Former 20/20 producer Danny Shechter, “Are the Words ‘Israel’ and ‘Jews’ Synonymous?”
Somehow many in our media have turned the words Israel and Jews into synonyms, as if all Jews are hard-line Zionists who automatically back the policies and practices of the Israeli government, every Israeli government. Ironically, there is more debate among Jews in Israel on these issues than is reported, or somehow allowed in the United States where Jewish critics of Israel policies are often ignored or labeled “self-hating” Jews.
Many organizations, especially in Democratic Party circles (and even the blogosphere) would prefer to ignore the issue for fear of being divisive or attacked. Notice how many in the Congress rallied to Israel’s side before the facts were even in. Notice how few, even in the anti-war contingent, had the courage to speak out. (Read Tom Hayden’s recent piece apologizing for how skillfully he was co-opted by the Israeli Lobby when he ran for office in California.)
Some organizations are just shilling for the Israeli government–no matter what it does—out of both tribal loyalty and political fealty to neo-con/Likudnik politics, a perspective which enjoys unrivalled and disproportionate access to the media and its think-alike punditocracy. Some are just money generating mechanisms sending money to Israel, a developed county that gets $3 billion dollars annually in US aid intended for developing nations. The Federation which supports many social services just sent millions. One wonders how much of this will go to Israeli Arabs who have also had homes bombed?