There’s been a lot of talk about echo chambers this past week, so please forgive me as I add my voice. I’m trying to process so many feelings right now and I hope writing them out will help get me some clarity and direction.

The past 18 months have been filled with vitriol, hate, and fear. Although I mostly saw it from the Trump campaign and supporters, I certainly saw it from the Clinton campaign and supporters as well.

From my perspective, the Trump campaign seemed to be mostly about Hillary being a crook, undoing everything Obama has accomplished, and belittling minorities and women. As far as policy is concerned, it seemed to primarily include building a wall (and making Mexico pay for it) and banning Muslim immigration. Also something about taxes. My understanding is fairly limited, due to the previously mentioned echo chamber, as well as the fact that policy played little to no role in his campaign. I dialogue_circleread this very insightful article that helped me understand most Trump supporters, but I don’t think it really fits the people I know that supported Trump. My friends that supported Trump either haven’t showed up on my newsfeed or haven’t really posted about him. They abhore the way he speaks about women. They excuse it for the greater good of the Republican Party. The nominee of the Republican Party was going to get their vote pretty much regardless of who it was because they support Republican values and not Democratic values. Trump may not have been representative of all of their values, but he came closer than Mrs. Clinton. It’s hard for me to understand how they could separate those values and accept him enough to vote for someone who is Rape Culture Personified, but ultimately I need to respect their choice. They made their right choice and I could never hold it against them in the same way that I wouldn’t want them to hold my vote for Mrs. Clinton against me.
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I hear a lot of people criticising Liberals for being upset that Mr. Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. It’s ironic because it’s our fault. Had more Democrats turned up to vote in those crucial states the outcome would undoubtedly have been different. America is a democracy. The people spoke, and although the majority of voters chose Hillary, when you look at where the votes all came from it becomes pretty clear that the Electoral College is representing the will of the people. (This seems like a good place to add that I condemn flag burning. Seriously. Don’t be a sore loser against democracy. Next time get your friends to go vote).

It’s comforting to believe that the people who elected Donald Trump to the most powerful office in the world are not all, in fact, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic deplorables. Some, I assume, are good people. (You see what I did there?) I’d like to believe they are simply Republicans who stood by their party or people who are disenfranchised with the system and wanted an upheaval. But please don’t think we are being whiny crybabies for being sad and disheartened by the fact that our next president thinks that powerful men can grab women by the p*ssy.

President Elect Trump has said some hurtful and divisive things. And now he’s going to be hillary-story-647_111016115835president because enough people allowed him to say them. It seems like he even said some of those horrible things just to get elected. That hurts. We aren’t bitter because our candidate lost, we are heartbroken that people allow Trump to perpetuate his violence, fears, and intolerance. We need to accept and listen to the voice of our fellow Americans who support Mr. Trump. We need to understand where they are coming from and fix the problems that made Trump so appealing to them despite how awful he appears to be as a human being.

Finally,  and this part is of utmost importance, stop making fun of us for being afraid. A bully that has spent a year and a half making fun of us and inciting violence against us has been given executive privilege. To him it may have all been a funny joke that he didn’t really mean, but we don’t actually know that for a fact yet, and his more vocal supporters aren’t clear on that issue. So allow us (women, members of the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, and basically everyone who isn’t a cisgendered White Christian male) our fear that our rights may very well disappear over the next four years. It’s a very real fear and we’d frankly be idiots if we didn’t try to do something about it.

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A few weeks ago people started dumping ice on their heads to spread awareness for ALS and to encourage people to donate to fund research to combat this terrible disease. As you know from your newsfeed, it went super viral.

This video explains really well why the challenge matters. In sum, ALS is rare and terrifying. People don’t know about it and they don’t want to know about it. Because most people donate to causes personal to them, and pharmaceutical companies don’t have a big consumer base for it, it’s not a popular recipient of time or money.

The ice bucket challenge isn’t about people having fun and pouring water over their heads, it’s about letting people know ALS exists and needs funding. The campaign worked and raised millions and millions and millions of dollars. While it has nothing to do with ice water, it was a fun and gimmicky way to get people’s attention. It worked. People gave attention and money. Now more people know about ALS and there is more money for research. Success!

