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We trust New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s heretofore solid support for Israel will not be significantly affected by the sharp criticism aimed at him from his “progressive” base over news of his January speech to AIPAC.
“City Hall will always be open to AIPAC. When you need me to stand by you in Washington or elsewhere, I will answer the call and answer it happily,” Mayor de Blasio had said.
The backlash soon came from ultra-liberal quarters. (The criticism only came to light this month, after the New York Daily News obtained private e-mails sent by some of those involved.)
New York State Senator Liz Krueger e-mailed de Blasio senior aide Emma Wolf: “I am actually getting as many angry messages from Jewish non-AIPAC folks than I did on the East Side snow problems. I think [the mayor] needs a broader education on NY/Israel issues to avoid future blow ups.”
Ms. Wolf responded with “Yup we are trying to figure it out.”
A prominent board member of J Street, Victor Kovner, weighed in with a request for a personal meeting to discuss the relative merits of J Street versus AIPAC.
And so it went, leading to a 10-minute conference call between the mayor and leaders of J Street and an appearance by Ms. Wolf’s deputy at a town hall meeting hosted by the liberal Jewish group.
There was also a raging editorial in The Nation magazine, a leading leftist publication. After noting its support for the mayor in his electoral campaign because of “his commitment to reimagining the city in boldly progressive, egalitarian terms,” the magazine expressed dismay over the mayor’s having expressed support for AIPAC:
AIPAC’s dominion – reinforced by Christian Zionists and the usual cast of neocon hawks – is destructive on many fronts. Not only has it prevented a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict by enforcing lockstep US support for the most retrograde elements in Israel; in recent years it has, in league with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, been doing everything it can to provoke US conflict with Iran….
The editorial went on to declare that “AIPAC is no longer the only lobby game in town,” pointing to J Street as a positive countervoice on the issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
As for Mayor de Blasio, the editorial said “he has a unique opportunity to help end the stranglehold of AIPAC…. By publicly welcoming groups that promote genuine peace in the Middle East, his foreign policy would be far more consistent with the progressive policies he promotes at home…”
J Street has long touted itself as having redefined what it means to be pro-Israel, but opposing virtually all the key positions taken by the Israeli government and supported by a solid majority of Israelis hardly qualifies an individual or organization for the pro-Israel label.
Most progressives, including and perhaps especially Jewish progressives, have long embraced the Palestinian narrative. Mayor de Blasio is a leading progressive and his support for AIPAC therefore has particular resonance. We hope the mayor will continue to run against that tide.
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Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/is-mayor-de-blasio-too-pro-israel-for-liberal-jews/2014/05/21/
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