Nov 7, 2010

#BDS: Jewish Federations acknowledge Israel’s ‘paradigm shift,’ then circle the wagons

I like to say the fat is in the fire, and the fat is in the fire. This week the Jewish Federations, the leading civic Jewish organizations in American cities, are holdingtheir General Assembly in New Orleans and the big theme of the event looks to be fighting the boycott movement, or Israel's "delegitimizers." (Go to that link and you see Netanyahu's picture. Mr. Charm. The idea that Israel ought to reform itself to gain the support of liberal American Jews doesn't seem to be on the table.)
We've reported before on the Federations' $6 million initiative to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Well, below is some of the literature from the conference. It feels very circle-the-wagons. Shouldn't Israel change? Shouldn't 62 years of Palestinian statelessness call on the Jewish conscience?
An email from a Federations spokesperson named Adam Muhlendorf hitting the big theme follows the break:

Important General Assembly Information re: Israel Action Network
A growing wave of individuals and groups across the United States are using radical rhetoric labeling Israel as an apartheid state, calling for boycotts, divestments and sanctions to wreck havoc and severly weaken Israel’s economy, and generally working to achieve what terrorist groups have been seeking for decades – turn Israel into a pariah.
The North American Jewish community has had enough and they are stepping up their efforts to confront Israel’s antagonist head on. And it begins at the GA… One of the major themes of this year’s General Assembly includes discussions on the North American Jewish community’s new efforts to proactively lead the conversation about the legitimacy of the State of Israel and to collectively counter those who challenge Israel’s existence.
Chief among these efforts is the Israel Action Network – a multi-million dollar project of The Jewish Federations of North America in cooperation with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs whose goal is to organize the collective ability and unique community-based infrastructure of the Jewish Federations movement to proactively promote a fair and balanced understanding of Israel and Middle East issues....
Throughout the GA, there will be numerous sessions that will discuss this new effort in detail. I have included a schedule (and additional details) of these programs below. As always we are happy to help facilitate any interviews with Israel Action Network spokespersons, Federations officials or panelists. Additionally, we expect Vice President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu and others to reference the Israel Action Network or the Jewish community’s efforts in their remarks.

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