Israeli TV campaign not just insulting to Israeli Americans

When I think about the ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes and construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I assume that part of the reason is lack of space in the land they already had.

You would think if the Israeli government were serious about peace, they would be taking a serious look at how they manage their population.

But no:

JERUSALEM: After a wave of complaints, Israel’s government has cancelled a public relations campaign aimed at encouraging Israelis living in the United States to return home.

The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered the campaign to be shelved after receiving a letter from the Jewish Federations of North America that said the message of the advertisements and videos was ”outrageous and insulting”.

Under the slogan ”It’s time to return to Israel”, the campaign suggested that expatriate Israelis and their children were at risk of losing touch with their Jewish roots and of being assimilated into US society.

The campaign, which was launched in September by Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, attracted strong criticism from Jewish commentators and activists in the US.

The Jewish Federations of North America emailed members, saying: ”While we recognise the motivations behind the ad campaign, we are strongly opposed to the messaging that American Jews do not understand Israel.

”We share the concerns many of you have expressed that this outrageous and insulting message could harm the Israel-diaspora relationship.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, of The Atlantic, magazine described it as a ”ridiculous diaspora-bashing campaign, which was meant to guilt Israeli expatriates in America into going home”.

The message of the campaign, he wrote, was that the US ”is no place for a proper Jew”.

(from the SMH)

The real message, actually, is to the Palestinian people whose homes are being destroyed illegally to make way for the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements, and those lucky enough to still have homes is quite clear – don’t get too cosy.

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