Then I saw a friend post this article from Time.com entitled “I Figured Out Why I Hate the Ice Bucket Challenge” and it made me just so sad. In it, Sarah Miller explained that although she enjoyed her frivolous weekend (her words) it was marred by irritation at people clogging up her newsfeed with ALS awareness. Sarah has finally figured out why she HATES the ice bucket challenge. She boiled down her upset to this:

At any given time, many people on the planet are enduring war and famine and violence. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that in the last few weeks the news been especially awful. Around 2,000 Palestinians and 66 Israelis have died in Gaza since that conflict flared up. In our very own country, a police officer shot an unarmed 18-year-old boy, six times. This morning, Sudanese rebels shot down a U.N. helicopter.

And here we are in America dumping ice water on our heads, which, I insist, is more than just harmless fun for a good cause. It is disrespectful to the literally millions of people in the world who are, as I type and you read, in actual physical pain.

To me, this is the utmost of ignorance and disrespect. On so many levels. She used the tragedies occurring in Israel as an example of why nobody should care about ALS. I live in Israel so many of the ice bucket challenges I’m seeing on my newsfeed take place in Israel. Something we pride ourselves on is our empathy. We cry for the Israelis murdered by Hamas. We cry for the Palestinian people oppressed by Hamas. And we cry for people suffering from ALS, even as we run to our bomb shelters. Who is Sarah Miller to tell anybody else for whom they may cry? What level of suffering must someone be in before they earn her sympathies? How should we decide who is worthy of awareness and charity? It is saddening and sickening to me that is it possible for someone to be so selfish and hateful and at the same time so self-righteous.

And then there is this:

Do I think that there’s another way that ALS could have raised all that money so fast? Unlikely. It’s certainly better for the ALS Association and the approximately 30,000 Americans who have ALS that this happened. That said, I shudder to think about what we look like dumping freezing cold water over our heads while so much of the world at this time is plunged into acute suffering over which they have no control.

Sarah Miller’s ignorance is most highlighted in the line “literally millions of people in the world who are, as I type and you read, in actual physical pain.” You know who suffers actual physical pain, Sarah Miller? Do you know who else is in “acute suffering over which they have no control”? People with ALS. Yet for some inexplicable reason you do not want people to raise awareness or raise money for this disease and your complaint is “what we look like”. (For the record you can be dignified and participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge without even wasting water.)

You hate the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge so much and would rather it never existed, that money and awareness had not been raised, because you don’t like how it looks and you don’t like that it clogs up your newsfeed? I live under the threat of rocket fire from people who have sworn to kill me and my family and wipe out my country just for being Jewish and I am nevertheless surprised by your capability of senseless hatred.

So while you go swimming and fly on airplanes and enjoy yourself while people around the world suffer actual physical pain over which they have no control, you can perhaps include in your thoughts and sympathies not just people suffering due to human evil, but also those suffering due to medical conditions that lack funding for proper research. The reason to hate ALS isn’t because it’s clogging up your newsfeed, but rather because it’s a terrible horrible disease. Perhaps if you donated to the cause it would be cured sooner and you won’t have to hear about it anymore.

Today I heard my fourth ever siren and I believe the experience may have fully integrated me into Israeli society after 10 years living here. (That and the fact that I have at least one genuine Israeli friend with whom I text in Hebrew).

For those of you living under a rock (and somehow managing to see this blog post anyway), Israel is once again under attack from Hamas. Hamas terrorists like to bombard Israeli civilians with rockets every once in a while while hiding behind civilian homes in Gaza. Those living close to the border have 15 seconds to get to shelter. We live far enough away that rockets make it out this direction quite infrequently and we have a full 90 seconds to get to shelter, which happens to be quite a long time. Protocol is that when we hear the siren we must get to a place of shelter as quickly as possible, and we have familiarized ourselves with the rules of what to do. We listen for the “boom” and then wait ten minutes for the debris to fall. Fortunately, where we live the “boom” is not a rocket hitting something, but rather the Iron Dome shooting down the rocket. The “boom” means we’ll be safe. While we wait out the ten minutes, we text and whatsapp our loved ones to let them know all is well and we joke around with our neighbors sharing our shelter.

Generally in a time of crisis I am extremely calm. I find panicking or freaking out really just counterproductive, and the same is true of the case of sirens. Yesterday I had a new experience which was far scarier than the actual siren. I only heard the “boom”. I felt a moment of fear that Israel had somehow not sounded the siren or I didn’t hear it. While I allowed myself to feel scared, I went online to check what my friends had heard. I learned that it’s possible to hear the explosion of the Iron Dome intercepting the rocket without being in the range of the rocket or debris. This greatly comforted me, but at least with a siren there is a warning that you are about to hear an explosion.

