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February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
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Angry NYC Ultra-Liberal Jews Told to Stuff It

58 Angry New York Jews Who Blasted NYC Mayor de Blasio for saying his door would remain open to AIPAC, are now in for some heavy criticism themselves

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Photo Credit: Facebook

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, ads will appear in numerous New York City area Jewish media, castigating a list of 58 angry New York Jews.

Why? Because those angry Jews publicly admonished newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for daring to appear at a pro-Israel event, declaring his support for the sponsoring organization and for Israel.

The pushback is coming from a small, quickly mobilized group of business and other professional New York residents who want it known that “AIPAC, like the JCRCs and the Federations are the backbone of the American Jewish community and they represent mainstream American Jewry. Mainstream Jewry expects and appreciates support for Israel from its elected officials.”

What is going on?

DE BLASIO TOLD AIPAC HIS DOOR IS OPEN

In an unscheduled appearance at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee event on Jan. 23, to which the media were most decidedly not invited, Mayor de Blasio gave a fairly run-of-the-mill pro-Israel speech. No biggie pretty much anywhere in North America, and certainly not in New York City.

As Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, one of the New Yorkers who took out the ad told The Jewish Press, the mayor gave a solid, pro-Israel speech. But “these myopic, progressive New York Jews are so foolish, they don’t care that AIPAC supported Rabin and Barak when they were each prime minister.  Whatever government is democratically elected, that’s who AIPAC supports. But no, these people have to put their own selfish, progressive interests ahead of everything.

“When you start attacking the mainstays of the Jewish community, when AIPAC is unacceptable, that reveals a pathological selfishness,” Wiesenfeld growled.

For some reason, a gaggle of the “tolerant” progressive New York Jewish crowd, responded – shall we say, intolerantly – to what they saw as a possible betrayal of their progressive values by the most “progressive” of White politicians to make it to the top rung of city politics.

The public dressing-down of de Blasio came in the form of a letter which was sent out on the cheap electronically, then became viral, and ended up (for free) on the pages of the progressives’ darling Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

The angry epistle took de Blasio to task for foolishly telling a mid-town AIPAC crowd that New York City Hall’s doors will remain open to them.  According to the public letter, de Blasio told the AIPAC crowd, “When you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I’ll answer it happily, ’cause that’s my job.”

But this group of angry New York Jews had some news for Mayor de Blasio. They told him that AIPAC does not speak for them. They told him that his job is not to do AIPAC’s bidding or be at its call.

“AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone; it does not speak for us,” they explained.

For the few sentient Jews who do not know, perhaps it needs to be explained that AIPAC’s positions always reflect the positions held by whatever Israeli government is in office.  When the far left is in power, AIPAC’s positions mirror those of the far left. When the center or far right are in power, AIPAC supports the positions of the leadership of those factions.

To say it more plainly, the Angry 58s reject Israel’s democratic process and shun the most centrist pro-Israel organization there is. They reject their mayor’s recognition and support for that democratic process and publicly humiliate him for daring to say so.

WHO ARE THE ANGRY 58?

In the Angry 58 signatories are many whose names don’t raise an eyebrow. For example, it was no surprise to see Peter Beinart’s name, or Eve Ensler, or Lotty Cottin Pogrebin (and her husband, Bertrand – who knew there was one?) Same dull nods for Anne Roiphe and Gloria Steinem. Of course, the only surprise seeing the name Rebecca Vilkomerson – she heads the extremist Jewish Voice for Peace, staunch promoters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and ardent opponents of AIPAC – was to learn that she is a New Yorker.

But scattered amongst the non-surprises are some names that shocked Wiesenfeld and Judith Rosen, another sponsor of the ads which will appear on Wednesday. Those are names such as Ruth J. Abram, whom Wiesenfeld said is the daughter of a former president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Morris Abram.  Also a real surprise, they said, was seeing the name of Esther-Ann Asch.

Asch was a longtime leader with the FEGS Health and Human Services System, a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency. In a recent UJA-Federation publication, there is a story which focuses on Asch. The article begins with a quote from her: “my whole life, basically, has been a Federation life.”

