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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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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/rabbi-avi-shafran-and-the-jewish-press/2002/06/28/
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