19 thoughts on “J Street Gets It Dead Wrong on Toronto Film Festival – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’m glad to see that you’re getting comfortable with BDS. But please be careful with the facts. Perhaps I missed something, but I am not aware of Israel actually sponsoring the City to City spotlight. It is funded by Canadian tycoons like the Aspers and such, and was clearly pushed by the Israeli embassy according to their own statements. I assume Israeli culture officials played some coordinating role, perhaps pitched the original idea to the festival and got the funders on board. But that is speculation. What we do know is that the TIFF is celebrating Israeli-Jewish Tel-Aviv, not spotlighting it critically, but embracing the city (which is virtually empty of Arabs) as an icon of diversity, in tacit support of “Brand Israel Campaign”.

    1. Thanks for that contribution to the discussion.

      The Aspers are an extension of the Israeli government in this & so many other things. In other words, they’re agents of the Israelis. Not as in espionage agents, but as in those who knowingly do the bidding of the government. I’ve read that the Israeli government provided actual funding for the Festival as well. But I’ll explore that claim & withdraw it if I can’t verify it.

  2. What do you think of Phil Weiss’s reading of this? Morally, I think you’re right (and Phil agrees with you on the moral aspect) but politically it might be the smart thing for J Street to do–posing as the “centrist”, willing to criticize the supposed radicals who go too far.

    Personally I hate that sort of politics (we see it in the Democratic Party all the time), but setting aside my feelings Phil might be right.

    1. Politically speaking I don’t believe compromise will ever get you anywhere. You just get dragged down so far into the muck that you can never pull yourself up out of it again. Honestly, if anyone doesn’t believe ethnic cleansing is wrong, why would you WANT to compromise to accommodate this thinking? Ask Neville Chamberlain how well that works out.

  3. “They are slow to realize that there are two legitimate narratives here.” Richard, would you explain to me the legitimacy of the Israeli narrative. It seems transparently clear that the “heroic” 1948 “War of Independence” was a brutal military conquest of another people’s homeland. I have never seen any meaningful justification of that colonialist and thoroughly racist aggression, settler colonization, and ethnic cleansing. Please explain to me how the Jews legitimately own Tel Aviv or any other piece of the stolen Palestinian homeland. “Redeeming our ancient land” and “God gave it to us” are hardly meaningful justifications. So what’s the legitimate Israeli narrative that explains the seizing of another people’s homeland, the theft of all their homes, farms, livestock, property and wealth, and turning the legitimate population of Palestine into refugees?

    1. Steve: I’m not going to wade into that one. The terms by which you’ve asked the question show you believe you already have the answer. I don’t relish the idea of trying to explain something to someone who already knows what he believes on the issue.

  4. Is Tel Aviv “contested territory?” It says volumes when even J-Street had to denounce the anti-Israeli Lunatic Left to retain credibility as a pro-Israel organization. Again, the lack of peace is not due to the occupation but due to Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist. We are still waiting for Arab acknowledgment Jews also have rights. To date there has been none.

    1. You’re within a hairs breath of losing yr comment privileges. Ad hominem insults go over with the Pipes-Horowitz-LGF crowd but not here. Read the comment rules about how to behave here or you won’t be commenting much longer.

      Grandstanding & scoring right wing pro Israel political pts are something you do at the above websites, but not here. You can disagree here but must do so intelligently & civilly. If you can’t go swim in someone else’s sewer.

  5. thanks for the thoughtful post! 🙂
    i’m just curious though why the endorsement of 170 plus palestinian civil society organizations of the original BDS campaign call in 2005 (reaffirmed on numerous occasions since then) didn’t merit the need to reconsider your position on bds, but it took the words of neve gordon and naomi klein? i’m asking this b/c it’s a reaction from some folks that i’ve always wondered about, so any clarification would be appreciated…
    also, i suggest that people who haven’t already, get acquainted with the actual basis of the unity of the BDS campaign website (bdsmovement[dot]net) as well as some of its key member groups: (1) PACBI; (2) Stop the Wall – (3) BADIL (can’t post the links but you can good them).

    1. “anti-Israel left” how nice. We have a rightist pro Israel troll among us. Those criticizing the Tel Aviv celebration at TIFF are not anti Israel. That is a lie. You are a liar & part of the smear industry. Write anything like this again & you’ll never write another thing here. You can disagree. But if you can’t stop yrself fr. lying then you’re unwanted.

  6. Just because someone calls themselves “pro-Israel” doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    [url deleted per comment rules]

    In the end, J Street is a great “hope and change” alternative to real Israel lobbying. Hope for terrorists and change that reduces the support for the only real democracy in the Middle East.

    1. I say anyone who is a pro-Israel apologist calling themself “Mossad” deserves the right to publish at least one comment here, even if just for laughs. But if you don’t read my comment rules & try to publish more tripe like this the welcome mat will be removed, Mossad or no Mossad.

  7. Richard,
    Are you aware that Jane Fonda has done an about face on signing the Toronto letter? I just read your comment there concerning Heir. Spot on concerning her claim of friendship with him.

    Check it out over on her blog. It’s the post after the one you commented on. She doesn’t seem to interact over there from what I could see. Just posts and then allows comments without commenting back.

    “Expanding the Narrative” is the title of her post. I think she is losing it.

    1. My God, the woman HAS lost her mind. She talks to one person & she’s in favor of protesting against the Tel Aviv celebration at TIFF. Then she talks to a Chabadnik & she does a 180. That’s often the problem w. actors. They’re ciphers and sometimes don’t even know their own minds. Any person who derives their ideas on the I-P conflict fr. a Chabad rabbi is simply sad.

  8. Program, Program, can’t tell the sides without a program!

    Roger Ebert just recanted his earlier NOT signing and has signed on. And the mayor of Tel Aviv is quoted by the Canadian Jewish News “He said that while the City to City program was initiated by the festival, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs was involved as part of its Brand Israel media and advertising campaign, which was launched last year.” So Cameron, whom I respect, was at best disingenuous when he denied that link.

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