People from TV personalities to Mr. or Ms. Joe Average have their Top 10 lists of best movies, best jokes, best songs, best cities to live in, best places to visit, best places to retire, best beaches, best restaurants . . . the list goes on. But the Top 10 haters? The ADL has compiled just such a list: The Top 10 Active Anti-Israel Groups in the US.
The list contains some of the usual suspects, such as “Muslim Public Affairs Council” and “American Muslims for Palestine.” The tweak in the beak is this: The list also contains two Jewish groups: the Neturei Karta, mostly based in Jerusalem’s Meah Shearim neighborhood (most of whose residents resent the Iran-loving, terrorist-loving members of the Orthodox group); and Jewish Voice for Peace, a throwback to the American Council for Judaism, which tries to convince the world that it is more Jewish for being anti-Israel.
One might be tempted to say that the ADL is bending over backward trying to be fair — naming Jewish groups when, in fact, it is certain Muslim and other groups that spew the most hate against Israel — but, the truth is, anyone who is familiar with the two Jewish groups on the ADL list know that they qualify.
It is one thing to view the world not through Israel-centered lenses, to believe, for example, that it is not good for Jews to concentrate all of their population in one place; or to disagree fundamentally with Israeli policies. But it is something else entirely to act and speak in a way that seeks to harm Israel. That’s what Neturei Karta and Jewish Voice for Peace do. That’s why they are on the list.
The point of such a list, of course, is not just to tell us who’s who in the anti-Israel club, but to remind us of the need for eternal vigilance about Israel’s safety.
Especially in an age when it is easier than ever to disseminate hatred — check: Internet; check: 500 TV channels — it is important to be reminded that there are people “out there” who support anti-Israel terrorist groups, who compare Israelis leaders to Nazis’ (check: Gaza is the “new Auschwitz”), who call for the end of Israel, and who do not verify their arguments.
It is good to be reminded that ignorant or malicious people can do an infinity of damage. Check: Hamas missiles. Check: Hezbollah missiles. Check: Iranian nuclear centrifuges. Check: Syrian gunships that literally are loose canons.
When people organize in order to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — such as the sponsors of the advertisements on RTD buses — yes, it is good for us to be reminded. Yes, it is important.
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News