Tough Times for American Jews
by Nitzan Horowitz


"'Please, don't write about this,' a dejected member of a Jewish organization said, referring to the small crowd which turned up on Friday in front of the White House for a pro-Israel rally. A month ago, a crowd three times larger in size demonstrated at the same site, calling for Palestinian refugees to be granted the right of return."

"These are tough times for Jews in America. The despair is felt across the political spectrum. Many astute, experienced Jewish activists in Washington feel totally lost. How are they to form an anti-Arafat lobby when the Palestinians are the ones who are dying? When debating with polished Arab speakers, how are they to claim that Arafat is attacking Israel, when IDF troops are deploying in all the villages in the territories?"

"The left and the right, along with Clinton and his successor in the Oval Office, face a changing reality. Participants at the pro-Israel demonstration staged across from the White House couldn't ignore the chanting of Muslim demonstrators who stood 200 meters away from them, demanding that the United States cease its support for Israel. Many such anti-Israel sentiments have been aired throughout America in the past two weeks. Years of lobbying by Arab organizations failed to galvanize the Arab-Muslim community in the United States as the Al Aqsa Intifada has done."

"During the last presidential debate, Bush mentioned discrimination shown by police forces in the United States toward Arab-Americans. His allusion was no accident. Take Michigan as an example: this state, whose electoral votes could be crucial in the November election, has a large Arab-American population."

Haaretz-October 17, 2000

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