Saturday, December 3, 2011


Two months after the Israeli Ministry of Absorption went viral with a set of ads that had an apparent dual purpose -- to warn ex-pat Israelis of the "dangers" of life in America and to insult American Jewry, our Jewish Federations of North America leaped into the fray. Apparently inspired by a report on the ads from liberal pundit Jeffrey Goldberg in his blog in The Atlantic, JFNA did, as is its wont, sent a strong letter to the Prime Minister. 

The ads were pulled by the PM on December 2, no doubt an immediate response occasioned by the JFNA expression of outrage (in which it was separately joined by an equally angry ADL. Seeing as the ad campaign, for which Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. apologized, was in its third month, the question does arise: "JFNA what took you so long?" After all someone is viewing anything and anything that affects us, no matter how obscure, and reporting it in Jerry's Daily Media Guide...but not this? Huh?

Within two hours of the Prime Minister;s announcement of the decision to pull the ads JFNA's Chair and CEO sent out their message of thanks and accepted credit (with "other organizations") for the PM's actions. Jeffrey Goldberg received no credit. So, two months to even appear interested in the ads, two hours to take credit for them being taken "off the air." Two months...two hours. shame.

And, in its letter to the PM, the Board Chair and CEO offered to consult on future marketing. As one of my friends wrote: "Just what the Israelis need, JFNA's expertise in marketing to Israelis."  And another: "It's good to know they answer the questions they weren't asked; now if they would only answer the questions they're asked."

Finally, JTA reported that "...the feedback (on the ads) from Israelis who live in the United States was positive." What a country...what a couple of countries.



paul jeser said...

Uriel Helman (JTA) offers a good perspective: "Anger over ad campaign missed the point" -

Anonymous said...

Pathetic "hey, me too" responses aside, where is JAFI once the powerhouse of Aliyah and Klitah and the once primary partner of the offending Israeli ministry? What are they saying to their shlichim? Is not defending the integrity and freedom of choice of all Jews part of the "peoplehood" agenda?