Need more evidence that the Zionist lobby doesn’t want honesty, merely blind adulation of the Jewish state?
The ongoing controversy fueled by the opening of an Israeli soldiers’ photo exhibit last week at Harvard Hillel has prompted attention from national Jewish organizations beyond Harvard’s Jewish community.
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said he has asked leaders of Hillel—the national umbrella organization for Harvard and more than 500 other colleges and universities—to issue a statement condemning the Harvard chapter for “promoting programs and material that don’t promote love and respect for Israel.”
But Hillel Senior Communications Associate Danielle Freni said she had no knowledge of Klein urging Hillel to issue such a statement.
“Breaking the Silence”—a traveling exhibit of over 100 photographs and videos testimonials curated by former Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers—drew a crowd of nearly 200 on its opening night on March 1. Critics have said the exhibit portrays only the extremes of military life—such as a picture of an IDF soldier smiling in front of several corpses—and offers little context.
“By hosting this exhibit, Harvard Hillel only promotes enmity and hatred towards Israel and gives legitimacy to these sentiments by stamping its approval on the biased, distorted collage of pictures,” said Klein.
But Franklin M. Fisher—an MIT economics professor and chair of Americans for Peace Now, which advocates for peace in the Middle East and sponsors “Breaking the Silence”—said he disagreed with Klein’s view. Fisher said the exhibit does not constitute criticism of Israel, adding that “not all criticism of Israel is hostile.”