Robert Silverman’s Amazing Disappearing Israel

January 9, 2017 - San Francisco, CA - - On December 16, 2016 we published a rather lengthy piece detailing the uncomfortably close relationship that has developed between the American Jewish Committee and “some of the nastiest Islamists in North America” [see, Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer, The American Jewish Committee Has a Mental Breakdown - Jews For Jihad Revisited ,].

Actually that posting revisited a topic that we had explored 10 years earlier [see, Binyamin Axelrod, Jews for Jihad? How the American Jewish Committee Abets Islamism,] in which we questioned why the AJC was conducting “faith sharing” outreach efforts to Islamists, which really were from the Muslim point of view, simply opportunities to spread the faith, da’wa.

Having set forth the case against Jewish organizations such as the AJC engaging in what are really empty-headed Kabuki dances with Islamic groups whose idea of dialogue is a one way street and wanting to put this story to bed, this writer visited the Twitter account website for Mr. Silverman which is @silverrj99.

Two things immediately became clear - which together with Mr. Silverman’s involvement in kumbaya gestures to people to whom accommodation means weakness and hence is provocative - further frames the futility of his mission.

First, Silverman’s Twitter handle ends in the number 99 which is highly significant in Islamic culture in that there are supposedly 99 names for Allah. A minor point or possibly an incorrectly drawn inference? Yes, of course but then I noticed something so obvious it was initially missed.

As part of the page’s wallpaper or masthead is a map of the Middle East, but upon closer inspection it’s a map absent the state of Israel, which is highly reminiscent of what happens in the areas of Israel which are occupied by Arabic squatters, the so-called “Palestinians.” In those forlorn places, Israel is also absent from maps of the Middle East, or pictorially represented but relabeled as “Palestine.”

In 2014 the publisher Harper Collins was pilloried after having distributed an atlas designed specifically for Middle Eastern schools, but one in which Israel had been “disappeared.”

Symbols are very important in communication, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and this is probably even more relevant now that multimedia is quickly replacing the printed word.

We suggest that Mr. Silverman immediately correct his “omission” of Israel in the pictorial representation of the Middle East on his Twitter page and at the same time give some consideration to how this “oversight” along with the inclusion of the number 99 in his handle undermines his supposed mission of encouraging understanding between Judaism and Islam.

If this is indeed his mission, he is sending a terrible [and telling] signal.

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