Beware of Groups Who Demean Their Own People op-ed in The Durham Herald Sun

January 2nd, 2016 by Mike Ross

• By Michael Ross and Robert Gutman Guest columnists

The recent op-ed from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), “Jews should resist racism from North Carolina to Palestine,” is part of its long-standing effort to de-legitimize Israel. Other efforts have focused on undermining Israel’s intellectual and property holdings and to carry out disruptive street protests against Israeli artistic performances.
The current effort is more insidious and dangerous. They seek to conflate justifiable concerns about the status of people of color here in the United States with the treatment of Palestinians at the hands of allegedly racist Israelis. The authors wish to persuade champions in the social justice movement here in America to join them in their efforts to weaken Israel. These good folks should beware invitations to align with a group that seeks to undermine its own family.
The opinion piece starts with the very reasonable assertions with which we agree: All of us, Jews and gentiles alike, should treat every human being, regardless of group identifiers, with the greatest respect.
But, alas, it then quickly drifts into defamation of groups with which they disagree. They scold American society with hyperbolic claims of pervasive racism and repeatedly use pejorative terms such as “white supremacist.” They demonize anyone who views our society in other than narrowly racial terms and claim there is a ubiquitous “white supremacist right” which targets blacks, immigrants and those who appear Muslim or Arab.

Their deliberate distortions can only lead to an unhealthy splintering of our society’s cohesion. The editorial is a blatant effort to poison the relations between US blacks and their fellow citizens. We must always remember and need to reaffirm that we share so much more in common than that which divides us. Our country, though not perfect, has been able to achieve and provide remarkable benefits for ourselves and humanity, when it is united.

The article ignores the plain fact that the Palestinian fatalities are the consequence of deliberate and planned Arab assaults with knives, guns and stones, and the consequent Israeli defensive response. These attacks come not from spontaneous or random acts, but from the incitement by Arab political and spiritual leaders who publicly urge youths to kill and who give inspirational and instructional lessons on-line about where and how to attack civilians on the street. Palestinian leaders are continuing to promulgate the lie that Jews are threatening to defile al-?aram al-Šar?f, also known to Jews as the Temple Mount. As in the past this serves to incite deadly attacks against Jews.
Of great concern is the appetite of the authors to try to enrage U.S. blacks against Israeli society in general. This will fail. The largest numbers of visitors from America are Christian and at least 30 percent are groups from black churches. These visitors see the truth.
The op-ed doubles down on their efforts to enhance racial animosity by misleading their readers in stating: “58 Palestinians have been killed …by racist violence.” This serves to create the false notion that the responses of the Israel Defense Force to deliberate knife attacks are actually the result of color testing of the skin of the assailants. “Those of us who have visited Israel frequently know how well the communities of different color interact in that country.”
If helping the Palestinians is really the authors’ prime motivation, why not insist that the Palestinians accept the Two-State Solution along the parameters they have been repeatedly offered but repeatedly declined? Imagine if the Palestinians were to say “yes” to a deal, accept Israel as the Jewish State, and truly commit to an end of the conflict. Their opportunities for peace and prosperity would be endless. Should not that be the goal of a true Jewish Voice for Peace?
Michael Ross is the chairman and Robert Gutman the vice-chairman of Voice for Israel of the Triangle.

ADL CONDEMNS DURHAM CITY COUNCIL STATEMENT SINGLING OUT ISRAEL April 17, 2018

April 21st, 2018 by Mike Ross

This is a very important press release from the ADL. They condemn the inexcusable actions of the Durham City Council to single out Israel in its statement against foreign training of law enforcement agents. The city council’s tacit support to an ideology, which claims Israeli training of American police forces leads to police brutality against minorities is divisive and shameful.

ADL CONDEMNS DURHAM CITY COUNCIL STATEMENT SINGLING OUT ISRAEL April 17, 2018

Washington, D.C. – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply disappointed at Durham City Council’s decision yesterday to officially endorse a statement opposing “international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training,” as part of a one-sided and biased effort to single out Israel for criticism.

ADL Washington, D.C. Regional Director Doron F. Ezickson released the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed in the City Council’s endorsement of what is clearly a biased statement against Israel. The council has explained their statement as a stand against the militarization of Durham police by foreign entities—yet Israel is the only country referenced. The charge that American police exchange programs play a role in political militarization and oppression is malicious and false. This effort was orchestrated by one of the most vocal anti-Israel groups in America without any attempt to gain the facts from other mainstream organizations and law enforcement leaders themselves who can attest to the value of these exchange programs.”

ADL’s law enforcement programs, including those in Israel, are designed to equip officers with the knowledge, understanding, and sense of accountability necessary to help safeguard all of our communities and ensure that our civil rights and liberties are rigorously protected. Singling out training programs in Israel as having a negative, race-based effect on U.S. law enforcement’s conduct and practices is neither justified nor accurate.”

On April 12, Ezickson wrote to Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and the Durham City Council to express strong opposition to the statement.