Update 2: June 19, 2009, added a link to a petition. Added another video; see below
Update 1: June 7, 2009; added a commentary to the 2nd video; see below
More on Israeli refuseniks from Jewish Peace News:
Israeli citizens reject military service – 06 Jun 09
A growing number of Israelis are refusing to join the country’s military, despite military service being compulsory for most citizens over the age of 17.
Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Jerusalem on Israel’s conscientious objectors and the country’s hardline approach to dealing with the “refuseniks”.
Feeling the Hate In Jerusalem on Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address Video
See Max Blumenthal’s shocking footage of the reaction by some Israelis and American Jews in Jerusalem to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world. Co-produced by Joseph Dana, aka Ibn Ezra: ibnezra.wordpress.com and Mondoweiss, a blog that covers the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Middle East from a progressive Jewish perspective.
video no longer available
Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv — The Sequel to the Video YouTube Censored
Max Blumenthal on Jul 12, 2009
Max Blumenthal and Jesse Rosenfeld interview young Tel Aviv residents about Iran, Obama and right-wing laws limiting the speech rights of their Palestinian-Israeli neighbors. The shocking responses reflect the deepening of racist and authoritarian trends in Israeli society. This is the sequel to “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem,” the video banned by YouTube, Vimeo and the Huffington Post after topping 400,000 hits.
What did he say?
Jewish Peace News
June 6, 2009
Below is a selection of views-from-the-left of US President Obama’s June 4th speech at Cairo University.
Joel Beinin, who is one of our contributing editors, commented on the talk by email communication for the Jewish Voice for Peace http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/, “a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights. We support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.”
The second, quite critical account comes by email communication from veteran Israeli peace activist and analyst, Reuven Kaminer.
Three additional Israeli academics and activists, Nurit Peled, Neve Gordon and Ilan Pappe, commented on the speech at the request of the Russel Tribunal on Palestine. For full information on the Russel Tribunal see: http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.net/. The Tribunal is “a civic initiative promoting international law as the core element of the Israeli-Palestinian issue” and commenced following “an appeal from Ken Coates, Nurit Peled, and Leila Shahid, and with the support of over a hundred well-known international personalities. … Through a decentralised functioning, the organisation of public sessions and other public events, the organisation of a Russell Tribunal on Palestine is designed as a large communication event, with widespread media coverage over the tribunal and its outcomes. Indeed, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine having no official mandate, its impact rests on its ability to mobilise public opinion, so that the latter puts pressure on governments to obtain that they change their policies in the ways that are necessary to reach a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
The last piece is a letter (by email communication) to supporters of Code Pink (http://www.codepinkalert.org/) “a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement” of “people who want to influence a shift in the focus of world society from militarism to life-affirming endeavors”. Code Pink delegations are currently in Gaza, Egypt and Israel; their partner in Israel is the Coalition of Women for Peace (http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english) with which they are co-organizing “10 Days of Activism Against the Siege on Gaza”.
Jews Gone Wild: Why Camcorders and Booze Don’t Mix
By Benjamin L. Hartman, Haaretz Correspondent
June 07, 2009 ” Haaretz”
The night before Barack Obama thrilled Cairo, two cameramen strolled through downtown Jerusalem and filmed a handful of drunken American kids doing their best David Duke impressions. Forty-eight hours later, the video has gone viral, linked from a hundred political blogs, and is circling the internet at a critical velocity on a mission to humiliate the Jewish people.
As someone who lives on and off in the American bubble in Tel Aviv and came to Israel on a Birthright tour like some of the kids in the video, this is embarrassing, shocking, bizarre, but familiar. And as someone who spent many nights grimacing at similar overheard conversations from American Jews in town for the week from Long Island, the booze-fueled hubris and uber-Zionism is not so strange at all. In the Jewish homeland for the first time, on a free trip, fleetingly experiencing a place gripped by a visceral realism and powerful sense of purpose, it’s easy to let the beer overtake you.
While documentary filmmaker Max Blumenthal rejects this argument (“No amount of alcohol could make me express opinions that were not authentically mine,” he says. “If anything, alcohol is a crude form of truth serum that lubricates the release of closely held opinions and encourages confessional talk.”), many American Jews understand how hubris and chutzpah can flow much freer in Israel. Spared the political correctness, decorum and social morays of America (or Britain, South Africa or Australia), many find that they walk taller, step louder, and even sprinkle their speech with words they’d never say back home.
Not to excuse the behavior of those in the video, I don’t believe this idiocy reflects the values of young American Jews or their opinions on Obama, but rather the way that Israel, in particular Jerusalem, can radicalize the young to the left or the right. It also proves (once again), that fools and alcohol and camcorders do not make a good match.
What hate? Young Israelis discuss Obama’s speech in Cairo
June 09, 2009
In response to the video by Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana that I mentioned in my blog
(http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/aliyahmajor ), I decided to make my own video.
I asked some of my fellow students at Bar-Ilan University what they thought of Obama’s speech. Everyone in the video is a first or second year student of Political Science and\or Communications.
Not surprisingly, all of the students had different things to say. Some liked Obama more, some liked him less, but they all had complex opinions that were based on legitimate facts and ideas. Not one of them made a racist comment.
I think that this video shows how wrong Dana and Blumenthal are. Israelis come in all colors, and have opinions as varied as those found in America.
from the archives: