A Time magazine cover story claiming Israelis are more interested in their booming economy than reaching an historical peace agreement with the Palestinians is another version of the anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews prefer money above any other interest, the Anti Defamation League said in a statement on Thursday.
The ADL's response came after Times magazine revealed next week's cover story, titled "Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace," in which various prominent Israeli figures are quoted as stating that Israelis don't consider Palestinians an existential threat but as a nuisance to their economy.
"The truth is Israelis are no more preoccupied with the matter [peace]," the article read, adding that Israelis were "otherwise engaged, they're making money, they are enjoying rays of the late summer."
"A watching world may still see their country being defined by the blood feud with the Arabs......, but Israelis say they have moved on. Now observing two and a half years without a single suicide bombing on their territory, with the economy robust and with the souls a trifle weary of having to handle a big elemental thoughts, the Israeli public prefers to explore such satisfactions as might be available from the private sphere," the Times article added.
While the article itself, with the inside headline of "The good life and its dangers," center not on Israel's attitude toward peace but on its booming real estate market, night life, the controversial headline to appear on the cover of the next Time issue brought a strong response out of the ADL's chief, Abraham H. Foxman.
In a letter to Managing Editor Richard Stengel, Foxman called on the magazine’s editors to issue an apology to readers, both for the timing of the article and its calling up age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.
“The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving piece with the Palestinians,” wrote Mr. Foxman.
“At the same time, Time ignores the very real sacrifices made by Israel and its people in the pursuit of peace and the efforts by successive Israeli governments of reconciliation," the ADL said.
“One can only be cynical about the timing of the article, appearing as Israelis and Palestinians engage in direct negotiations and Jews the world over pray on the High Holidays for a New Year that will bring peace,” he added.
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