Yesterday, Ami posted here a video of a young American woman having an intense overreaction to reading the words “Israel” and “apartheid” in the same sentence, in a book by Ron Paul. It seems her brother slipped her the book by way of a joke and recorded her reaction; the reaction is throwing something like a tantrum and soggily refusing to open any more presents.
It now appears (thanks to a tip from a reader), that the weeping woman is none other than Emily K. Schrader, an assistant development director at Stand With Us. SWU is a rather tiresome organisation mostly concerned with aggressive pro-Israel propaganda and with smearing Israel’s critics. According to her Linked In profile, (since removed, but available on Google Cache), she’s also the California State Chair at Students for Rick Perry. And, as Ami pretty much guessed, Emily has previously held a position with Christians United for Israel – the organisation of murky philo/anti-Semitic pastor John Hagee. Hagee and CUFI served as one of the inaugural sponsors of the ultra-right movement Im Tirtzu, which is providing the astro-turf for much of the anti-democratic legislation happening in Israel.
How do I feel, as an Israeli, seeing this person act out like that? I feel embarrassed, frankly. Israel is a real state that sits in a real country; both have merits and faults, with the state recently particularly exceeding in the latter. It’s downright bewildering to see an adult person of sufficient intelligence to attend higher education and pursue an ambitious (if profoundly misguided) political career behave like a My Little Pony fan who got slipped a horsemeat sandwich.
Israelis and Palestinians are supremely lucky to have so much international attention focused upon our conflict. But you can’t help yourself wishing some of our weirder overseas groupies would get a grip. Emily’s brother, who had put the video online, removed it, but it went viral nevertheless. I suppose it’s a useful testimony to the level of maturity of some of those self-proclaimed “friends of Israel.”
Update: A Ron Paul supporter has done a damn thorough job of digging up everything there could be dug up about Schrader, significantly increasing the likelihood she and the woman in the video are the same person. Meanwhile, Ron Kampeas at JTA provides us with the offending paragraph:
…within Israeli politics, there is a great deal of debate and diversity of opinion. The Liberal party in Israel [sic] often raises questions about the apartheid conditions that Palestinians are subjected to. Even newspapers in Israel are willing to discuss this issue openly, but it is essentially never permitted in the United States. Former President Jimmy Carter is now persona non grata for raising the question in his most recent book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
There’s a Liberal party in Israel?