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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:54

Columnist’s anti-Israel tirade distorts truth

Written by 

David C. Friedman • Guest Columnist

Doug Wingeier’s op-ed published in The Smoky Mountain News on Dec.  25, 2013, titled, “Christmas ‘peace’ in the land of the Holy One,” (www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/12259) is an impressionistic and factually distorted presentation of classic anti-Israel bias bordering on a rejection of the Jewish state’s right to exist. 

 

In recounting his experiences traveling through Bethlehem and the West Bank, Wingeier promotes a distinctly anti-Jewish theological perspective negating any historical Jewish biblical connection to the land of Israel and demonstrates contempt for the modern democratic state of Israel. His offensive assertions include suggesting that security checkpoints are manned by “trigger-happy teenage Israeli soldiers,” and arguing that the ancestors of “Palestinian Christians” – and not Jews – were contemporaries of Jesus whose villages are now occupied by “immigrant” Jews. 

Mr. Wingeier’s omission of any reference to the historical Jewish connection to, and continuous presence in, the land of Israel, and the absence of any context for Israel’s security needs vis-à-vis the security barrier and army checkpoints are an affront to the Jewish people and an insult to the intelligence of your readers. 

SEE: Views on Israel based on life experiences

Wingeier further pumps up his anti-Israel tirade by embracing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, a fringe movement dedicated to undermining Israel’s legitimacy, while offering false comparisons between apartheid South Africa and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

It is unfortunate that instead of creating a holiday message in support of peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Mr. Wingeier used the opportunity to promote hatred and divisiveness among the two peoples and advance odious notions about Judaism and Jews. His unwarranted attacks against Israel contribute nothing significant to the decades-long debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and only serve to further embolden extremist voices opposed to a peaceful resolution between the parties. 

Friedman is the regional directorof the Anti-Defamation League, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

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