The ads that will run on Wednesday state that Israel currently faces an existential threat from the Islamic dictatorship of Iran, and compares the Angry 58 with Jews who, in 1943, urged President Franklin Delano Roosevelt not to meet with rabbis attempting to beseech him to save those European Jews who had not yet perished in the Shoah.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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22 Responses to “Angry NYC Ultra-Liberal Jews Told to Stuff It”

  1. Progressives are never good, no matter where they are from.

  2. Don Rogers says:

    This is a terrifying trend!! Since the beginning of 2014, over 28 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel by Gaza terrorists.

  3. libs against israel

  4. the man publicly announced that he is a communist & NY still voted for him…this says a great deal about the voters of NY & it is killing that once great state

  5. We use the word Jew, and I’m not trying to “go there” but being a Jew can mean almost anything. People get shocked, upset, angry, whatever because we say Jew and want to assume some vast uniformity. Really? When was that? Just ultra-liberals, anti-Israel, pro-Israel, extremist pro-Israel (Zionists)? I wonder if the word “Jew” has to be kicked real good as these other adjectives pass by. Or can the Jew part be the things we all share? Is there enough we all share to justify it? It’s bad enough that US politics has split Jews along Christian political lines.

  6. shameful but no surprise here-NYC got what they voted for just like the NJ voters got what they voted for

  7. Ronny Mol says:

    Check to see if they are Jews according to Halacha.

  8. Liberals killed NYC during the Dinkins administration…and hopefully they wont do it this time. Already crime is up….

  9. Aldo Mimoun says:

    Those 58 just understand a thing about Judeo_Arab relationship. It does not exist. It will never exist not in our lifetime anyway. Israel and its policies haver nothing to do with their relation with the muslim world. It's a matter of religion. In the Sharia Jews are either good for butchering or forced conversion. The Dhimmi mentality still exists in the arab world. I feel sorry for those 58. They are not self hating Jews, they are just ignorant of the facts.

  10. Many parts of the Jewish community that aren't politically committed to the State of Israel still care deeply about its welfare because it's populated by Jews. Chabad is an example: they're not officially Zionist But they care about Jews because in their mind caring for Jews is part of their job as Jews, and as a result anything that endangers the Jewish state is a concern to them if for no other reason than because there are a lot of Jews there, and a lot of Jewish history there, and the Kotel is there.

    L'havdil elef havalot, the idiots in the 58 are exactly the opposite: they care about politics to the exclusion of caring about Jews, because their ultimate loyalty is to their "progressive" political principles, not Jews, not Judaism, not the Torah, and not Israel.

    But there's a virtue in all of this: clarity. And while I am not sure I want to go to the place of one of the other commentators to this article, suggesting that these people aren't Jews, the good news is that we don't have to decide: the 58s' ultimate commitment to their politics, rather than to the Jews, the Jewish state, or the Torah, means that within a generation or two, people with commitments like this just won't be here, because they will have left.

    In a sense it's like the Torah's punishment of "kareit" — being cut off from the Jewish community for doing things like not fasting on Yom Kippur. Like many of the Torah's punishments, at the end of the day it's not so much a punishment as it is just a necessary consequence of peoples' actions. So here as well.

    May these anti-Jewish people, whether halachically Jewish or not, leave us speedily and in our days.

  11. Many parts of the Jewish community that aren't politically committed to the State of Israel still care deeply about its welfare because it's populated by Jews. Chabad is an example: they're not officially Zionist But they care about Jews because in their mind caring for Jews is part of their job as Jews, and as a result anything that endangers the Jewish state is a concern to them if for no other reason than because there are a lot of Jews there, and a lot of Jewish history there, and the Kotel is there.

    L'havdil elef havalot, the idiots in the 58 are exactly the opposite: they care about politics to the exclusion of caring about Jews, because their ultimate loyalty is to their "progressive" political principles, not Jews, not Judaism, not the Torah, and not Israel.

