“Israel’s Jewish Defamers.” CAMERA goes after Ha’aretz and Progressive Jews at NYC conference

CAMERA asks recipients to “share this invitation with people committed to fair and factual reporting about Israel and the Middle East,” which obviously means Muzzlewatch readers.


They used to call Jewish critics of Israeli human rights violations self-haters. Now the new term is “Israel’s Defamers.” It works. It rhymes with self-haters. And it allows a notoriously right wing Jewish media watchdog group, CAMERA, to demonize and blacklist an entirely different group of Jews, those who speak the radical notion that Israel must treat Palestinians as full human beings if it ever, ever wants to see peace or security.

CAMERA chief gadfly and keynoter Andrea Levin will have plenty to talk about when she takes on the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which provides often remarkable coverage of life under occupation. Recently, their chief Palestinian affairs writer Danny Rubinstein caused a big stir in the UK when he refused to back off from using the word “apartheid” to describe the situation in Israel and the territories.

In fact, recently, Ha’aretz, the NYT of Israel, went one step further and published this remarkable editorial, saying:

The de facto separation is today more similar to political apartheid than an occupation regime because of its constancy. One side – determined by national, not geographic association – includes people who have the right to choose and the freedom to move, and a growing economy. On the other side are people closed behind the walls surrounding their community, who have no right to vote, lack freedom of movement, and have no chance to plan their future. The economic gap is only getting wider and the Palestinians are wistfully watching as Israel imports laborers from China and Romania. Fear of terrorist attacks has transformed the Palestinian laborer into an undesirable.

We can all sleep well at night knowing that CAMERA wants to put the kabosh on these kinds of Jews (Israelis, no less.)

CAMERA writes:The influence accorded by the media to prominent Jews who defame Israel raises unique challenges for the Jewish community and the general public. Such individuals are frequently featured and quoted in news and commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict and all too often have their assertions taken at face value in light of their personal background, with no effort made to check the factual basis of their accusations. This conference seeks to explore the nature, prevalence and roots of the phenomenon and to encourage open and full discussion of the imperatives of accuracy in discourse about the Middle East.Program Highlights:Welcome from CAMERA
Eli E. Hertz, CAMERA Chairman

Israel’s Ha’aretz Newspaper: The Global Impact of Local Bias
Andrea Levin, CAMERA Executive Director

New York & London Reviews of Books: Elite Journals Fostering Elite Bias
Alex Safian, CAMERA Associate Director

Jewish Defamation of Israel: Roots, Rationales and Ramifications
Panel Discussion with:
Dr. Kenneth Levin
Cynthia Ozick
Professor Alvin Rosenfeld
Moderator: Professor Edward Alexander

5:30-7:30 (Optional)
Letter-Writing Workshop: How to Write Effective Letters that Get Published!
Lee Green, Director of CAMERA’s National Letter-Writing Group
Includes light dinner.
- Hone your powers of persuasion.
- Learn the simple techniques that will get your letters published.
- How to Go on the Offensive.
- How to Play Defense: Snappy answers to tough questions.

Registration Fee:
CAMERA Members: $30
General Admission: $40
Students: $10
Includes light refreshments
Letter-Writing Workshop: Additional $12
Includes light dinner

To Register:
Please send names of all attendees, full mailing address, e-mail and phone number to conference@camera.org or call .

Israel’s Jewish Defamers:
The Media Dimension

Sunday, October 21st
noon – 5pm

At the Park Avenue Synagogue
50 East 87 Street
New York, NY 10128
(for out-of-towners making hotel reservations, this is the upper eastside)

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Edward Alexander is professor emeritus of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of numerous books, including The Jewish Wars: Reflections by One of the Belligerents; Irving Howe -Socialist, Critic, Jew; The Holocaust and the War of Ideas; and, most recently, The Jewish Divide Over Israel: Accusers and Defenders, co-authored with Paul Bogdanor.

Lee Green is the founding director of CAMERA’s National Letter-Writing Group, which has thousands of activist members in all 50 states and 13 countries. Her letters have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Harvard Magazine, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Raleigh News & Observer, Palo Alto Daily News and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. A graduate of Brandeis University, Lee is also a life member of Hadassah and serves as Treasurer for American Friends of Shemesh, the organization for Jewish-Arab Friendship in the Galilee.

Andrea Levin is National President of CAMERA. She writes and lectures widely on media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on public opinion. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as the Boston Globe, Jerusalem Post, National Post, International Herald Tribune, New Republic, Editor and Publisher, Commentary, Jewish newspapers nationally and others. Ms. Levin is a former associate editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She holds degrees from Gettysburg College and the University of Pennsylvania and has done graduate work at Harvard University.

Kenneth Levin, a psychiatrist and historian, is the author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of A People under Siege. He is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has taught at various psychoanalytic training institutes in Boston and maintains a private practice in psychiatry. His previous books include Freud’s Early Psychology of the Neuroses: A Historical Perspective and Unconscious Fantasy in Psychotherapy. Dr. Levin has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A./M.A. in English language and literature from Oxford University, an M.D. from Penn and a PhD. in history from Princeton University.

Cynthia Ozick, a native of New York City, is internationally acclaimed for her many works of fiction and criticism, which have been translated into thirteen languages. Among her best known works are The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories, The Messiah of Stockholm, Fame & Folly, and Puttermesser Papers. Her classic novella, The Shawl, was produced for the stage in New York, directed by Sidney Lumet. Ozick’s many awards include a Guggenheim fellowship and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Her articles on Judaism and Israel have been published in Commentary, The New Republic and Forward, among others.

Alvin H. Rosenfeld is Professor of English and Jewish Studies and Director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is the author of numerous scholarly and critical articles on American poetry, Jewish writers, and the literature of the Holocaust, including “‘Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism.” Indiana University Press published his Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel (co-edited with Irving Greenberg), A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature and Imagining Hitler. With his wife, Erna Rosenfeld, he translated Gunther Schwarberg’s The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm, a book on Nazi medical atrocities. His The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature is forthcoming. He is also editor of a series of books on Jewish Literature and Culture published by Indiana University Press. Mr. Rosenfeld has lectured widely in America, Europe, and Israel.

Alex Safian is Associate Director and Research Director at CAMERA. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the San Diego Union Tribune, the Middle East Quarterly, the Jerusalem Post, as well as in other newspapers across the United States. Dr. Safian is a graduate of Columbia University and holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard.

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