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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Some Christian groups upset over Im Tirtzu ad; Chazan told not to come to Australia

On Monday, I reported on an ad that was placed in the Hebrew Maariv over the weekend by Im Tirtzu (if you will it), a small Right wing group that gets at least some of its funding from Christian groups in the United States. The ad attacked the Leftist New Israel Fund for funding organizations that provided 92% of the information in the Goldstone Report that attacked Israel.

I now have a copy of the ad in English for those of you who are Hebrew-challenged.

JPost reports that some Christian groups are upset about the ad.
"Although we are often demonized by our critics, CUFI never demonizes those with whom we disagree, and we object when anyone does," CUFI spokesman Ari Morgenstern told JTA.


John Hagee Ministries, founded by the pastor who founded CUFI, donated a total of $200,000 to Im Tirtzu in 2008 and 2009, citing its pledge toward "public advocacy on behalf of the State of Israel and of Zionism on campuses," Morgenstern said.

Hagee Ministries did not have advance knowledge of the campaign, he said. A number of liberal pro-Israel groups have decried the ad and other attacks on NIF and human rights groups in Israel.

One of them, J Street, made an issue of CUFI's funding of Im Tirtzu -- the same guilt-by-association tactic that Im Tirtzu had used against NIF.

"This is a pro-settler group, with $100,000 of funding from Christians United For Israel, a conservative Christian Zionist organization run by Pastor John Hagee, who once stated that God sent Hitler to drive Jews to Israel," the statement said, citing an eschatological analysis from the late 1990s that Hagee has since said he regrets.

Morgenstern said the tactic was outrageous.

"This link is part of a pattern of blatant mischaracterizations of CUFI by J Street that I think is indicative of their effort to shut divergent opinions out of the pro-Israel dialogue," Morgenstern said.
By the way, according to JTA's Ron Kampeas,
Hagee has repudiated it said he regrets the sermon,* and, most perniciously, it was never as if Hagee was wishing for another Hitler -- it was a clumsy theological explanation of an inexplicable time. "Daddy, where was God during the Holocaust?" my 9-year old blurted out from the back seat the other day, and as much as it pains me to confess it, I couldn't come up with anything smarter than Hagee's explanation (although I knew better than to try -- "That's a good question for Rabbi Amy" was my wimpout answer.)
But there's someone who was more upset about the ad than CUFI: The Jewish community of Melbourne, Australia. They were so angry at Naomi Chazan and the New Israel Fund when they saw the ad that they canceled Chazan's trip to Australia that was scheduled for next week.
In light of allegations contained in a report by the Zionist student organization Im Tirtzu, which accused the New Israel Fund of direct responsibility for the UN’s Goldstone Report on the IDF’s Gaza offensive last winter, The Jerusalem Post has learned that an invitation for NIF chairwoman Prof. Naomi Chazan to speak at a synagogue and Jewish community center in Melbourne, Australia, this month has been canceled.

According to a former member of the Melbourne Jewish community now living in Israel, Chazan had been invited to speak as part of a United Israel Appeal fund-raiser at Temple Beth Israel and the Beth Weizmann Community Center in Melbourne next weekend, but the allegations raised by the Im Tirtzu report had “sparked an enormous backlash” among community members there and the invitation had been rescinded.


"People were shocked when they learned about [the report],” the Melbourne Jewish community member, who asked to remain unnamed, told the Post. “From what I understand, there was a huge public upheaval with regards to Chazan’s visit after the report was made public.”

The invitation to bring Chazan to Melbourne had been extended by the Union of Progressive Judaism – the Australian equivalent of the Reform Movement – which is one of 51 organizations that belong to the Zionist Council of Victoria.

According to ZCV President Dr. Danny Lamm, news of the report, and the Hebrew copy of it found on Im Tirtzu’s Web site, had generated angry responses throughout the Melbourne Jewish community and the decision was made to withdraw Chazan’s invite.

“The activities of the NIF are anathema to Zionist groups such as ours, and frankly, we’re just not interested in having anything to with it,” Dr. Lamm told the Post by telephone from Melbourne on Tuesday.

“It’s not new to me, or many of us, that the NIF has supported groups that have damaged Israel and will continue to do damage to Israel, but others were surprised by this,” he added.

Lamm made it clear that the Zionist Council of Victoria represented all branches of Jewish political and religious affiliation, “from Likud to Meretz” and that they would “never bar anybody from the left just as they wouldn’t bar anyone from the right.

“But the sort of stuff the NIF supports is so far removed from the community here,” Lamm added, saying “it was decided that Chazan’s public appearances be canceled.”
Well good for them. It's about time Israel's Leftists started feeling some consequences for their actions.



At 6:54 AM, Blogger David_77 said...

What is it with the Leftists? Whether they're in Israel or America, Leftists just seem to want their host country to roll over, play dead, and let the terrorists do whatever they want. I've begun to notice that the Israeli Leftists are no different from the American Leftists - different countries, SAME message.


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