in Jerusalem after high school but didn’t connect to Israel until the summer of 2009 — my first summer in Israel as a gay Jew. I felt at home in a country that embraced both my gay and Jewish identities (in Tel Aviv at least). When I started organizing gay Jewish parties in New York City (think Matzo Ball, but for gay Jews), many attendees asked me to push Birthright to organize an LGBT-themed trip. I was surprised to find that Israel Experience, a provider for Taglit-Birthright trips, was already organizing such trips. I staffed my first gay Birthright trip in January 2011 and saw how this experience changed the lives of LGBT Jews.

When the Jewish National Fund reached out to me in 2011 to create the first LGBT group under the auspices of a major Jewish organization, I looked at this as a shining moment of LGBT inclusion in the mainstream Jewish community. Our initial fundraising event for Out@JNF attracted more than 150 attendees, with the proceeds providing two scholarships for LGBT students at the JNF-funded Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. At the event there were anti-Israel activists with big poster boards that read, “JNF: Just Not Fabulous.” While I chuckled at their creativity, I felt a bit annoyed that my gay community was protesting Israel.

This past summer I led another LGBT Birthright trip, followed shortly by a JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission, designed to showcase JNF projects in Israel. (It’s not just planting trees, though we did plant one!) This would be my first time in Israel as a self-identified “activist” for Israel. I was certainly excited.


http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/66952/my-support-for-israel-is-not-pink-washing/

43 replies, 2814 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply My support for Israel is not ‘pink-washing’ (Original post)
King_David Dec 2012 OP
kayecy Dec 2012 #1
oberliner Dec 2012 #3
kayecy Dec 2012 #6
King_David Dec 2012 #8
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #16
oberliner Dec 2012 #19
delrem Dec 2012 #2
oberliner Dec 2012 #4
King_David Dec 2012 #9
delrem Dec 2012 #12
King_David Dec 2012 #13
oberliner Dec 2012 #15
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #20
shira Dec 2012 #27
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #32
shira Dec 2012 #34
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #36
shira Dec 2012 #41
shaayecanaan Dec 2012 #29
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #31
oberliner Dec 2012 #5
kayecy Dec 2012 #7
King_David Dec 2012 #10
kayecy Dec 2012 #11
King_David Dec 2012 #14
shira Dec 2012 #28
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #17
kayecy Dec 2012 #18
sabbat hunter Dec 2012 #30
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #21
King_David Dec 2012 #22
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #23
shira Dec 2012 #35
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #37
shira Dec 2012 #38
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #39
shira Dec 2012 #40
oberliner Dec 2012 #24
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #25
azurnoir Dec 2012 #26
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #33
oberliner Dec 2012 #43
oberliner Dec 2012 #42

Response to King_David (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:18 AM

1. Another anti-Israel demonstration was held over the weekend in Toronto, Canada........

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4308691,00.html


Another anti-Israel demonstration was held over the weekend in Toronto, Canada. The protest was particularly infuriating in light of the fact that a pro-Israel rally was held on the other of the street and that one of the keynote speakers was Rabbi David Feldman who said, "We all stand in solidarity with the suffering people of Palestine.

"We need to remember that this story didn't start yesterday or the day before," he added. "This is a long chain of tragedies going on already for decades. This is a terrible disaster, it is a Nakba, it is a catastrophe for Palestine, but not only for Palestine. This should be considered a catastrophe for all of us and for humanity."

To the crowd's applause, the rabbi went on to say that "a human being should not be able to remain silent by seeing what's going on in Palestine already for decades and we don't see the end of the tunnel.

"I'm here as an Orthodox religious Jewish person and I say that for myself and for many communities like myself, this is embarrassing because this is being done supposedly in our name, in the name of all Jews, and sadly in the name of the Holy Torah. This is not Judaism.

"Jewish people worldwide stand up because they don't want to see other people suffer again. This is painful, this is embarrassing."

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Response to kayecy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:50 AM

3. You know that Rabbi Feldman is a far RW religious fundamentalist, right?

Have you never heard of Neturei Karta?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:40 AM

6. Of course, but he isn't anti-Semitic is he?........n/t

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Response to kayecy (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:47 AM

8. Nature Karta is the same group

That went to that Nut job Ahmadenajet's Holocaust Denial conference along with David Duke. They are homophobic and the antithesis of progressiveness .

