“Why Zionism Has Become A Dirty Word” was the subject of Tuesday evening’s satellite broadcast from New York’s 92nd Street Y shown at Temple Sinai.
How did Zionism, which originated as the national aspiration of the Jewish people, end up being so misunderstood, so mischaracterized and lamented throughout the world?
Cinematographer Oren Rudavsky, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman, Wall Street Journal Editor Bret Stephens were the guest panelists moderated by Thane Rosenbaum, director of the Forum on Law, Culture & Society.
Rosenbaum introduced the program by saying, “many people are now practicing their Zionism in secrecy,” aka Zionist Moranos.
What makes Zionism a dirty word?
“Where is the outrage from the world? Why isn’t the world outraged that Israel’s very right to exist is challenged?” Foxman asked. “The Chinese have done terrible things and no one questions their right to exist.” He named other countries as well.
The panel explored the pullout of settlers in Gaza. At first the world community was supportive of Israel and then it became quiet.
“When we lived in the Diaspora, they told us to go back to Palestine,” Foxman said. “Now that we are in Palestine, they are telling us to leave. It’s just plain anti-Semitism.”
Stephens said Palestinian women love their children and have the same maternal instincts as women of every nationality. Citing statistics, he demonstrated that the suicide bombers are frequently society’s outcasts controlled by evil men. They are drug addicts, mentally ill, and have other problems. These are not normal children with normal
Despite the differences of opinion between the panel members as to why anti-Semitism exists, they all agreed that peace will come to the Middle East and that Israel will continue to exist.
These 92nd Street Y programs explore modern Jewish issues with speakers the congregations could not otherwise afford to bring to Pittsburgh.
“My daughter Bari works at the Wall Street Journal. She’s at the event in New York and I’m here,” Temple Sinai member Lou Weiss said. “We’re learning together.”
The Bernstein Law Firm, the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and The Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh sponsored the program.
(Dev Meyers can be reached at email@example.com)