Show (and tell) trials
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Show (and tell) trials

We sometimes feel like Tevye: On the one hand, we can see the virtues of, say, contributing to the betterment of Palestinians – for schools that teach the skills to build a stable, thriving society, for example, instead of the hate that does not allow healing. But on the other hand, we do not see the point of funding entities that – though they may have some benign aims – foster that hate.

A case in point is a conference held by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, made up of three Israeli-Arab groups that take money from the New Israel Fund – which, we hasten to say, is in many ways admirable. The conference was billed as part of an 11-nation campaign about women’s rights in Muslim societies. But just a glance at the conference’s poster (see page 35) shows that billing to be a lie. Perhaps in some of the participating nations – like Turkey and Malaysia – such credible topics as honor killings and discriminatory laws against women were discussed. But the Palestinian poster – chillingly imprinted, to an American eye, with the numbers 9 11 2009 (meaning Nov. 9, 2009) – tells a different story: It shows a Palestinian woman being groped by an Israeli soldier. The superimposed words read: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her” – and then, in a repellent attempt at wit, “The occupation penetrates her life every day.”

We agree with the Reform movement’s resolution last week “that we be ever sensitive to the aspirations and just demands of Israel’s minority citizens.” But we should also be ever sensitive to the ever-present possibility that our monies, given from good hearts with good will, may be cynically used against us.

We feel similarly Tevye-ish about the plan to try the 9/11 suspects in a civilian court in New York City. On the one hand, all the world will be able to watch the United States practice what it has long preached, conducting fair and open trials – and on the other hand, all the world will be able to watch the defendants spew their hate.

RKBWe sometimes feel like Tevye: On the one hand, we can see the virtues of, say, contributing to the betterment of Palestinians – for schools that teach the skills to build a stable, thriving society, for example, instead of the hate that does not allow healing. But on the other hand, we do not see the point of funding entities that – though they may have some benign aims – foster that hate.

A case in point is a conference held by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, made up of three Israeli-Arab groups that take money from the New Israel Fund – which, we hasten to say, is in many ways admirable. The conference was billed as part of an 11-nation campaign about women’s rights in Muslim societies. But just a glance at the conference’s poster (see page 35) shows that billing to be a lie. Perhaps in some of the participating nations – like Turkey and Malaysia – such credible topics as honor killings and discriminatory laws against women were discussed. But the Palestinian poster – chillingly imprinted, to an American eye, with the numbers 9 11 2009 (meaning Nov. 9, 2009) – tells a different story: It shows a Palestinian woman being groped by an Israeli soldier. The superimposed words read: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her” – and then, in a repellent attempt at wit, “The occupation penetrates her life every day.”

We agree with the Reform movement’s resolution last week “that we be ever sensitive to the aspirations and just demands of Israel’s minority citizens.” But we should also be ever sensitive to the ever-present possibility that our monies, given from good hearts with good will, may be cynically used against us.

We feel similarly Tevye-ish about the plan to try the 9/11 suspects in a civilian court in New York City. On the one hand, all the world will be able to watch the United States practice what it has long preached, conducting fair and open trials – and on the other hand, all the world will be able to watch the defendants spew their hate.

RKB

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