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Response to kayecy (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:27 AM

16. No but he is a far-right nutcase

And is prepared to cosy up with antisemites (Ahmadinejad) when it suits his RW fundie causes.

There are not only two categories of people: antisemites and reasonable beings. Feldman is in neither category.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:09 PM

19. He definitely loathes secular Jews

Are you seriously not familiar with his group?

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Response to King_David (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:05 AM

2. Can a gay Arab whose ancestors trace back thousands of years

Can a gay Arab whose ancestors trace back thousands of years to the lands now called Palestine/Israel experience this Birthright? Or is "Birthright" discriminatory, and in fact crazy, based old desiccated texts?

In both cases I can understand this author's joy, to be surrounded by people who are similar, who share a way of being. I can understand that there's no "pink washing" about it.

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Response to delrem (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:53 AM

4. Only if they were Jewish

However, I would suggest that gay Arabs of any religious or ethnic background would feel a lot more comfortable spending time in Tel Aviv than in most other major cities in Arab countries around the world. Especially if they would like to be open about their sexuality.

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Response to delrem (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:50 AM

9. I don't think a Gay Arab should

Remain at home in the new state of Palestine if he or she is "out" and wants to remain alive.

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Response to King_David (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:15 AM

12. uh huh. but you are pinkwashing right now. nt

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Response to delrem (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:45 AM

13. I don't even know what that ridiculous term is meant to mean. nt

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Response to King_David (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:52 AM

15. Not allowed to say anything positive about gay rights in Israel

If you do so, it is just to distract from various crimes against Palestinians.

I think that's the crux of it.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:30 PM

20. Well, look at it this way

Sure we blow up Arabs - but you can kiss your partner!
Sure we have a policy of stealing land from subhumans, as we define them - but you can kiss your partner!
Sure we have turned a corner of this territory into a prison camp - but you can kiss your partner!
Sure our politicians incite race riots against refugees fleeing death at home - but you can kiss your partner!
Sure we treat Jewish minority groups like utter shit - but you can kiss your partner!
Sure our politics revolve around the concept of having dead or terrified jews - but you can kiss your partner!
Of course we spend billions on a military while our people face increasing homelessness - but you can kiss your partner!
What are a few cluster bombs and white phosphorus munitions over civilian areas - you can kiss your partner!
So what if we're stealing water to make big sprawling lawns in the arid land we're also stealing - you can kiss your partner!
Sure we commit extrajudicial murders in the territory of other nations - but you can kiss your partner!
So what if we conscript our children to military service after eighteen years of teaching them those subhumans outside the gates want to reenact the holocaust - you can kiss your partner!
So what if we scuttle every attempt at peaceful resolution of one of the longest-standing conflicts in the world - you can kiss your partner!

You just can't marry him because, you know... God says so.

Lauding Israel's stance on gay rights is a lot like lauding Saddam-era Iraq's stance on women's rights. Technically correct, but you have to turn a big blind eye to all the other shit going on.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:35 PM

27. That post goes to show you don't know shit about Israel, and don't care to. n/t

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Response to shira (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:09 PM

32. Yes of course, Shira

After all, if someone knows anything about Not Knowing Shit, it's got to be you.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:23 AM

34. If you were in Israel making those arguments....

Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:54 AM - Edit history (2)

...only the extreme fringe - freakshows hellbent on portraying Israelis as bloodthirsty demons - would take you seriously. Which goes to show you don't know what you're talking about.

The fact that wouldn't bother you, and it clearly wouldn't, goes to show you don't care to know the situation.

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Response to shira (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:20 AM

36. That's your argument, huh?

"Israelis would disagree, so you're wrong"

That's hilarious.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:28 AM

41. It's not that Israelis disagree. They wouldn't give you & your unhinged views...

...the time of day. It would be like debating 911 troofers, flat earthers, and evangelical fundamentalists.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:01 PM

29. And in America, they are lynching negroes...

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:05 PM

31. That's pretty much what Dave is trying to argue, yeah

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Response to King_David (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:56 AM

5. Fascinating first response to your post

I find it strange that among some ostensibly progressive people, a far right-wing religious fundamentalist who believes that homosexuality is a sin against God is viewed more favorably than a liberal gay Jew who supports Israel.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:48 AM

7. "Viewed more favourably?.....Who does that?....

