Photo Credit: Matty Stern/US Embassy/Flash90
Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon (R) with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem.

Two American Jewish groups closely associated with the Democratic party’s positions allegedly issued scathing statements about Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon’s comments critical of U.S. foreign policy, delivered at Tel Aviv University last week.

But did those groups issue those statements? Or did the Israeli media simply claim they did, and everyone left it at that?

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The two groups that were reported by both Haaretz and YNet as condemning Ya’alon, are the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Israel Policy Forum. That those two groups would attack an Israeli leader for having criticized this U.S. administration is hardly surprising.

The NJDC, after all, is the Jewish wing of the Democratic party, just as the Republican Jewish Coalition is for the Republican party. And the Israel Policy Forum is widely regarded as the “old man’s J Street,” or as one of the precursors to the current young-ish bucks who seek to dislodge mainstream American Jews from what people of that bent consider the grips of the American Israel Public Affairs Council.

So when articles in Thursday’s Haaretz and YNet contained extensive quotes from the two U.S. administration-leaning Jewish groups slamming Ya’alon for comments he made at a Tel Aviv University address last week, few were surprised.

At that address, Ya’alon said the U.S. has shown “weakness” in various arenas around the world, and that its Middle East allies are disappointed. He also reiterated a prior statement, that Israel would have to go it alone against Iran and cannot depend on the U.S. to lead on that front.

ISRAEL POLICY FORUM PRESS RELEASE QUOTED IS A MONTH OLD

The articles in the two Israeli media allegedly quoting the American Jewish groups are very similar. Both include the same quotes from the Israel Policy Forum. The quotes include:

• “The Israeli Policy Forum, a pro-peace group, said in a statement that it “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world.”

•”Ya’alon is compromising US-Israeli relations. His obstructionist outbursts simply support a view that Israel is not negotiating in good faith and better serves its critics and those opposed to a lasting peace.”

Both also included this statement, including the double negative:

•”We believe that Ya’alon’s criticisms of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran were unwarranted and not unconstructive [sic]. His statements demonstrate a pattern of behavior which is not appropriate for the proper conduct of Israel’s diplomacy.”

To those statements, YNet added that the IPF  “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world,” and “IPF welcomes Minister Ya’alon’s late apology and sincerely hopes he will return to the important process of negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians that will insure Israel’s future as a secure and Jewish democratic state.”

The problem is, all of this language is from a press release issued by the IPF on Feb. 21, and was not in response to Ya’alon’s latest comments. Oddly, the two articles quoting the earlier press releases appear on the IPF website in the “IPF in the News” section. The IPF’s latest press release, according to its website, is from March 12, and is about another matter entirely. So the IPF site contains the misquotes of its own press releases in the section bragging about how it is quoted in the media.

All of this is not to say that the IPF has changed directions and applauds Ya’alon’s frank assessments of America’s foreign policy. But doubling the number of Jewish American groups which criticized Ya’alon’s (from one to two) remarks is worth noting. Except there is also a problem with the quotes from the other American Jewish group.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. These miserable entities worked overtime to put a pro-Muslim Brotherhood, socialist, anti-constitution party in the White House, Shameful. Now they want to censor Israel legitimate disappointment in the America the democrats are destroying. These are deranged assimilated, un-jews who have no right to breathe in Israel's direction, let alone speak under the banner of 'Jewish' organization. Shameful.

  2. Interesting how the same kinds of people who regularly deplore the "bullying of the Jewish Lobby" don't seem concerned with publicly doing their own bullying. When did freedom of speech die for them?

  3. These 2 entities are ANTI a strong and secure ISRAEL and safety for the JEWISH people. They are the miserable self-loathing descendants of Delano's (FDR) Court JEWs and people like rabbi stephen wise. The only one who spoke out was Morganthau while the others were mute as 6 million JEWISH innocents, including 1.5 million children, were savagely murdered and burned to death. They are more pro SON-OF-ISLAM obama and the Democrat party. In fact the former director of NJDC, one ira forman, is on obama's payroll currently as 'liasson' to the JEWs. They do NOT prioritize ISRAEL or JEWISH continuity.

  4. AS A FORMER DEMOCRAT I WISH OUR FELLOW JEWISH DEMOCRATS WILL WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!! IT IS A SHAMEFUL THING FOR ANY JEW TO BE ALLIED WITH A PRESIDENT WHO IS ANTI-SEMITIC AND ANTI-ISRAEL. AS I'VE SAID FOR A LONG TIME, IF YASIR ARAFAT WERE RUNNING FOR OFFICE IN THE U.S. IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THE AMERICAN JEWISH DEMOCRATS WOULD VOTE FOR HIM.

  5. All comments are very interesting, especially the one by Judy Shapiro.I'm old enough to remember Mr. Morgenthau. It seems to me that a lot of these "peace-at-any cost" people have one thing in common, "cowardice". We had them during the Revolutionary War and VietNam. They ran up to Canada. Keep it up, Mr Ya'alon!

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