December 1, 2010, - 12:56 pm

Is Your Chanukah Gift Funding the Palestinians? The Ad I Turned Down

By Debbie Schlussel

Tonight at sundown, Chanukah, “the Jewish Festival of Lights,” begins (more about that later).  Make sure that gifts you’ve bought and continue to buy aren’t financing the modern-day enemies of the Maccabees.  I found out the hard way that sometimes Jewish-themed gifts sold by Jewish Israelis are actually financing the enemy.  That’s the case with Eastory, a company with which I refuse to do any future business.

Some weeks ago, you may have seen a rotating ad for Eastory, an online, Israel-based Judaica store.  I removed the ad, at some cost to me, as it was part of our ad network.  And I rejected an opportunity to get even more money from Eastory through an ad campaign specifically designed for this site.  (A test done on several sites showed that this site had the best response to Eastory’s ad, in terms of click-throughs.)

The reason I stopped running Eastory’s ad and rejected the company, at considerable cost to myself, is that I learned that Eastory–a Jewish Israeli-owned business–donates 2% of its profits to far-left Israeli causes that send Palestinian Muslim to an MIT-taught enterpreneurship course and train Palestinian Muslims in hijabs how to increase their digital literacy and online presence.

Yes, these charities do the same for an equal number of Israeli Jewish kids.  But that’s the thing.  These Israeli, far-left charities believe in the dangerous moral equivalency meme.  They treat the targets of Palestinian Islamic violence and morally equivalent to the future perpetrators and their supporters (who will now have enhanced online skills to foment jihad).  Oh, and some of them will have gone to MIT, so I suppose that will make their future homicide bombs more “scientifically perfected.”  There are Jews from Gush Katif, who lost their homes and jobs when Israel handed Gaza to the Palestinians.  Many of them are still unemployed and homeless.  They would love to have the kind of training and business courses the Palestinians are getting from these charities, which get profits from unknowing Judaica buyers at Eastory.

Below is an e-mail exchange I had with Eleanor Nissensohn, the owner of Eastory.  As you can see, I offered to continue doing ads with her, if she would give 2% of all profits on sales from visitors referred by this site to Job Katif, a terrific organization that gives job training and entrepreneurial courses to the exiled Gush Katif residents.  She refused.

It has come to my attention that you at give 2% of your profits selling Judaica to charities that are very left-wing, help Palestinian and Arab Muslims, and morally equivocate Jews & Israelis to Muslims and Palestinians. These are things I write against regularly on my site and I cannot support any money going to these charities. Especially now when Jews and Israelis are under siege from Muslims–Muslims and especially Palestinians that get a great deal of tax money from Americans and other Westerners–I find it incomprehensible that any Jew–especially Jews selling Judaica–would give to charities like this that further enable the enemies of the Jewish people. Therefore, I cannot have Eastory ads on my site, unless an arrangement can be made to give 2% of all profits from sales from my site to a pro-Israel charity which actually helps Jews, like Job Katif. We are soon upon the Chanukah season, and I would suggest that you give charity moneys to those who emulate the Maccabees and fight for the Jewish people, not those who enable and elevate their enemies.

Debbie Schlussel


From: Elinor Nissensohn
Date: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 2:29 AM
Subject: RE: eastory + cair website
To: Debbie Schlussel


I guess our views are really too different for us to work together.

I will not get into a political argument but frankly after all the Jewish people were always put into one category as Jews and were hated for that how can we do the same to another nation.

We are the world, we are the children, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah. In 1941, she’d be saying this same baloney to my grandparents in the rail cars on the way to Germany, like the Communist Jews did. What Ms. Nissensohn doesn’t seem to get is that we are still hated . . . by THEM (the Palestinian Muslims she’s enabling through these charities). Not wanting to fund them isn’t “putting anyone in a category” or “hating them” or “doing” anything “to another nation.” It’s getting real. And facing facts. Sending them to business courses and teaching them how to better put out their jihadist message on the Net won’t change that.