I was planning on going grocery shopping last night, but a friend pointed out to me that waiting until morning would be a better idea since the rockets had only been at night in our area so far. Accepting her advice, I headed out to the store quite early this morning so as to be able to return from shopping in time to start work. I arrived at Shufersol Deal in Yachin Center, along with a few other early birds, several minutes before the store opened. As we milled about outside the store waiting for opening, a siren began to wail. Being unfamiliar with the area, we didn’t know where another shelter was so we began banging on the door and calling (in Hebrew) “There is a siren! Open the door and let us in!” but the people inside only watched us. I realized that I was the calmest of everyone there. The man with a baby was franticly banging and yelling, which made more sense to me, but everyone else seemed more panicky than I believed necessary. That was when I felt super Israeli- to stay calm while being denied shelter during a siren and after the booms. To continue living our lives. Being outside during a siren and hearing the booms, knowing that these people would not allow us shelter, was truly terrifying. But life goes on. The siren ended after 90 seconds, we heard several booms, and a few moments later the store opened its doors. We breathed a sigh of relief, took a moment to yell at the store workers for not opening the door, and then went about our shopping.

When I got home it occurred to me how potentially dangerous that whole thing could have been. I called the Petach Tikva City (Iriya) and the man who answered basically laughed at me. He told me that there was no siren where we were, we were hearing a neighboring siren and were not in any real danger. He also informed me that if the store wouldn’t let us in we should have looked for a different place to take shelter and we should check online (in the 90 seconds we had) where there was another place of refuge nearby. At first I felt like an idiot, but then I realized that I was not the only one there. It wasn’t just me, the stupid American Immigrant, who ran for safety at the sound of the siren. It was the Israelis as well. It was the Israeli woman next to me who was screaming, not me. And now that I am fully integrated, I will do the proper Israeli thing and report this incident to every possible outlet in the hopes that something will be done to prevent something like this ever happening again.

Stay safe, everyone. We should only hear good news.

I have read about a gazillion articles lately about moms who have it all, can’t have it all, want to stay home, want to go to work, want to return to the 50’s, and you get the picture. I’m a working mom and most of these articles resonated with me in some way, be it positive or negative. I have a wonderful employment situation, bosses who are understanding of my needs as a mother, and a fabulous husband with a boss also understanding of his needs as a father.

The Father of My Daughter

The Father of My Daughter

The thing that makes me most frustrated about these articles is that the vast majority of them view working moms as the ones with the struggles. What about working dads? Those articles and the people behind them are one of the reasons we still have a struggle. If the dad is assumed to be working late every night and there is no expectation he’ll help out around the house or with the kids, it is not realistic to expect a mother to work full time and still manage the house and kids on her own and be happy doing it. There must be a partnership, which is not something acknowledged by many of the articles on the subject. I believe that working fathers struggle in the same way that working mothers do. They, too, must choose between taking that last meeting and getting home in time for dinner. Instead of one parent being “primary care giver”, both parents should be primary care givers. If all parents were assumed to have to choose between being with their families and careers, I think the workplace would be better (or at least more equal) for all parents.

But here’s the thing about parents: everyone is different; every mom, every dad, every kid, every family, every employer, and every employment situation. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to balance what works well for you and your family and your career. An article can tell me what the author or subject or Anne-Marie Slaughter think, but can’t tell me what is right for me and my family. For some families, having a stay-at-home parent is the way to go. Other parents prefer to get out of the house and have a career, or are forced by financial situations to do so. Ideally, each parent does what makes them feel fulfilled while maintaining a household, caring for a family, and having a successful career if they want one. This is what is called “having it all”, and it is subjective. It would be nice if articles would stop telling me what I should want as a mother.

Parenthood can be easily seen as a liability in the workplace. It means having responsibilities outside of work which are a priority over work; sometimes leaving early or taking sick days to be with a child, and less flexibility to work outside of work hours. Yesterday a friend sent me this gem of an article. It talks about how women (but I would venture it’s true of all parents) can be more assertive in getting what they need from their employers to allow them to have a successful career as well as a happy family. The author talks about one woman’s story, and is clear that this woman, who never misses a little-league game but works full time, works hard and extremely diligently at home and in her career, and couldn’t do what she does without a husband with flexible hours. The article was concluded with the following quote, which I found very powerful, if you substitute “mother” with “parent”:

“Ms. Uttech says she thinks — or at least hopes — that someday [parent]hood will be viewed by employers as an asset, as a source of leadership skills and other human capital. Maybe someday managers won’t just tolerate family responsibilities but seek them out in potential hires, she said.

