A Sister for Rafah?
Tumult in the United States: Will Rafah be declared a sister city to Madison, Wisconsin? â€œThis is camouflage for anti-Israeli activityâ€
A storm is brewing in the United States over a Madison, Wisconsin city council vote next week. Jewish Agency representative in Madison, Shir Yechezkel, told Maariv Online that the idea to forge a sister city alliance with Rafah was raised by a human rights organization whose members are defined as radical left-wing activists.
According to Yechezkel, the organizationâ€™s activists are distributing harsh anti-Israeli propaganda in the city, comparing Israeli operations in Rafah to Nazi acts in the Holocaust. Several Jews are among the most prominent activists.
â€œThe organization is, under the guise of humanitarian reasons and civil as well as human rights, attempting to persuade city council members to agree to sign a sister city pact with Rafahâ€, said Yechezkel. â€œBut a review of the ads distributed by the organization reveals that this is a front for a venomous anti-Israeli campaignâ€.
As of now, seven of the 21 city council members in Madison support the proposal to make Rafah a sister city. According to Yechezkel, if the left-wing activists succeed in their mission, the city of Olympia will follow suit. Olympia was the home of activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an IDF bulldozer.
Next week, the city council will convene a face-off between representatives of the organization with representatives from the Jewish community. Community members invited Jewish Agency delegates to participate in the face-off and present the actual reasons for Israeli operations in Rafah.
â€œThe atmosphere is charged. Demonstrations for and against the move are taking place every day. This story is being carried across the United States. The New York Times has sent correspondents to cover events in Madisonâ€, she said.
Yechezkel added that Jews are extremely concerned about the vote: â€œThe dispute has already inflicted damage against Jews. They are presented as people who allegedly oppose a humanitarian cause. Particularly emphasized is the fact that this is a confrontation among Jews themselves, and that the Jews in Wisconsin are essentially serving the interests of the State of Israelâ€.