My quotation was to show that there are other Orthodox views about Palestine than those of Jason Littman.......

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Response to kayecy (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:57 AM

10. Plenty of other right wing fanatics too

Have different views than Jason.

Naturei Karta joined David Duke a few years ago to attend a Holocaust Denial conference in Tehran .

David Duke is no friend of Gay Jews and yet he supports the same causes and views in Palestine as the people you posted about in Toronto.

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:04 AM

11. Very true, but.......

Very true, but "Behind the Aegis" is a self-confessed hate-poster, albeit on another site. You have said you are proud to be associated with "Behind-the-Aegis"........ Does that mean you support hate-posting?

I don't support people.......I support ideas, morality, fairness, justice but I supose that would seem strange to you.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:48 AM

14. Strange Bedfellows...

Nature Karta are a minuscule insignificant right wing homophobic anti- progressive anti Zionist Jewish sect.

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Response to King_David (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:37 PM

28. NK ultra-rightwingers are right at home with the pro-Assad, pro- Egyptian MB....

...pro-Iran, pro-Hamas bloc.

What's surprising here?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:29 AM

17. BTA is not a 'hate-poster'. You may disagree with his views, but that doesn't make them 'hate'.

For that matter, I disagree with a number of your views, but I would never call you a 'hate-poster'.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:34 AM

18. Are you aware of what BtA has posted on that other site?......

Are you aware of what BtA has posted on that other site?......We are not talking here about views, we are talking about disgusting derogatory posts about other DU members which BtA has admitted to posting.


I ask you again...Have you actually seen the sort of posts he has been making on that other site?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:52 PM

30. what other site?

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:47 PM

21. And the part you keep leaving out...

Is that Naturei Karta denounced Holocaust denial at that conference. It's why they went. They didn't go "with" David Duke, they simply attended the same conference. Where they disagreed.

They also happen to be correct on Palestine, even if they are very wrong in several other areas. Somehow if we can tolerate the Freakshow Barker posting Dave Horowitz articles as if we should seriously consider the words of someone who insists all liberal jews are kapos and judenrat, I think we can tolerate some input from Rabbi Feldman on this subject.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:59 PM

22. Why would any Jew attend conference

with David Duke and company. No matter what statement he gave they still homophobic right wing anti Zionist fundy loons representing a few Dozen Jews ... Who gives a shit what "statement " they delivered at some antisemitic hatefest?

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Response to King_David (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:10 PM

23. Perhaps to stand up and tell them "you're fucking wrong and should be ashamed"?

I understand that this would involve not being a chickenshit armchair cowboy, so it might be a hard concept to grasp for some I/P posters.

Yes, they are nutjobs. We can agree on that much. But nutjobs can still have lucid moments.

You keep omitting a key factor, in an obvious effort to paint the group as being holocaust deniers themselves. They're not. Quite the opposite. So long as you keep lying by omission, I plan to keep correcting you and pointing out what you're doing.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:51 AM

35. Perhaps not.

But his position in Vienna is different than the one he expressed in Tehran, where he was quoted as saying the Holocaust was a "successful fiction," and that it is "legitimate to cast doubt on some of the statistics" with regard to it.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/neturei-karta-delegate-to-iranian-holocaust-conference-i-pray-for-israel-s-destruction-in-peaceful-ways-1.209305


Would you go out of your way to defend David Duke like you do NK?

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Response to shira (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:39 AM

37. I'm not sure you understand the concept of "defend"

if someone were running around saying that Duke had said some oddball bullshit that he never actually said, sure, I'd point that out. Why? Because the crazy shit he actually does say is more than enough rope, and faked statements actually end up giving him credibility by detracting from that of his critics.

I'm not sure what speeches Haaretz is citing, there.
This is the one Feldman delivered: http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Speeches/2006Iran-Feldman.cfm
This is the one Weiss delivered: http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Speeches/2006Iran-WeissSpeech.cfm
This is the one delivered by Aahron Cohen: http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Speeches/2006Iran-ACohen.cfm

Now I'm sure you'll find plenty of crazy in those - funny how you think my characterizing them as "fatalist religious nutjobs" is a defense - but you're not going to find any Holocaust denial.

