Recognizing Opportunity

My friend Robert Avrech wrote a scathing response to an opinion piece that Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky wrote for The Jewish Journal. It is called Kanefsky: Rabbi to Fatah and it is the inspiration if you will for this post.

I disagree with Kanefsky for a variety of reasons, but I don’t want that to be the focus of this post. This ties in far better with a conversation that I have had with my son and business partners.

It is about recognizing opportunity. Each day we have the chance to do something with our lives. At just short of seven I try to make it an easy lesson. I talk about trying to take advantage of the chance to learn something in school. To quote him “He get’s it.”

As Robert points out pieces like Kanefsky are swallowed whole and regurgitated for propaganda purposes by terrorists. They see an opportunity to use Kanefsky’s words against Israel. I too see an opportunity. In this case we can use Kanefsky’s piece as a tool for education. We can and should take the time to deconstruct it and point out the flaws.

It is part of the beauty of blogging. In past years the general public’s ability to try and push a message to the masses was quite limited. But those days are past. Now we can respond. Now we can use our blogs as a platform to present our message and to correct inaccuracies that are presented as fact.

It is just a matter of recognizing the opportunity.

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  1. Anonymous November 3, 2007 at 5:44 am


    Dear Rabbi Kanefsky,

    Your efforts at upholding the truth are quite commendable. As you rightly said in your last paragraph, “There will be peace the day after there will be truth.” Unfortunately, truth has been ignored by politicians since the “peace process” started in 1993, which explains the existential anguish that Jews and Israelis are going through. I hope Israeli leaders will heed your call for disclosing the full truth so that they can embark upon a new era of lasting peace.

    Of course, the pursuit of truth requires knowledge first. What are we to call “truth” if we have no clue of reality? Also, reality should be known in its entirety and this knowledge should not be truncated, as the Palestinians do, a point you aptly emphasize in your article. It is only when all the facts are brought to light that the full story can be told honestly. I have no doubt that honesty is paramount to you, as you mentioned this term – and any variations thereof – no less than 21 times in your piece.

    I am prepared to grant you the mantle of honesty but only partially, very partially. Knowingly or not, you jumped on the honesty wagon before ascertaining the truth of what you wrote. And what you omitted from your exposé is so glaring that you are misinforming your readers in a grand scale. Like the Palestinians who regularly present their narrative in their distorted fashion, you too have grossly truncated the truth by limiting your view of reality to the post 1967 period. Had your vision not been so narrowly limited, you would have discovered that the international community recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people to the whole of Palestine, including Jerusalem, back in 1920; that Jewish settlement of the whole land, including Judea and Samaria, was not only allowed but highly encouraged; that these territories were not to be ceded to any foreign power; and that all those provisions received the imprimatur of international law.

    Instead, you write that Israel is illegally occupying these territories; that the settlement of these lands should not have taken place; that this situation violates international law; and that those who challenge these views “refuse to read history honestly.” The most eminent legal experts in international law – Stephen Schwebel, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, Eugene Rostow, Julius Stone and many others – would strongly disagree with each and every one of your assertions. On your side, though, you may find some allies in characters like Jimmy Carter; Arab academics of dubious credibility; the Neturei Karta sect; the leaders of Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah, as well as a host of their Jewish sycophants who have been thoroughly brainwashed by the very kind of article you just wrote. I leave it to you to choose the most credible camp.

    Allow me, Rabbi Kanefsky, to conclude with a saying from the Talmud: “If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.” What you did in your article is far worse: you started by subtracting from the truth. This can only be attributed to ignorance, sloppiness or, dare I say, malice. Whatever the case may be, your 21 instances of the word “honest” ring hollow. I don’t know what drove you to jettison the collective rights of the Jewish people and to disparage Jewry in the process. But I suggest that you and your supporters get better informed and, most importantly, get finally over your guilty Jewish hang-ups.

    Best regards,

    Toronto, Canada

    P.S.: You claim that those who oppose your views “have never offered any alternative solution.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Consider just a few of the alternatives:

    – Dr. Martin Sherman: “The Humanitarian Solution”,

    – MK Benny Elon: “The Israeli Initiative”

  2. Jack's Shack November 1, 2007 at 5:01 am


    I think that it is a question of how we speak the truth, meaning that one can present things carefully or without care for how they come out.

  3. Kol Ra'ash Gadol November 1, 2007 at 2:59 am

    I know Kanefsky too, and while I also disagree with him on some things, he is a good guy – maybe one of the best in his movement in some ways. But I digress, what I do want to say is that the fact that a terrorist might take something we say and use it to their own advantage is not reason enough not to speak the truth.
    The world is full of twisted people who quote out of context (cf your post on the MSM, I can’t say how many times I’ve been misquoted – or had just enough words taken out of something I did say to make it mean either the opposite or something inane) twist words or lie outright. That’s not good enough as a reason. If it were, no one on any side of the political spectrum could say anything, ever.

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