11 thoughts on “Talking Refugees in Jaffa

  1. Stewart Mills

    Quite a good selection of positions.

    It is good to see the work of Zochrot [“Remembering”]


    It is beautiful to see those interviewed who were open to take in refugees whether from Africa or those displaced from Jaffa. It is sad and ironic to see those against taking in refugees from Africa or the original inhabitants of Jaffa – especially given the obvious history of Jewish people and the wisdom of the Torah:

    “And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19)

  2. Y. Ben-David

    Your posting of this piece of propaganda has certainly clarified in my mind where you stand on issues regarding Israel….you are not simply “a rabbi concerned about Arab-Israeli peace” or “someone working for Palestinian self-determination” or “advocating equal rights for Israeli Arabs”. You are an anti-Zionist.
    This clip is nothing more than a bad joke. How many random people did they stop in the street laughed when asked about the “return of the refugees” to Yafo? I would guess 90-95% as a conservative guess. Of course, we don’t see them in the clip. Instead we see them repeating over and over the clip of the fellow who says “the matter is complicated”. And we see the girl with the blank look on her face who says “why not, let’s bring them back”. Did Zochrot ask if she is willing to give her house to them?
    NONE OF THE EXISTING POLITICAL PARTIES IN ISRAEL-including Left-wing MERETZ supports implementing a “Palestinian Right of Return”. Big hearted Leftists like Yossi Beilin and Yossi Sarid are willing, as a maximum, to give huge compensation to the refugees for lost property (even though the Palestinians started the war) and are prepared to let a “symbolic” number of some thousands back into Israel (who will decide who the lucky ones are?) in order to “assuage the pride of the Palestinians”.
    The Palestinians have NO right of return . I know you claim such a thing is “rooted in international law”. I have never heard of such a thing. All I know is that the UN General Assembly passed NON-BINDING Resolution 194 which says that refugees can return. But this is not “international law”. Unless you are claiming that the Germans expelled after World War II from Czechoslovakia, East Prussian, Pomerania and Silesia can return to Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic, and I haven’t
    heard anyone say such a thing. Also the millions of Muslims who fled India and Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan in 1947 have never claimed they have a “right of return”.

    By taking the positions you do, you have removed yourself from the Israeli political discourse and placed yourself on the very fringes of the Jewish world. I was under the impression that the Reconstructionist Movement was pro-Zionist, I heard that Mordechai Kaplan was, but I see you are anti-Zionist. I looked at the Reconstructionist web-site and although Israel is not a major subject there, as compared to the Reform and Conservative Movements, I didn’t see any out-and-out anti-Zionist opinions expressed. If indeed there is widespread anti-Zionist feeling amongst the movement’s rabbis and leaders, that can explain why the movement has not succeeded in spreading out in North America to any great extent and failed to establish more than a couple of congregations in Israel. You are simply marginalizing yourselves.

    1. Stewart Mills

      Y Ben David,

      Shalom brother.

      It saddens me to read your piece. Why do you attack with such a fury? Where is the love and mystery of G_D? Where does your certainty come from? The piece posted was created by Zochrot an Israeli advocacy group. What can be learnt from this piece? Can we agree that people have different perceptions of steps necessary towards resolution both within Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and abroad? Is anti-Zionist or Zionist a perforative term? How can we create a future that maximises the dignity of all the 11 million human beings that live in this region of Israel, West Bank and Gaza? Why is it important that we should acknowledge the catastrophe to Palestinian Arabs who were evicted or fled their homes in 1948 or 1967 and prevented from returning? Why is it important for Palestinian Arabs and the global community to continually remember the Shoah?


    2. Pablo Gomez

      Of course you are absolutely correct that it is not a representative sample. And although I personally do not think they can or should go back, I actually feel that this is the most Zionist video I have seen in a while. It is really heart warming to see that there are Israelis that have those opinions.

      Israeli right wing politics often remind me that our heart hardens too, so it is nice to see that there is a soft spot, even if in this particular issue I do not think it is realistic.

      Of course, if in your view the only way to be Zionist its by dehumanizing Palestinians, that is sad.

  3. Liz

    I thought this interview conducted by Zochrot was so interesting, because it shows us that the dialogue about Israel/Palestine is so much more alive there than in the U.S. It would behoove us all to listen to the folks who actually live there, rather than be manipulated by our media and other American organizations that have a very different agenda than ordinary people living the reality every day.

    1. Eric Selinger

      I agree, Liz. And I’d add, since I work at a university, that it would be wonderful for my Jewish students to see the range of opinions expressed by these Israelis. Many feel that there’s no place for them in the organized Jewish community, given their views on Israel & Palestine. I think they’d be pleasantly surprised to find that how at home they are among the voices here.

  4. Steve

    You say Nakba I prefer to sing Hatikva! I would say that is true for most of us who love Torah. So, go mourn your so called Nakba. While you do that I will be in Yerushalyim the capital of Eretz Yisrael sipping yayin and dancing by HaKotel!

    1. Stewart Mills


      Your comment is deeply offensive.

      When people mourn why do you celebrate?

      What does the Lord require – justice, love and mercy.

      The prophet Micah would surely weep at such selfishness.

      Where is your humanity?

      Is struggle everyday fighting anti-Semitism, and racial prejudice of any kind; how does what you have said sound to the ears of a ten year old child? What are you teaching the next generation? How does contempt, callousness and antipathy build harmony between peoples?

    2. Pablo Gomez

      Come on Steve, you can be happy about the fact that Israel exist and at the same time recognize that other human beings suffer.

      Or have you dehumanized the Palestinians to such a degree that their suffering makes you dance a little harder, and celebrate a little more?

  5. Alex

    The situation in Jaffa seems complex. There was a good piece in Ha’aretz magazine the other week about it. It’s good to see a wide range of views, such as what one can find at http://www.leadel.net which is a portal of different Jewish voices.


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