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.

Questions in the Aftermath of a Verbal Assault in Chapel Hill

May 2nd, 2016 by Mike Ross

Inappropriate attack

I am struck, by the overwhelming hostility of the detractors of Israel who used the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting as a forum to attack Israel. Laying aside the fact that, this was entirely inappropriate, what intrigues me is the irony of their expressions of concern for the Palestinians, while they actually contribute to their plight.

Here is a question: If you are female, Christian, Baha’i, or Druze, if you are gay, if you want an exuberant free press, if you wish to participate in truly free elections, or if you would like to openly criticize your government without restriction, in which country in the Middle East would you most want to live? For most if not all of you, even those with irrational hatred of her, Israel is the obvious choice. Furthermore the overwhelming majority of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel, when given the choice, would prefer to live in Israel, as opposed to under the Palestinian regime.

Instead of such pervasive attacks on Israel, which do nothing to improve Palestinian lives, but instead only lead to greater and more bitter intransigence, why not truly help the Palestinians. Encourage them to build a society and political culture with the institutions able to provide these inherent rights for their own people. Israel is not only a great example, but would be a willing partner for such an effort. A crucial step would be to accept Israel as the home of the Jewish people and to put aside dreams of destroying her. Ultimately imagine if the Palestinian leadership would say yes, and finally and sincerely accept what Israel has repeatedly offered: a state of their own in the West Bank and Gaza.

My final questions to Israel’s detractors and self-considered defenders of the Palestinians: Are you helping or hurting, when you demonize and delegitimize Israel and thus give sustenance to a desire to put an end to the Jewish state? Rather than denigrate a whole nation, why not help build a better future together?

Michael Ross

The writer is the chairman of Triangle Voice for Israel

Read more here: