Israel Political Brief September 16, 2012: President Shimon Peres stresses family in Rosh Hashanah message to Diaspora, tolerance to Israelis

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Peres stresses family in Rosh Hashanah message to Diaspora, tolerance to Israelis

Source: JTA, 9-16-12

Israeli President Shimon Peres in a Rosh Hashanah message called Diaspora Jews “full partners” with Israel….READ MORE

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Israel Political Brief August 19, 2012: Nathan Sharansky: Iran fears delaying immigration plans

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Sharansky: Iran fears delaying immigration plans

Source: JTA, 8-19-12

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said the fear of a war with Iran has caused Jews in the Diaspora to delay their aliyah plans….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief May 6, 2012: Michael Oren: Israeli envoy calls for Israel support, respect for religious pluralism in AJC Speech

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israeli envoy Michael Oren calls for Israel support, respect for religious pluralism

Source: JTA, 5-6-12

In two speeches calling for increased Jewish unity, Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michal Oren urged stronger Diaspora support for Israel and greater Israeli respect for the diversity of Jewish life in America.

“Sometimes it seems that we, Israelis and American Jews, not only inhabit different countries but different universes, different realities,” Oren said in a May 4 speech in Washington to an American Jewish Committee gathering of about 400 young Jewish activists from around the world….

“Ironically, at a time when support for Israel in this country is at a near all-time high — indeed it’s one of the few truly bipartisan issues — we Jews seem increasingly divided,” Oren said in his Washington remarks. “Let me be clear: At stake is not merely Israel’s policies or rights of American Jews to criticize them. At stake is nothing less than the unity of a Jewish people.”…

“The pro-Israel person sees Israelis — left, right, religious, secular — not as some distant ‘other’ but as part of a whole — a dynamic, creative, rambunctious and precious whole,” Oren said in Washington. “The pro-Israel people are those who view even those who disagree with them politically as part of their people, as mishpochah,” or family….

“In Israel,” he said, “to be pro-‘the Jewish people’ is to guarantee respectful space for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel, to maintain a dialogue over the conversion issue, to enable open debate about those Israeli policies that impact all of world Jewry.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief April 25, 2012: Yom Ha’atzmaut: President Shimon Peres’ Independence Day Message

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Video: Peres Tells Diaspora ‘Reality Beyond our Vision’

The reality of Israel after 64 years of independence is “much more than the vision we once dreamed,” Peres tells the Diaspora.

The reality of Israel after 64 years of independence is “much more than the vision we once dreamed,” President Shimon Peres told the Diaspora in a special message Wednesday..

Yom Ha’atzmaut is not only a day of celebration but also one to reflect and realize the reality we have built is much more than the vision we once dreamed,” he said.

The President told Jews outside the Land of Israel that the “unyielding spirit which defines the Jewish people” drove Israel’s achievements since its reestablishment as a state in 1948.

“We returned to our homeland, rich in history, yet scarce in land, meager in natural resources. We had not choice but to invest in our greatest asset – our people. And we did, together with you….

“We have built an  extraordinary country, due to our extraordinary people. Today, we can proudly look upon our thriving economy, innovation serves as Israel’s heartbeat and creativity runs through our veins.

Yom HaAtzmaut begins Wednesday evening with the conclusions of ceremonies in observance of Memorial Day for Fall Soldiers and terror victims.

The President noted that Yom Ha’atzmaut also is “a  time to remember those who defended and served our country, many of whom sacrifice their lives for our young state.”

He praised what he said is the ”young generation’s commitment to our state, [which] is essential as our shared tomorrow will be defined by innovation. As  partners of our nation, your ability to secure a future defined by scientific development and discoveries is vital to our shared mission.

“Our mutual unwavering commitment to each other is crucial

Israel Political Brief December 2, 2011: PM Benjamin Netanyahu pulls ad campaign for Israeli expats that angered US Jews

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

 

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu pulls ad campaign for Israeli expats that angered U.S. Jews

Source: JTA, 12-2-11

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is canceling an ad campaign aimed at luring Israeli expatriates home that some American Jews have found offensive.

The ads, produced by Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, attempt to convey the message that the children and families of Israeli expats will not have Israeli identities if they stay in the Diaspora. This week, the Jewish Federations of North America called the ads “insulting,” and the head of the Anti-Defamation League said they were “demeaning.”

“The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption’s campaign clearly did not take into account American Jewish sensibilities, and we regret any offense it caused,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said in a statement. “The campaign, which aimed to encourage Israelis living abroad to return home, was a laudable one, and it was not meant to cause insult. The campaign was conducted without the knowledge or approval of the Prime Minister’s Office or of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Prime Minister Netanyahu, once made aware of the campaign, ordered the videos immediately removed from YouTube, and he ordered that the billboards be removed as well. The prime minister deeply values the American Jewish community and is committed to deepening ties between it and the State of Israel.”

Though the ad campaign, consisting of billboards and three videos running on YouTube and on some Israeli sattelite TV channels, is more than two months old, Jewish organizations appear to have been galvanized by a report on The Jewish Channel that was highlighted Wednesday by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in a blog post titled “Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews.” Goldberg called the ads a “demonstration of Israeli contempt for American Jews.”

The Jewish Federations then said it was sending a letter to Netanyahu protesting the 30-second spots and asking that they be pulled.

In one of the ads American Jews complained about, the young daughter of Israeli expats sits with her parents while video chatting with her grandparents in Israel, who have a lighted menorah in the background. When the grandparents ask the girl what holiday it is, she says, “Christmas!” The tagline: “They will always be Israeli. Their kids won’t.”

In another ad, a dozing Israeli expat father is deaf to his son’s calls of “Daddy!” until the kid finally says “Abba!” The tagline: “Before ‘Abba’ turns into ‘Daddy,’ it’s time to come back to Israel.”

“While we recognize the motivations behind the ad campaign, we are strongly opposed to the messaging that American Jews do not understand Israel,” Jewish Federations leaders wrote to their board of trustees. “We share the concerns many of you have expressed that this outrageous and insulting message could harm the Israel-Diaspora relationship.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, told Haaretz the ads were “heavy-handed, and even demeaning.”

According to the Haaretz report, Israeli’s Foreign Ministry consulted with the Absorption Ministry after receiving several complaints from American Jews and was told that the feedback from Israelis who live in the United States was positive….VIEW ADS

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