‘Because I’m a [parent] I know how to multitask, and I have all these other skills I didn’t have before like juggling, mentoring, educating, problem-solving, managing,’ she said. ‘And I’m so much more productive now during the hours when I am working. [Parent]hood should be a feather in my cap, not a drawback.’”

A story has been going around lately about a nurse who decided to resign from her position in the maternity ward of an Israeli hospital because they would not allow her to store her pumped breast milk in the staff refrigerator. The irony of the staff of a maternity ward which claims to be pro-breastfeeding being made squeamish by breast milk is lost on exactly nobody. The hospital management was wrong, and the nurse should have been allowed to store her milk in the fridge.

I am very fortunate to work in an office where I have a space to pump for my 5-month-old, and bosses who are fully supportive. The other day, my boss came into my office and asked if I’d heard about this story, which launched a discussion about something that has been on my mind for a few years now.

In my amazing work environment my supervisors and co-workers are all supportive and understanding of my responsibilities and needs as a mother. Throughout my pregnancy and since my return to work, they were all so kind, thoughtful, and respectful of my needs and sensitivities. But I can’t help thinking: what if they weren’t? What can a worker do to protect themselves from an unpleasant work environment?

When I was first married,  I spent months trying to get a job dressed like a religious newlywed with my hair covered, and at every job interview was asked about my plans for children. Sometimes in a direct question,  sometimes with questions that skirted the issue. One place told me outright they would not hire me if I had plans to have a child within the year. Nobody even called me back. Within a week of getting a wig I got two job offers. Once I no longer looked like a married religious woman, the threat of leaving to have a baby was diminished and I suddenly became a potential hire. I knew what was happening, but I had no way to protect myself. I couldn’t prove that any of those places didn’t hire me because I am young and religious. But the worst part was, if I had taken legal action against them or made a public fuss, it would hurt me more than it would hurt them.

When my boss asked what I thought about the nurse that resigned, I said that even though she was completely right, she is now unemployable. She has told the public that if she feels scorned, she will not hesitate to take the story public and run her employer’s name through the mud. Who would want such a disloyal employee? I’ve heard of several cases in which disgruntled former employees sued for wrongful termination and then were not hired for future opportunities because it got back to the potential employer.

If your employer doesn’t pay you on time, or fires you because you are pregnant, or doesn’t let you store your milk in the fridge, or any other such infringement, what can you do? If you are asked illegal questions or discriminated against during the hiring process, how can you protect yourself? Has this ever happened to you or someone you know? How was the situation handled? What were the consequences (if any)? I’m very interested and curious to know how many other people have experienced discrimination or unfair treatment in the workplace and if anyone successfully fought back.

Mindy Meyer, a nice Jewish girl, is running for New York State Senate. Upon seeing her picture, I joked that she reminded me of “Legally Blonde“, but it turns out she actually was inspired by that story. Meyer is 22-years-old and has been interested in politics since she was eleven and a half. Her hot-pink website blares LMFAO “Sexy and I know it”, and says in leopard-print letters “Diva of the District”. Her sparkling slogan is “I’m senator and I know it”. Everything about her screams “I’m young and inexperienced!” Meyer wears her inexperience as a badge of pride. “I can tell you one thing,” she said. “I have no experience in corruption.” (I’m not sure if she is trying to imply that experienced senators are all corrupt, or just innocently stating that she is not.) She knows her audience is the youth vote, which is why she doesn’t mind having a website that looks juvenile and unprofessional. Mindy Meyer seems to have clear goals, and a desire to get things done. She wants to “crack down on crime”, specifically domestic violence, create youth employment programs, and ensure the right to choose where to send one’s children to school, but prevent women’s right to choose to birth an unwanted child. (It’s possible that I do not share her views on this last issue, but I’m trying to keep politics out of this…)

While I applaud Meyer’s initiative, creativity, and activism, I do not quite understand why she is running for senate at such a young age. Why does she not finish her law degree first? Why not get some experience in politics before going ahead and running for office? In the several interviews that I watched her give, she was able to clearly express her points, but was not as well spoken as she could be with a bit of experience under her belt. Perhaps running now is a way to get some publicity as well as experience, even in the event of a loss. Once she has more years behind her and has worked towards accomplishing some of her goals outside of the Senate, people will remember her as the spunky kid who tried to run for State Senate and, inspired by her passion to improve her district, will happily vote for her.

