by Ronn Torossian | June 11, 2012 12:01 am
Sometimes when I read the news about Israel and the Jewish people, I think I am living on Mars.
– How is it that the International Olympic Committee can refuse to pay tribute to 11 Israeli team members killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games? 40 years ago in 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into a dormitory at the Olympic village where Israeli athletes and coaches were sleeping and took them hostage. After two of the Israelis were shot and killed, eventually another nine hostages were killed. Last month, the IOC rejected Israel’s request for a minute of silence at the start of this summer’s games in London, saying it had paid tribute to the victims before.
– Seems that as seems to be the occurrence worldwide, Jewish blood is cheap. At the time, the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes was not considered sufficiently serious to merit canceling or postponing the Olympics. “Incredibly, they’re going on with it,” Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times wrote at the time. “It’s almost like having a dance at Dachau.” There are many possible reactions the world can have to this clear slight – and one can clearly see a possible public relations crisis for the Olympics.
– Multiple media outlets report on “an Israeli university cancelling plans to hold a concert featuring Richard Wagner’s music after Holocaust survivors complained the performance would cause them “emotional torture”.” Wagner, the 19th century German composer’s was anti-Semitic and Hitler had strong affinity for his work.
– Only 70 years ago, 6 Million Jews were killed – and as a survivors organization said “This is emotional torture for Holocaust survivors and the wider public in the State of Israel.” An unofficial ban on Wagner, including a taboo in airing his music on state-owned media, predates Israel’s creation in 1948. The Israel Philharmonic under its former name, the Palestine Orchestra, imposed it in 1938 after Nazi attacks on Jews. Hitler was also believed to have drawn on Wagner’s writings in his own theories on Germanic racial purity, an ideology which stood behind the Nazis’ genocidal slayings in World War Two when they killed six million Jews across Europe. How is it any Jewish state could even think of allowing such music? Life on Mars couldn’t be any odder.
– “The Guardian” runs an op-ed saying: Israel turns on its refugees – which couldn’t be further from the truth. This is an issue of illegal immigrants – Not refugees? What country bordering Israel is there where these refugees are coming from?
– Israel needs to properly tell the Public Relations story that a hundred thousand African migrants in the tiny country of Israel is a tremendous number. Why should the State of Israel have the responsibility to absorb these people, who are illegal aliens and harming the nation in many ways. Unsurprisingly, the world is turning a blind eye to the fact that this is an issue of law not being followed – and similarly unsurprisingly, no one is calling on Turkey, Egypt or Saudi Arabia to accept these tens of thousands of people.
My Mom, Penny Waga, was an ardent Zionist who was born in a DP-Camp post WWII in Poland and raised me (and my sister) in a single parent home in the Bronx. Life was often black and white, and she taught us ahavat Israel and supporting Jewish issues was something we had to do – not something optional.
One wonders if my mother could today follow the news about Israel today if she would think she was living on Mars.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm and Author of “For Immediate Release”, a leading PR book.
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