3 thoughts on “Why is PBS Afraid of New Israel Fund? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thank you for your site. Many think that Israel’s settlement
    policies has been bad for that country. I see it as imprecise
    to use the term ‘pro-Israel’ to identify defenders or promoters
    of that policy.

    For example: if I understand correctly, the first Bush administration tried to
    use American influence to force a settlement freeze, but was
    stopped by Congress. Perhaps Israel would be in a much healthier
    position today if the White House had been able to go ahead with that.
    Is it accurate then to say that Congress acted in a ‘pro-Israel’ way?

    Rather than ‘pro-Israel’, I think of the people you describe as
    ‘cheerleaders for Israel’ or ‘uncritical supporters of Israel’.

  2. Yes, the term ‘pro-Israel’ is imprecise. In the strictest sense of the term I see the first Bush and James Baker as being eminently pro-Israel as I also see myself. But generally that term is used to describe Israeli and American Jews who support a right-wing, Likud position on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. So the term has become shorthand if you will used to describe the world view of what I call the Israel hardliners. If you know of a better or more apt term, I’d be happy to hear it.

  3. Richard,

    Thanks for your reply.

    It seems to me that my comment and your response to it contain several different alternative descriptions that could be used. I just did a Google search for “uncritical supporters of israel” and turned up a number of hits, so I see no reason why ‘uncritical Jewish supporters of Israel’ couldn’t be used in place of ‘pro-Israel Jews’. Support for the policies you oppose is based in part on anxieties over Israel’s security. By using the term ‘pro-Israel’ to describe your opponents, I feel that you risk creating a subtle suggestion that your position is less good for Israel’s security than theirs. Since the term Israel is associated with the Jewish people in general (e.g., ‘people of Israel’ or ‘hear O israel’), I also feel that by using the term ‘pro-Israel’ you risk creating a subconscious suggestion that your position is less ‘good for the Jews’ in general. You could address the latter by using the term ‘Zionist’ rather than ‘pro-Israel’, although in this case (as your post also refers to NIF, who don’t sound anti-Zionist from the way you describe them) it could be better to use a modifier such as ‘right-wing Zionist’.

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