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The ‘Auschwitz Borders’ Line Reappears

Prominent publicist Torossian condemns Obama

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Ronn Torossian.(Wikipedia)

CORRECTION: Leonard Stern sold the company now represented by Torossian in 2000 and is not a client of Torossian’s. Subsequent changes reflect the error, which I regret. Torossian apparently no longer represents El Al, as this post and his Website state.

Ronn Torossian, the New York-based founder of 5WPR and public relations guru, is not unpracticed at expressing distinctly right-wing views of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. But his latest op-ed, published in the Jewish Reporter, goes further than just condemning President Obama for allegedly trying to force the Israeli leadership to accept unacceptable concessions (“Its [sic] only extreme self-hatred or praying at the altar of liberalism which could make any sane Jew vote for Obama”). It also references “[t]his administration which called for a return to the Auschwitz borders.”

Leaving aside the fact that this is not an administration which called for this—last May, Obama called for the 1967 borders to be a starting point for negotiations that would include land swaps—the term “Auschwitz borders,” originated by Abba Eban and brought out of the attic last May by the Zionist Organization of America, are fightin’ words, to say the least. More to the point, they compare the Obama Administration to the West that watched passively as European Jewry was slaughtered, and the Palestinians to the Nazis.

I asked Leonard Stern, a businessman and philanthropist who underwrote an excellent recent history of anti-Semitism called A Convenient Hatred, what he thought of the remark, given that a company he owns is represented by Torrosian’s 5WPR (he no longer owns it). “I think any reference to Auschwitz in connection with the State of Isreal is inappropriate,” Stern emailed back. “There are much better ways to frame issues that would not be so inflammatory.” He did not respond to a follow-up question of whether he still feels comfortable being represented by Torossian. (Again, this is my fault: He isn’t represented by Torossian.)

I wanted to reach several of Torossian’s other clients who might be offended by such a remark. But contacting them for this through their publicist seemed to be a prohibitively tricky proposition.

Bibi, Peres, Barak Support for Obama? [The Jewish Reporter]

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I honestly don’t understand what is offensive here. Returning to the 1967 borders means that Israel’s center would be 9 miles wide. This would leave the country open to being split in 2 during future wars meaning that millions of Jews may die as they did in Auschwitz. Is this such a far-fetched scenario? Israel withdrew from Gaza and has been subjected to thousands of missiles from there. Why do you think the outcome would be different if Israel withdrew from the territories?

This is really some atrociously ugly and inflammatory rhetoric. Good article.

First of all, Obama has not proposed a return to the 1967 borders; he’s suggested making them a starting point for negotiations. This was stated in the article; I’d suggest that you read it.

There is no existential threat to Israel that doesn’t already exist, since weapons available in the Islamic countries currently have ranges of hundreds of miles. Future wars will not involve invading armies.

And the missiles launched from Gaza have cost a handful of Israeli lives; a hundredth of the lives lost by the Gazans in retaliatory air strikes.

So, invoking the Holocaust (besides being a false analogy) is disrespectful and offensive to those who died in it, and to their relatives.

For Zlota says:

I don’t find the expression offensive. Do find the BDS threat offensive though.

Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

“the term “Auschwitz borders,” originated by Abba Eban and brought out of the attic last May by the Zionist Organization of America”

Wrong again.

The term has been used regularly during the 16.5 years I have been in Israel when the borders issue is discussed, argued etc. I suspect it was also used a lot before I made Aliyah.

Ha’aretz – the paper for those think that only they think – might avoid using it because it violates Section 4, sub-paragraph 3 of the P.C. regulations (which is why MT is clearly ignorant about its use), but you may not have gotten the memo that there are other, more widely read print media outlets in Israel. Of even greater import are the electronic media, especially radio which uses live interviews heavily as a source of news & commentary. And the term often is used in these interviews by those, oddly enough, who oppose going back to the ’67 cease fire lines even with land swaps.

And you may not have received another memo that UNSC Resolution 242 – the basis for all negotiations with the Pals – requires neither the return to the ’67 cease fire lines (the “Auschwitz borders”) nor land swaps, let alone 1 for 1 land swaps. But why let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of a good P.C. narrative.


J’lem / Efrata

Marcelo says:

Israelis should thank President Obama for granting them those oh-so-precious “land swaps” — how utterly magnanimous of him!

What gifts will he grant them next? Maybe he’ll demand that Israel accept just a few hundred thousand Palestinian “refugees”?

Btw, the reference to Auschwitz in “Auschwitz borders” is not to compare Palestinians to Nazis, or Obama to Chamberlain. It is to analogize the defenselessness of Israel under such borders to the defenselessness of European Jews during the Holocaust. It is silent as to who the aggressors will be or who will or will not watch on the sidelines during the hostilities.

Lynne T says:


You are a fine one to write about the lack of respect by minimizing the impact of nearly a decade of constant attack on Sderot, which is primarily populated by Sephardim who fled Morocco.

Most of the carnage attributed to Israel’s “retaliatory strikes” — and indeed over the decades since the end of the conventional wars launched against Israel by its neighbours on behalf of the Palestinians — were the result of a combination of the practice of armed combatants using civilians as human shields and “industrial accidents” — ie: the use of schools and other public institutions to manufacture weapons.

Gábor Fränkl says:

I totally support Torossian and despise this self-hater’s worthless short and primitive article. Btw “pkb” or whatever, I am a grandson of an Auschiwtz-Birkenau deported granfdmother (from Pécel, Hungary) and I am not “offended”by one tiny bit. Torossian is justified. Liberal self-hating American “Jews” are not. (Perhaps the word American should be put between quotation marks as well in their case???)

Gábor Fränkl says:

I am from Budapest, Hungary East-Central Europe; so-called aptrilineal Jew (my motehr is gentile) and I am 101 percent by Israel’s side. I reject this so-called author’s piece on a righteous man who holds Israel’s survival before all else. If the clearly hostile anti-Israeli Obama junta is offended, so be it. Gábor Fränkl (33)

Gábor Fränkl says:

Finaly, it’s [IT’S] a common means for the uppity, high-brow snobs to mark with the pathetic journalistic quasi-jargon [sic] meaningless, irrelevant grammatical errors or details especially if they can show their misguided opposition and/or disgust toward the object of their hatred like in this case, becasue Mr. Torossian made a colossal mistake. LOL! Fairly pathetic I would say. Fairly pathetic.

I see a few emotional responses to the general topic of my question that don’t address the points that -I- made.
Therefore there is no point in my replying to them.

alexferdman says:

come on guys!
what do you expect from muslim Hussein?
even moron like me understand this.

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The ‘Auschwitz Borders’ Line Reappears

Prominent publicist Torossian condemns Obama

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