What Do You Mean by Right Wing?

Letter to the Editor

Published December 07, 2011, issue of December 16, 2011.

We were disturbed by the angle of your December 2 article “StandWithUs Draws Sharp Line on Israel,” which tried to discredit us as “right wing,” and absurdly asked whether StandWithUs should register as an agent of a foreign government even though your own sources emphatically rejected this notion. You even tried to imply that there is something suspect about our funding sources, though the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and Birthright Israel can hardly be considered suspect.

Your readers deserve to know the facts.

StandWithUs does not and has never advocated specific policies for Israel. Our work and our respect for Israel’s democratically elected government are not contingent on which parties are in power. Instead, since our founding, our mission has been to counter the vicious anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda campaign that was unleashed along with the intifada in September 2000. Our goal is to educate the public about Israel and empower others to educate their communities, to counter the demonizing propaganda and to make it possible to have reasonable, informed conversations about Israel’s policies on campuses and in communities.

Your readers should be informed about the virulence of the anti-Israel propaganda campaign. Israel is the only modern state whose right to exist is still questioned. If you consider support for the existence of the Jewish state a right-wing position, then indeed we are right wing. Yet you repeatedly confused anti-Israel propaganda with “reasonable criticism” of Israeli policies.

Similarly, your article misrepresented why we object to J Street. It is not because J Street “criticizes” Israel’s government policies, but rather because it furthers some efforts to demonize Israel, such as the notorious United Nations Goldstone Report, and it attempts to get the American government to strong-arm Israel into adopting specific policies that Israeli voters clearly rejected in their democratic elections.

It is a shame that The Forward, while seeming to congratulate our growth and achievements during the past 10 years, nonetheless chose to present our efforts in this stilted way.

Roz Rothstein

CEO, StandWithUs

Los Angeles, Calif.



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