Thursday, September 03, 2009

Oh man...

So I was all set to write a post about how, on the list of "things about the state of Israel which upset me", a linkage between Toronto and Tel Aviv is about the last thing on that list, and I think protesting a focus on Tel Aviv at the Toronto International Film Festival is about the silliest thing I can think of. First of all, the politics are dubious. Secondly, if you're the kind of person who believes that Jews deserve a homeland but strongly oppose the oppression of Palestine, there needs to be some aspect -- here, now, in the present -- of your views on Israel that isn't about the occupation. Respect for films coming out of Tel Aviv seems like a good place to start. Thirdly, if we're going to connect Toronto with some part of Israel, isn't the cosmopolitan heart of the Jewish state the logical place to start?

So I was going to write all that (whoops!) and then I saw this via LGM -- it's entirely unrelated, but puts me in a less charitable mood.
The Prime Minister's Office and the Jewish Agency unveiled an aggressive advertisement campaign for the Masa project which is designed to strengthen Jewish identity among youths in the Diaspora and their bonds to Israel.

One video clip likens Jews who marry outside of the religion to missing persons, with fake notices and pictures which drive home the point.

As part of the campaign, similar "missing person" notices will be plastered on walls around the country.
See Dana Goldstein at Tapped as well.

Of my Jewish friends, almost none have settled with other Jews in their lives. In one case, a wife converted because it was important for the Jewish husband, but she surely wasn't Jewish when they started dating. And of course, some of my friends are themselves products of heterogeneous marriages. For their parents and spouses to be likened to kidnappers by the Israeli government makes me... well, I'm gonna go with "less charitable" and leave it at that.

Slightly more charitable update: I suppose the alternative explanation is that Jews who marry out of the tribe are runaways, not kidnapped, but frankly the entire analogy is just one big bag of fail -- consider how often, for example, runaways are fleeing abuse at home?

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