    But there's a virtue in all of this: clarity. And while I am not sure I want to go to the place of one of the other commentators to this article, suggesting that these people aren't Jews, the good news is that we don't have to decide: the 58s' ultimate commitment to their politics, rather than to the Jews, the Jewish state, or the Torah, means that within a generation or two, people with commitments like this just won't be here, because they will have left.

    In a sense it's like the Torah's punishment of "kareit" — being cut off from the Jewish community for doing things like not fasting on Yom Kippur. Like many of the Torah's punishments, at the end of the day it's not so much a punishment as it is just a necessary consequence of peoples' actions. So here as well.

    May these anti-Jewish people, whether halachically Jewish or not, leave us speedily and in our days.

  12. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Good points Yadua. They have marked their own Exit signs.

  13. David Cutler says:

    These “angry 58″ certainly don’t speak for this Jew.

  14. These are the same fools who stayed in Germany, while Hitler ruled

  15. there's an interesting irony here. the angry 58 conflate listening to AIPAC (door open) to "doing their bidding." this reflects much of the tendency of "progressives" to ban any center/right pro-Israel speakers from their venues. (i remember one such person going up to nancy kaufman after a debate in which Dan Pipes wiped the floor with Stephen Cohen on the peace process and saying, "Why did we give a right winger like Pipes a platform?")

    is there an unconscious fear that if one allows people to defend israel, that it will lead to their agreeing with them (hence the "doing their bidding")?

    the same phenomenon is on full display at hillel's where "progressives" want to be "open" to radical anti-israel groups, but won't let in people who defend israel.

  16. Lori Nevias says:

    Not all liberal Jews are anti-Zionist. Anti-Israel liberal Jews like the "Angry 58" are an embarrassment to the rest of us liberal Jews- who make up most of the Jewish world population, and an increasingly large number of Jewish Israelis. And yes, Aldo, Jews and Arabs have a relationship. In and out of Israel, they are neighbors. They get along by necessity. It happens every day, although it rarely hits the papers. And it will happen more frequently and formally, when the Palestinians manage to elect a government that doesn't want to destroy Israel. And that WILL happen one day, when the Palestinians realize it's the only way out of their perpetual poverty.

  17. George Naftali Muenz says:

    Ultra Liberal? KAPOS is more like it

  18. Joe Casey says:

    I am pretty sure it's not a good idea for the Mayor of New York — in a behind closed doors secret meeting with a powerful Jewish Group — to declare part of his job as a mayor of an American City is to defend a foreign nation. The ethnocentrism of the Zionists ensures their eventual downfall

  19. Gary Dalin says:

    Note: It is most probable that collectively that group have no more than 100 children with 75% of them marrying out and hardly any involved in the Jewish faith. They are the final and distorted generation of their Jewish lineage. It's the end product of Judaism as merely an ethnicity.

  20. Mary Hale says:

    Now my suspicions have bee realized..are those 58 really religous and now I know it's people like that that keep voting the likes of Obaman into office..Whatch out for those Muslim brotherhood guys who have been given supervisory positions in Obaman's government..

  21. Mary Hale says:

    Yesterday I watched a documentary that was filmed just after the holocaust was discovered and then the film was stored in a museum untill now..I just couldn't believe the inhumanity if those nazi's..they weren't human at all..they were rabid animals.. Mass graves in over 300 camps..and they weren't all Jewish people..they were from all parts of the world..Something else I can't accept is that the German people didn't know what was going on in their towns..What shame..

  22. Jeanette Friedman says:

    Whether or not Lottie Pogrebin has a husband has ZERO to do with the issue at hand, and just makes people think that your point cannot be valid unless you crap personally on a person who signed the letter, instead of sticking to the issue…mainly that AIPAC supports Israel no matter if leadership is to the left or right. You weakened your own position with that attack, and only proved you are not much of a mensch. The mayor's door should be open to everyone, in any case, including Martians and Venusians if they happen to show up. You personal attack doesn't help you at all.

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