Yesterday I posted a response to a JPost article written by Jeff Halper head of Israel Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an Israeli based, anti-Israel NGO. Halper talked about an unpleasant experience he had with Professor Steinberg of NGO Monitor and used it to point out that there was more than one correct way to be Pro-Israel.
In my response Hey Jeff Halper There are WRONG ways to Be Pro-Israel I pointed out that his version of the the events didn’t seem like the Steinberg that spent a few Shabbos’ at my shul. I also pointed out that Halper’s article attacked Steinberg but didn’t answer any of the facts that NGO monitor had published about him or the ICAHD. Things like partnerships with anti-Israel organizations, calling Israel an apartheid state, blaming Israel for the break up of Oslo –etc.
Today, to my Surprise I received an E-mail from Jeff Halper and just as he does with Professor Steinberg he attacks me but does not refute any of the facts I laid out regarding the anti-Israel Organization which he runs. Below is his letter to me and my response back.
From: Jeff Halper to you
Subject :What? I have no idea who you are — your blog carries no name, and its hard to talk to someone hiding behind some cute “yid” name — but if you took the time to write a long entry in your blog in me and ICAHD, the least you could have dome, even for your own edification, is to ask me what I think of what the NGO Monitor writes. I’m very easy to find — on our ICAHD website, for example. As to how “gentle” Steinberg is, let me share with you an e- mail I received in response to my article: “I’ve had my own first-hand experience with Gerald Steinberg and his organization, NGO Monitor. Actually, Jeff is much too kind. Steinberg is the kind of person who, if he could get away with it, would hire hit men to kill his enemies. I don’t say this lightly. He is a toxic, truly vicious man who has no qualms about behaving criminally to see that he gets his way. Beware of him. I’m not saying that lightly.” The world might, just might be more complex than you think. You can have your opinions, of course, but if you blare them out in a blog to thousands of readers (even if anonymously), don’t you want to be sure you’re saying the most intelligent, nuanced, constructive things possible — especially if the future of Israel seems important to you? I might be a “wrong” Israel, but I am an Israeli, and not a “yid.” Just that should earn me a fair hearing.
Thanks for your email. My name is Sammy as it says on my site. Again you knock me for posting on my website but you don’t refute anything that I said about your organization. Were any of the references wrong? Were any of the associations between ICAD and other organizations associated with Hating Israel Wrong? I stand by what I said. You used the JPost forum to attack Gerald Steinberg Personally–but you didn’t address any of the NGO monitor’s Data. Believe me I understand the nuances….I also understand something that you don’t– based on your writings–The truth. I have read interviews where you blame the collapse of Oslo on Netenyahu…he wasn’t even Prime minister at the time…oh– and everyone else involved blame it on Arafat…You claim that the “occupation” became bloody after Oslo..are you talking about all of the Homicide Bombings at weddings, and Passover Seders? Are you talking about the Blood of Dr. Applebaum and his daughter spread all over a coffee shop the night before her wedding? How bout the Kids blown up on school buses in Jerusalem? Please don’t talk about bloody Occupation…remember Arafat was offered 97% of the West BankTemple Mount and his answer was the Intifada. AND the You say that Zionism does not recognize the existence of other people…SHOW ME. Zionism is just another name for the Jewish love of the Holy Land– It Comes from the Torah. The Torah specifically calls for us to love other people. Do you know how many sacrifices we were commanded to make on Sukkot according to the Torah? 70 The reason for the 70 was because there were 70 nations in the world and we made a sacrifice in honor of every nation. You say that Israel is an apartheid state? You can pray according to any faith in Israel …have you read what is happening to Christians in Gaza? Do you know it is against the law to have a Christmas tree in the moderate country of Saudi Arabia? Do you really believe all that crap, or are you just trying to impress the stupid fairy? I could go on for years but my fingers are getting tired and it is clear that any connection between your fantasy reality and the truth is purely coincidental. If you decide to answer me back PLEASE use facts not this bull crap about me not understanding nuances—remember, it is a bit disingenuous for someone to accuse another of not understanding nuances when they can’t tell the moral difference between blowing up a hotel during an crowded Passover Seder and the destruction of an empty house. Warm Regards and an Early good Shabbos Sammy
Professor Steinberg Posted a Response to Halper on the Jpost site
‘Coffee break’, Letters to the Editor, Jerusalem Post, August 30 In “There’s no single, correct way to be pro-Israel” (August 29) Jeff Halper presented a creative and self-important version of a 30-second conversation. Our differences are far more substantive than can be bridged over a cup of coffee. Halper runs ICAHD – a fringe anti-Israel NGO funded by the European Union under the mislabeled “Partnership for Peace” program. He speaks in churches around the world calling for anti-Israel boycotts, where he stands alongside and gives a Jewish stamp of approval to Naim Ateek, the head of Sabeel – an extremist whose anti-Semitic rhetoric includes referring to Israel as a “daily crucifixion.” In addition, two ICAHD officials are speaking at this week’s UN/EU NGO Israel-bashing “conference” in Brussels. When Halper and ICAHD stop their EU-funded demonization, he will get his coffee. GERALD M. STEINBERG Executive Director NGO Monitor Jerusalem