Ed Asner On Israel

Jason Maoz, Editor of The Jewish Press, writes:

Asner, this year’s Schwarzschild’s "honoree," is best remembered for his portrayal of lovably gruff Lou Grant on the old "Mary Tyler Moore" show (CBS, 1970-77) and later on "Lou Grant" (CBS, 1977-’82).

In real life he’s a hard core leftist who sings the praises of Castro’s Cuba, supported communist guerillas in El Salvador, lends his name to groups that imply U.S. governmental involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and in 2002 signed an ad opposing the U.S. invasion of Al Qaeda-harboring Afghanistan and decrying "the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration .[whose] brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines to Palestine where Israeli tanks and bulldozers have left a terrible trail of death and destruction."

Now Asner has taken up the cause of Israelis who refuse to serve in the IDF, penning an article that appeared earlier this month on The Huffington Post and other left-leaning websites and blogs in which he approvingly cited the "courage" of Omer Goldman, a young Israeli woman who has already served two terms in an Israeli military jail for, in Asner’s words, "standing up to the government."

Asner excitedly quoted Goldman’s observation that "the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side" and then offered his own bit of wisdom: "I find it hard to believe than anyone can look Omer in the eye and tell her that she has to risk her life and her future for Israel whether she wants to or not. It’s just not right. Especially during this time of year, when many of us are getting ready to celebrate a holiday about freedom ."

No wonder Asner had no problem putting his name to an ad that spoke of "Israeli tanks and bulldozers [leaving] a terrible trail of death and destruction." What is a wonder, though, is that Jewish groups see fit to honor him, as Seattle’s Jewish Family Service did last year and as Women’s American ORT did in 2005, bestowing on him its Tikkun Olam Award because, said the organization’s then-national president, "we feel he represents our ideals and commitments."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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