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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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The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
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