As I noted in the e-mail exchange, I think it’s outrageous that American taxpayers–and those all over the world–are already forced into funding the entire HAMASastan and FATAHstan welfare states.  But that a Jewish site advertising for Chanukah wants to enable HAMAS and Fatah’s supporters from within Israel and uses sales of Chanukah items to do it, is an absolute abomination.  This is, after all, the holiday which marks the Jewish Maccabees courageously fighting and defeating the Greeks who tried to wipe them and their religion out in favor of a Hellenistic police state.

As I’ve noted before on my site, the Chanukah holiday story is often sanitized for kids, as much of the games (like dreidel) and traditions (like eating fried jelly donuts and potato pancakes/latkes and giving Chanukah gelt/money, which has now become gifts) appeal to children.  But, in fact, the Maccabees story was not short and quick.  The Maccabees fought for years, and it was bloody.  And the most bloodshed was reserved for the Jews who became Hellenists.  There were many of them, and the Maccabees slew a lot of ’em.

Today, the Hellenists would be defined as Jews like Eleanor of Eastory.  That she gives 2%–or even a single shekel–to causes that send Palestinian Muslims to MIT and computer school is absolutely contrary to the Chanukah story.  It is aiding and abetting the enemy.

Israel–in addition to U.S. and European taxpayers–finances a good deal of Palestinian Arabs’ welfare.  It gives them a ton of services, more and better than they’d ever get anywhere in the Islamic world.  They don’t need your Chanukah or other Judaica purchase going to them as well.

I’m all for giving a portion of the profits from Judaica sales to worthy Israeli causes, but not ones which help the Hellenist-types of the Chanukah story.  There are so many worthy Israeli causes, and, for example, gives 100% of its online profits to them.  Those charities give to Israeli Jews in need, not future sympathizers, enablers, and even participants in Palestinian Islamic terrorism.

When you buy something from a Judaica website or any other kind of website, check to see if they note any “charitable” giving and look into what those charities are, where the charities spend their money, and on whom. (And, as I noted, this site does well for Judaica advertisers in independent tests.  So, if you sell Judaica or know someone who does and is interested in advertising on this site, please e-mail me.)

Remember the Maccabees . . . and don’t spend your money financing their enemies.

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10 Responses

Israel would be better off without this Fifth Column of left wing Jews. Let them return to the Arab countries from which half of Israelis were tossed out, or back to Europe where the other half was chased out.

When will we learn that we Jews are still marked for extinction, and that supporting our enemies only make them more determined to kill us?

Jonathan Grant on December 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Jon, charity begins at home. Its appropriate and Debbie should change her policy only when the other side treats Jews the way Jews are treating them. I don’t believe Jewish money should go to help those bent on Israel’s destruction. Its both a matter of moral principle and common sense and those Jews who refuse to get it are exactly the kind of people Debbie is not going to do business with in the future. And if there are non-Jewish charities that aid needy Jews, then Debbie should go further and allow those to advertise on her site over Jewish charities that refuse to do so. Its about sending a message to Jews and non-Jews alike that helping Israel is earning them G-d’s blessings as well as the patronage of a very conscientious Jewish woman.

By all means, Debbie – go for it. And Happy Hanukkah!

NormanF on December 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm

For many Americans and left wing Jews, ignorance is bliss. They do not do their research nor investigate facts. They go on how they FEEL. I wish more Americans thoroughly researched facts, Islam has always been and always will be the true enemy.

Patrick on December 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Debbie, thank you for protecting your readers from inadvertently supporting the enemies of Israel. I don’t like to support companies that support leftwing American politics. Do you have a link of a site that does all that research for us? And happy Hanukkah! I love the Maccabees.

B: Yes, here’s the link: Clearly you read the article, so which part of me doing the hard work of the research did you miss? Thanks. DS

Bill on December 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    She was being sarcastic. And oh Reading Is Fundamental = RIF. Plus, next time, do your own homework.

