Sunday, January 26, 2014


On the Death of Shulamit Aloni

I met Shulamit Aloni when I went to visit Israel in 1976 as part of my job working as a fundraiser for ADL.  As part of our Jewish education, ADL set up meetings for our group of 8 American ADLers to learn about all aspects of Israeli life.   We had lunch with Rabin; visited with Myron Ben Venisti an important scholar and thinker; saw the first settlement in Hebron settled by Jews from Brooklyn and Chicago affiliated with Meir Kahane; and were scolded by Shulamit Aloni, who came on like gangbusters, like Bela Abzug with a Hebrew accent,  saying “you American Jews!   You’re such hypocrites!!  Don’t you people  know we have a Peace Now party?!   Why do you support every stupid  thing this government does?!”   It was news to me!   I had never heard a critical word about Israel before.  

When we met the settler in Hebron, an American from Chicago wearing a yarmulke and living in an apartment building in the midst of a city teeming with Arabs, surrounded by Israeli soldiers with guns,  I asked him why he was living here with his wife and children in the middle of hostile territory    After all, Israel had just returned the Sinai to Egypt and how would Israel make peace if they were settling in these all-Arab cities?   He replied, “We don’t care.   The bible says Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people!”  I thought to myself, “You are a dead man.”  This is what Shulamit Aloni was warning us about in 1976  I am so sad to learn of her passing.


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