web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


As Kerry Works On Peace Framework, Jewish Groups Keeping Low Profile

Secretary of State John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry

WASHINGTON – As the Obama administration prepares to unveil a framework plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Jewish groups have responded by laying low.

In contrast to the noisy Iran sanctions contretemps between the administration and much of the pro-Israel community, the leading centrist Jewish groups have largely adopted a wait-and-see approach as Secretary of State John Kerry works on the framework agreement.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which usually takes the lead in framing community response to peace talks, has been quiet, congressional and administration insiders said.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

There are a number of reasons for the community’s relatively low profile. In addition to their focus on Iran, centrist groups do not want to prematurely weigh in on an anticipated proposal that has yet to see the light of day.

The muted response also echoes the approach taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has emphasized that he is receptive to Kerry’s efforts, even as he has suggested that Israel will not necessarily have to agree to all the elements of an American framework proposal.

In addition, the Obama administration has tried to head off concerns by stressing that it is developing the framework in close consultation with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, emphasizing that there will be no surprises.

At least 50 Jewish organizational leaders received a preview of some of the framework’s likely elements in a conference call last week with Martin Indyk, the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Martin Raffel, senior vice president at the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, said the community was invested in a successful outcome.

“The mainstream is overwhelmingly hopeful that Kerry will get to what they are trying to accomplish,” he said, “which is to get to a framework that the parties will agree to even if they have reservations, but there are sufficient grounds to build on.”

But Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, noted what he described as a widespread Jewish communal skepticism rooted in two decades of frustration.

In a short radio commentary released Tuesday, the American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David Harris, applauded Kerry’s efforts.

But Kerry’s efforts have met with outspoken opposition from the right, both in the American Jewish community and in Israel.

The Zionist Organization of America accused the Obama administration of turning itself into the Palestinian Authority’s “attorney and chief negotiator.”

Some right-wing members of Netanyahu’s Likud party and larger governing coalition have reacted with alarm to Kerry’s efforts.

Last month, Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, was quoted by an Israeli newspaper as privately telling colleagues that Kerry had an “incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling.” Yaalon later apologized if Kerry was offended by the remarks attributed to him.

Tensions also flared recently between Kerry and Netanyahu. Israeli officials reacted with anger to Kerry’s warning in a speech last weekend that failure to arrive at a deal could give momentum to efforts to isolate and boycott Israel.

The ADL weighed in with an open letter criticizing Kerry’s remark.

“Describing the potential for expanded boycotts of Israel makes it more, not less, likely that the talks will not succeed; makes it more, not less, likely that Israel will be blamed if the talks fail; and more, not less, likely that boycotts will ensue,” Foxman wrote.

Foxman’s letter did, however, express support for Kerry’s peace efforts and respect for his work.

Some of the likely elements of the framework that have been discussed in briefings and news reports would be warmly received by Jewish groups. According to participants in the off-the-record call with Indyk, the peace envoy suggested the framework would include a call for recognition of Israel as a state of the Jewish people – a key Netanyahu demand that has been firmly rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

But in addressing delicate issues such as Jerusalem and refugees, the framework could draw objections from both sides. News reports have suggested it would call for Jerusalem to be a shared capital and for Palestinian refugees and their descendants not to have the right to resettle in Israel, although the reliability of such reports is not clear.

Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, said his group would push back against anything less than full Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

“Our position is very clear,” he said. “The O.U. is flat opposed to any proposals that would re-divide the city of Jerusalem and we regularly communicate that to people in the Obama administration.”

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “As Kerry Works On Peace Framework, Jewish Groups Keeping Low Profile”

  1. Since Kerry wants to Boycott Israel, let’s boycott him and Obama.

  2. Carlos Font says:

    The way that most "moderates" and all liberals refer to people on Israel's side as right wingers makes it plain: I must be a right winger too. I prefer comments on Swiftboat from last week than the somewhat wishy-washy ones of this week. I'll jst w

  3. Carlos Font says:

    I'll just wait and see!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
Hamas Declares Jerusalem as ‘Eternal Capital’ of Islamic World
Latest News Stories
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.

The terrorist organization also copied the Israeli phrase that Jerusalem always will be “undivided.”

Pizza with marijuana.

Two cops who ordered a pizza vomited instead of getting high.

Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal in Lebanon.

The terrorist organization’s “exposé” to a friendly Lebanese newspaper also is justification for the IDF to bomb human shields.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

“You shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.” Deuteronomy 16:19

Actress and comedienne Meara Stiller died on Saturday at age 85.

Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah is getting very scared of Islamic State’s advances.

Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.

Nobel Prize winner John Nash (86) and his wide Alicia Nash (82) were killed in a car crash on Saturday night in New Jersey.

The boys were heading to a Shavuot study session when they were attacked by the Arab terrorist.

Remarks by the President on Jewish American Heritage Month – May 22, 2015

At the ninth hour, Chabad of Dead Sea whipped together sheva brochot in 2 hours for a newly wedded tourist couple — out of nowhere.

Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”

An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton. (archive)

Clinton derided perceptions that U.S.-Israel tensions had become tense under Obama.

“We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. We have cleared up misunderstandings and held exhaustive discussions on every element of a possible text.”

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

The disagreements don’t seem to have gone away, despite a cease-fire that appears to be firmly in place.

“On the Hill and with some people with whom I have spoken who are robust Israel supporters, people are concerned if not angry,” one of the staffers, a Democrat, told JTA

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/as-kerry-works-on-peace-framework-jewish-groups-keeping-low-profile/2014/02/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: