The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
We are saddened by some assertions made by Agudath Israel of America spokesman Rabbi Shafran in last week’s Forward newspaper. We have, until now, avoided any editorializing on the continuing and animated exchange of opinion that has appeared for several weeks in our Letters To The Editor section, preferring to let our readers explore the issue of Agudath Israel’s non-participation in the recent Washington rally in support of Israel. And we will not now address the controversy. However we cannot leave unremarked some of Rabbi Shafran’s comments.
The Forward quotes Rabbi Shafran as saying, “Jewish Press readers, to a large part, are more centrist or Modern Orthodox readers. They may have a pre-existing animus for Agudath Israel and used the rally to jump on us and to both misconstrue and misrepresent us.”
Rabbi Shafran should better have focused on the message rather than the messengers. He did not help his cause by laboring so hard to suggest that the demographics of our readership somehow skewed the totality of the commentary that appeared in our paper. After all, “a large part” of our readership is not “most of it”. Nor is the notion that our readers “may have a pre-existing animus for Agudath Israel” all that persuasive. Of course, Rabbi Shafran knew that the demographics are not what he tried to communicate to Forward readers. These sort of contrivances should be beneath a national organization that acts out of principle.
More important, Rabbi Shafran also left unaddressed the signal fact of Agudath Israel’s participation in the 1974 mass demonstration in Dag Hammarsjold Plaza against the PLO, despite his having claimed that Agudath Israel stayed away from the Washington rally because of a “longstanding policy” against such involvement. Indeed, The Jewish Press did not create the statement of Rabbi Moshe Sherer, a”h, on the importance of Agudath Israel’s demonstrating “wall-to-wall” support for Israel despite the organization’s dissent from some of what went on there. We just reported it.
Rabbi Shafran apparently feels that Agudath Israel is uniquely shielded from having to explain anything it does. But he must now know that there are consequences to such a posture.
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U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“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.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/rabbi-avi-shafran-and-the-jewish-press/2002/06/28/
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