What do you think?

Yesterday morning when I woke up, my husband asked that I please not hate him. This begged the question of what he might have possibly done in the hour since I had last been up feeding the baby that might lead me to such harsh feelings against him. “Ichiro was traded to the Yankees. It’s not my fault. Please don’t hate me.” I told him he had nothing to worry about, my commitment to love him forever is stronger than my hate for the Yankees, and Ichiro is entitled to do whatever he wants. I don’t think anyone even remembers the last time the Mariners were good, and it’s his right to look elsewhere, even if he did choose the soul-sucking Yankees who represent everything wrong with Baseball and nothing good about America. Yes, I despise the Yankees, but I’m certainly not alone.

Of course my husband was surprised by my lack of upset regarding one of the Mariners’ greats leaving, and to the Yankees of all teams. After I considered it for a moment, I was also a bit surprised by my reaction. Alex Rodriguez still gets booed when he plays in Seattle, twelve years after he moved. He’s also on the Yankees. Ichiro played at Safeco Field the very day he was traded, and not only was he applauded for his years of service in a city that loves him, he got a standing ovation. Why was everyone so worked up and angry when A-Rod ditched the M’s, but so quickly forgave Ichiro for switching to our nemesis team?

The answer seems pretty simple: it’s how they did it. Ichiro simply walked across the field and donned a new uniform; still a good person, still loves his Seattle home. When A-Rod left, he claimed he still loved Seattle, even if we booed him. But we lost respect for him. Yes, baseball is how these gentlemen make their livings and money is a factor in where they play, but with A-Rod, it was such a fuss and all about the money. Ichiro left for the love of the game. He’s been on a loosing team for too long, and it’s time for a change. He did it tactfully and with grace. Who knows, maybe he’ll bring a bit of integrity to the Yankees.

My husband desperately wants to buy our daughter Yankees paraphernalia, which I adamantly forbid, as I am at least a third generation Yankee-hater and want my grandparents to continue to send presents. Plus something about the Yankees representing everything against the integrity of the sport. But now if I somehow loose that battle (not likely), and somehow a Yankees onesie makes it into our home (hopefully never), at least I know it will have Ichiro’s name on the back.

Ten Years After A-Rod Left Seattle:

I’ve never watched HBO’s True Blood, but after hearing a bit of buzz and reading this article, I watched this clip to see what the fuss was about that made the author so upset.

Marjorie Ingall wrote that she was disappointed with the show because the first reference to something Jewish, after having ignored Jews for four seasons, is a character chanting in what she refers to as “bastardized Hebrew” during a blood-letting/consuming ritual. She makes the case that the show is comparing Jews to vampires in several subtle ways, which is inappropriate given the Jewish history with blood libels.

While I think that most of the comparison is grasping at straws, the part of her argument that is weakest and actually even made me a bit upset is that the ritual is not chanted in Hebrew at all. While watching the clip, I quickly recognized the language of the chant as Aramaic. How embarrassing for Ingall. Perhaps next time she should do some research before crying “wolf” in her witch-hunt for anti-Semites.

Ingall’s little faux pas got me thinking about how Jews are represented in the TV shows I’ve been watching lately. It’s not clear to me why she was so bothered by a lack of Jewish representation in a show about vampires (especially when she got upset at the first reference because it’s insensitive to the blood libels to connect Jews to vampires). Many television shows include a token Jewish character. Often these characters are represented with some sort of (usually) inoffensive stereotypes, and nobody really feels the need to get insulted and point out the anti-Semitism of portraying a Jew as a successful doctor, lawyer, banker or physicist who still lives with his overbearing mother. Although I usually find humor in the stereotypical television Jew, I do not find a show to be lacking if it leaves out the Jewish guy.