Now of course it's possible they edited the speeches before posting them on their site - it's not as though anti-Palestinians like yourself or Dave could ever actually be wrong, it all has to be a conspiracy against you after all - but forgive me if I'm more inclined to take a primary source over an (unsourced) secondary source.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:51 AM

38. You prefer quoting from the NK website over Haaretz now?

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

That's like preferring to quote from David Duke's site over the very progressive/liberal Haaretz. Hey, if Haaretz quotes Duke but Duke claims he said something else, let's definitely give Duke the benefit of the doubt, okay? Same with NK!

Come on.

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Response to shira (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:09 AM

39. It's called a primary source, Shira

Haaretz is a secondary source; It's citing quotations. Those quotes do not appear in the primary material, and are not sourced by Haaretz. He was quoted, but by whom? When? Where can I find these quotes? I do a search on them, and all I find is this Haaretz article, and other news sites and blogs that link back to this Haaretz article.

As I said, maybe they edited the three speeches on the NK website. it's not outside the realm of possibility, sure. But I'm going to need more than two unsourced lines of text from a secondary source that reads like an editorial gossip / hit piece before I assume that's the case.

I would have thought such statements would be picked up, perhaps by the BBC... they weren't
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6171503.stm

Wouldn't The Jewish Week have cited it? Apparently not
http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/black_eye_black_hats_after_tehran_hate_fest

The Seattle Times? nope!
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2003473161_iranholocaust12.html

What about Arutz Sheva, even? Guess not...
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/117425#.UMHa93cpl9l

In my ramblings I also found a website posting personal information about these men and urging readers to find them and "kick the kishka out of them." - and then celebrates the fact that some Israelis did just that to Feldman. Perhaps you're familiar. At any rate, even they don't offer such quotes (I'm not going to link, because DU does have SOME standards)

Perhaps Mr. Assaf Uni got a little... mixed-up and misattributed some quotes.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:34 AM

40. Here's Bloomberg with its guy reporting from Tehran

Half a dozen Orthodox Jews also took part in the event. They belong to an Orthodox group whose interpretation of their faith includes opposition to the creation of the state of Israel. Among them was Moshe Aryeh Friedman of Austria, who called the Holocaust ``a successful fiction.''


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aKPfg1xae7iE

You're saying NK denounced Holocaust denial at the conference when they were yucking it up with neo-Nazis like Robert Faurisson and David Duke.

They did not.

What they said in Europe ex post facto is irrelevant.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:42 PM

24. It is stunning that anyone would speak favorably about this group on a site like this

I am floored.

These are some of the most extremist religious fundamentalists on planet earth.

But hey they "happen to be correct on Palestine" so I guess it's all good.

David Duke has the same view on Palestine - are we going to share quotes and interviews with him as well?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:54 PM

25. Bwahahaha

One, stop being disingenuous. I'm telling Dave to stop his lies-by-omission. I regard this sect to be nutjobs on pretty much every level that defines them, and have said so several times now - I'm willing to extend to them that they are not Holocaust Deniers, as Dave continues to imply, and that they are correct on Palestine (albeit, perhaps for the wrong reasons - it's less about justice for the Palestinians, than their own very weird and fatalistic religious outlook)

Two, if you could be stunned by some of the shit your allies and colleagues post regularly, I might be concerned about your being "floored." But, you aren't, and you never will be. Anything is defensible so long as it supports the neocon freakshow narrative in support of your anti-Palestinian viewpoint. So whether you are floored, stunned, flabbergasted, bewildered, bemused, or astonished... I don't give a shit, because you can't extend the same sentiment to people who think blowing up Arabs makes Israel a better place.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:26 PM

26. on that second paragraph

you could be surprised

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #26)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:09 PM

33. I could be, but I haven't been.

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:22 PM

43. Thank you for that

I know we don't always agree on anything, but I appreciate you having my back.

If anyone knows my posts are genuine, it's this poster.

We've been respectfully disagreeing for going on more than five years.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:21 PM

42. Bizarre that this amuses you

Nothing disingenuous - I only post my genuine feelings.

I think it is weird that people post anything from these RW extremists.

Two, I have no allies and colleagues. My opinions are my own.

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