    NormanF on December 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm

This is so good to know and very unbelievable to me. I am NOT Jewish and I get it LOUD AND CLEAR, but some Leftish Jews are still out in left field. Unbelievable!

Skunky on December 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm


Thank you for researching that. Who woulda thunk it!

I don’t mind Jews helping Muslims IN NEED such as some of the medical care Israel gives (and gets so little credit for). Unfortunately, Israel has adopted many of America’s bad habits. One of those bad habits is taking every good idea to the nth degree of absurdity.

There is some real poverty and hardship in Israel amongst the Jewish population. Not everybody is pushing a mouse in an air-conditioned office making a nice middle-class income. With so little aid and words-of-comfort flowing from the world to Israel, it seems absurd to assist Muslims in the particular manner you mentioned.

You would think Saudi petro-dollars could help Muslims in the manner that this charity does. What’s more is that this kind of aid gains NO public appreciation from Muslim leaders, the LIB media, diplomats, etc. In the end, I have to ask myself: How does this charitable activity make the world a better place?

Let’s be optimistic here and say that there’s a 50% chance the Muslims being aided by this charity will grow up to be fanatical Muslim Zionists. (Don’t laugh too hard!) Will their co-religionists listen to their ideas? Will they have any positive influence on the Muslim world? Will they be murdered for just associating with Israelis in a friendly and constructive manner?

Now let’s aid those Gush Katif people you were talking about. Those people will immediately add to the GDP of Israel upon gaining employment. They aren’t going to move somewhere else. They certainly aren’t going to aid the enemy.

It seems to me, that even if I don’t take a hostile attitude toward Muslims (I do not deny the prevalence of anti-Semitism amongst Muslims. Let me make that point clear before somebody bites my head off.), it’s a slam-dunk for Israeli companies to aid Israeli Jews. Charity is still an investment and investment is still RISK.

You were well within your right and reason to confront that Israeli company. They are taking an unnecessary risk with your money through their charitable activity. After all, you didn’t tell them to stop what they were doing entirely. All you did was tell them to give profits from YOUR web site to another charity that you found more acceptable. That’s a reasonable request, Debbie! I can’t think of a single reason they could not accommodate you. I think their response to your inquiry was quite insufficient; downright unacceptable.

There is NO Santa Claus on December 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Off topic: this certainly isn’t news to any one who reads what Debbie has written about Sarah Palin but Ed Rollins effectively makes many of the same points very well. Its a cliche: “Palin, I Knew Reagan, You’re No Reagan.” But here it works.

The rest is here: Rollins: “Palin I Knew Reagan, You’re No Reagan.”

Sadly, its not not going to wake the PalinMessiah crowd up.

NormanF on December 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Debbie – I am obviously with you on not doing business
with Eastory over their funding of future Jihadists at

I also believe in supporting Job Katif.

However I have to say I am stunned that you would
continue doing business with Eastory while they
continue to fund Jihadists at MIT if they would only
fund Job Katif. Not only do I find this a rotten idea
but I believe it flies in the face of who you are and
the type of principled stand you usually take.

IAM: I initially wanted to turn her down, flat-out. But I always try to offer a wrongdoer the option of doing the right thing because I know they usually don’t take it, and it makes them look even worse and intolerant in their uber-PC-ness, as in this case. I don’t support those charities Eastory supports and if I could get the money to go to legitimate pro-Israel charities, then it would be a win for those charities and a loss for her left-wing charities. Plus, those charities I support would be added to her list in the long run. I don’t think it flies in the face of my principles because I gave her a chance to do the right thing. I figured she would not (and she proved me right), and it gave me a chance to show just how left-wing she is that she would not. If she agreed, then it was an opportunity to help good people and take money away from bad people. DS

I_AM_ME on December 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm

How is admission to MIT guaranteed for Palestinian Arabs?

Solomon2 on December 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

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