In the past weeks, I’ve enjoyed all three seasons of The Good Wife (which I recommend, if you’re looking for a new show). One of the characters, Eli Gold, is a good Jew. When Eli was first introduced in the show, I admit that I was expecting him to be portrayed as rather sleazy. Like Ingall, I have a tendency to assume that when Jews are stereotyped on TV it’s going to be full of negativity and make us all look bad. But it turns out that not only does the show represent Eli as an upstanding, honest character with a tendency to lean towards the moral and correct path, they also include several references to the Middle-East conflict. The first time Israel was mentioned my heart almost skipped a beat. I was entirely certain that they would make Israel out be the bad guys. Much to my surprise, the writers managed to stay impressively neutral and portray both sides in what seemed to me a fairly unbiased perspective. The part of this that I found to be most incredible was the way that Eli’s character interacted with a leader of the Muslim community. When the characters initially meet, the Muslim asks Eli, a crisis manager, to help fix the Palestinian image following a protest in which things went awry. Eli responds, “You know I’m Jewish, right?” The two go on to work together, and in the end we see that Jews and Muslims can, in fact, overcome differences and get along. There is even another example of that in the same episode, but I do not want to spoil it for you, as it’s a great show and you should watch it.

But I digress. My point is that sometimes Jews are represented in television in a negative light, other times quite positively and occasionally not at all. There is no need to dig deep into the roots of the writers’ psyches to find some way of making them terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad anti-Semites. It’s a show about vampires, for goodness sake! It’s not necessary to play the victim and write a three-page article condemning the show for it’s use of Aramaic.

You’ve probably heard by now that Google is changing its privacy policy as of March 1, 2012. But have you read the new policy yet?

Google explains the new policy as an integration of all of their policies and products into one, so as to better be able to serve their users. I am one of those people who lets Google run my life. I have an Android phone, jumped on the Google+ bandwagon and I use Google products for just about everything possible. Like many of you, I have become pretty dependent on Google. Fortunately when I read their policy I didn’t think it actually looked so terrible as it has been made out to be. Especially because you can opt out of ads and set preferences to not save your search history. I’m not sure what the big deal is about these changes.

Yes, there are a few things that sound scary at first, but then I remember that Google already has all of my information (the new policy doesn’t give it access to more) and they do a pretty good job of keeping it safe.

This video, sent by a dear friend, sums up the issues pretty nicely:

(Note to Google: If you ever want to hire me to write content for you, y’all should know how to find me as you have my email address, phone number, GPS location, etc…)

In case you are not familiar with these advertisements that were aired in certain American communities by Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, I suggest you take a look.

These clips are fairly harsh, a bit exaggerated and certainly leave one thinking.
Of course any country with so many citizens abroad would want to campaign to bring their citizens home. I think the idea of advertising to Israelis in North America to return home is a good one. It shows that the government cares and wants them home. Israel wants back it’s inventors, industrialists and citizens in general. It makes sense to me, although I do not completely agree with the sentiments of the ads.

Having been fortunate enough to grow up in a terrorism-free environment, I am grateful that I do not fully relate to what Israelis go through every year on Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Remembrance Day). There are cultural differences between Americans and Israelis, so yes, there will be a barrier to overcome between an Israeli and American in a relationship- be it in Israel or anywhere else in the world.

As an American with a very strong Jewish identity, I find it problematic to blame America instead of the parents for a child not knowing it’s Chanukah. While assimilation is an issue not to be overlooked, that little girl’s parents could have easily taught her about Jewish culture and holidays. The American culture cannot be blamed for that- that girl wouldn’t have known about Chanukah (aside from sufganiyot and dreidles) even had her parents raised her in Israel.

What interested me about these short clips were the discussions they inspired. They really got a dialogue going, although probably not the one the Israeli government was hoping for. The Jewish Federations of North America were insulted by the ads, and the Anti-Defamation League found them to be demeaning. PM Netanyahu, who apparently had nothing to do with this, had the ads pulled following such negative responses. I’m curious what you all think about the campaign and the various reactions to it.

If you just watch the videos and don’t really think about their implications too much (as we are meant to do with television advertisements) I’m not sure they are really as terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad as Jeffrey Goldberg made them out to be in this piece, published in The Atlantic on November 30. Makom published an interesting analysis last week on the ads and Mr. Goldberg’s take on them, which I enjoyed and recommend.

According to my understanding, the adverts are meant to resonate with Israelis, showing extreme and exaggerated portrayals of what might happen if they do not return to their homeland. I understand that assimilation is a sensitive topic, which is why it may have struck a nerve and insulted or offended Americans, but that is just another one of the many cultural difference that separates Americans and Israelis.

“The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption’s campaign clearly did not take into account American Jewish sensibilities, and we regret any offense it caused,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said in a statement. “The campaign, which aimed to encourage Israelis living abroad to return home, was a laudable one, and it was not meant to cause insult…”

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