Engaging with Israel


By Simon Rocker
May 11, 2011
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Sunday’s “We Believe in Israel” conference has been billed as the largest advocacy of its kind in this country. But if you go to the conference home page, you’ll notice that the word “advocacy” does not appear.

Advocacy has political overtones. The buzzword instead is “engagement”, which signals an attempt to appeal to a broader constituency, including in particular the so-called “huggers and wrestlers” - those who identify with Israel but may be critical of some of its policies.

One of the tracks on Sunday is being run by Makom, a Jewish Agency-backed organisation which specialises in education about engagement. It is headed by Jonathan Ariel, former UJIA director of Jewish renewal, who is coming to the conference along with another expat, Robbie Gringras, founder of the Besht Tellers drama group.For Makom's programme at the conference, see Robbie's Makom blog.

A recent research fellow at Makom, incidentally, was Dr Alex Sinclair, the author of a provocative article in Haaretz a few weeks ago arguiung that non-Orthodox Judaism was essential to challenge the “Orthodox narrative” in Israel which had been responsible for the “mistaken settlement enterprise”.

Meanwhile, back on the subject of Sunday's conference, the organisers must clearly believe in miracles: they have only allowed a quarter of an hour for lunch.

COMMENTS

Joe Millis

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 17:17

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The conference promises to be a great event. I wonder if the usual suspect will turn up and counter-demonstrate against those demonisers who say it is essential to challenge the “Orthodox narrative” in Israel which had been responsible for the “mistaken settlement enterprise”.


amber

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 10:16

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Funny you should say that Millis, considering you do nothing but attack your fellow Jews for not being as perfect as you.


Joe Millis

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 10:48

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Amber, will you be joining the counter-demonstrator outside the we believe in Israel conf, given that you appear not to believe in Israel as Jewish and democratic?
The only people I see attacking fellow Jews are you and your mates.


amber

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:31

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Millis

What?


amber

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:32

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Millis

Israel is Jewish and democratic. It is a beacon of light in a sea of Islamist and racist darkness. Pity, then, that you choose to do nothing but attack it.


Joe Millis

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:44

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"Amber", it may be now, but if it continues along the path it is travelling now, it will be neither Jewish nor democratic.


amber

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:55

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Absolute garbage millis.


amber

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:56

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Is that why you do nothing but attack Israel - to "save" it in your own egotistical image?


Joe Millis

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 12:41

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But "Amber" you are the one supporting policies that will lead to Israel's demise. Like Lukas, beneath contempt. Enjoy the rest of your break and see you outside the We Believe in Israel conf fighting the "good" fight agin those who want to help Israel. Don't forget the megaphone and the cheap insults.


Harvey

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 13:23

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Millis
All the people that mattered were on the inside . Were you ? If so what did you get out of it - apart from the double lunch bag and free pen

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