Jewish refugees are our ‘knockout punch'(updated)

 The Jewish refugees message has been tested in Stavanger, on the west coast of Norway

 Contrary to what you might believe, not every Norwegian takes a dim view of Jews and Israel. The country has a dedicated band of philosemites, Med Israel for Fred (MIFF), trying to change the discourse. And guess what? The plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is their ‘knock-out punch’. David Weinberg writes about his meeting with MIFF activists in the Jerusalem Post: (with thanks: Gavin)

Update:Evelyn Gordon in her Commentary blog connectsWeinberg’s article to the visit to Israel of Dr Qanta Ahmed, the daughter of refugees from the 1947 Indian Partition: ” While she never says it explicitly, the implication is clear: The
Palestinians’ current plight is due less to Israel’s creation than to
their own insistence on living in the past, and Arab countries’
insistence on keeping them there.”


David Weinberg writes in the Jerusalem Post:

“Believe it or not, Israel really does have many devoted
friends out there. I was so impressed.

“I was even more impressed by the
sophistication of MIFF’s approach to hasbara (public

“Norwegian MIFF activists have learned that it is simply not
enough to explain Israel’s security dilemmas or to revisit Israel’s diplomatic
generosity toward the Palestinians. What’s needed is a much more basic
restatement of Israel’s cause and purpose: Israel as a grand historic reunion of
people and land, as a shelter for the Jewish People, and as a just and moral
actor in the medieval and violent Arab Middle East.

important in this regard is education of the non-Jewish public about the plight
of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Nobody knows about the hundreds of thousands
of Jews who were expelled from Arab lands and absorbed by Israel, and when they
learn of this it dramatically changes the discourse. As opposed to a
conversation about Palestinian rights vs Israeli security, the conversation
becomes a debate about a balance of rights: about Israeli/Jewish rights and
Palestinian/Arab rights.
(My emphasis – ed)

“This evens out the playing field, and forces
people to think about justice for Israel,” says Odd Myrland, MIFF’s erudite,
veteran ideologue.

“We’ve extensively tested this messaging over a long
period of time in Stavanger [a city on the southwest coast of Norway], and it is
a bombshell.

“Jewish refugees from Arab lands is our successful knockout
punch. We mustn’t ignore this important issue.”

Read article in full 

Let’s reframe the debate


  • yes, it is. The phrase was used by a Norwegian sympathizer of Israel.

  • Seems an unfortunate turn of phrase to use when it comes to setting the record straight about the Jewish connection to Israel and the broader region.


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