Was My Grandmother Right?

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 16 July 2012 @ 2:54 pm

LIke many, many kids growing up in Southern California, I spent several formative years working at Disneyland. When I was first hired, I had the following conversation with my grandmother, z”l:

Grandma: Do they know?
Me: Do they know what, Grandma?
Grandma: Do they know that…you’re Jewish?

Ridiculous, I thought. It’s been years since “Uncle Walt” was at the helm. In fact, at the time of my hire, a landsman was at the helm of the Disney ship. You may remember him. Michael Eisner.

And yet with today’s news about Walt Disney’s great-niece divesting from an Israeli company, I cannot help but think about that long ago conversation.

As a general rule, I am against any divestment from Israel. Because it is a very public, and financially-devastating, reaction to a very complicated problem. The issue is not black and white. Ahava uses Dead Sea minerals that are refined on a kibbutz located outside the Green Line — meaning inside the disputed territories. This area, which was never a sovereign entity onto itself, came under Israeli control at the end of the ’67 war. And whether there is room to debate the issue of who has the right to use this area’s natural resources, divestment is not the way to enter into the conversation. It is a deliberate slamming of the door that leads to dialogue.

In her own words, Abigail Disney has come to her decision because “Recent evidence from the Israeli Civil Administration documents that Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories sources mud used in its products from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea, which is in direct contravention to provisions in the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Convention forbidding the exploitation of occupied natural resources.” What, Ms. Disney. does the Hague and the Geneva Conventions say about the continual rockets being launched against Israel’s civilian population?

All these years later, I find myself wondering if my grandmother was right after all.


Reminder: check out yesterday’s post for information about my book giveaway.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rona 16 July 2012 @ 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm

When I was around eleven or twelve my father wanted me to watch with him “Gentlemen’s Agreement” staring Gregory Peck and John Garfield. This was a classic movie about a reporter who decides to pose as a Jew in order to write an article about anti-semitism or if there were even any? His buddy from army (John Garfield) who was visiting while looking for a home for his family and is Jewish served as his conscious. I apologize to people who have seen this movie before but, to make a long shorter, the John Garfield character after hearing Gregory Peck’s character express righteous indignation and shock, basically says “so what else is new.” My father wanted me to be aware of this ugly reality and would periodically discuss this topic throughout my life until his death in 1992. If he was to hear this story and so many that are like this, he would simply say “so what else is new.”


2 Jack@TheJackB 16 July 2012 @ 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm

I used to believe that there were a lot of very confused people in the world who would see the truth sooner or later. I thought that if they were provided facts they would see that it is not black and white issue and that they might take equal steps on all issues.

I was wrong.

Alice Walker, Disney and their fellows can put their money where their mouths are and call for an end to the rockets and then I might listen to their crocodile tear filled hypocritic monologues.


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