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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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JCPA: ‘We’re The Voice of American Jews,’ But Many Beg to Differ

The JCPA went to congress urging the U.S. to restart the "peace talks." It also claims to be the the representative voice of the organized Jewish community. Both ideas are wrong-headed according to many who spoke with The Jewish Press.
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Carol Greenwald, treasurer of Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art, a pro-Israel voice in the Washington, D.C. area, told The Jewish Press that “the JCPA’s claim is a sham.  They don’t represent the Jewish community, they are a bunch of self-appointed leftists.”

“Win-win? Nah, it’s they take, we give,” Greenwald said, responding to a claim by JCPA’s spokesperson Ben Suarato, that The JCPA and ATFP were “making the case together and trying to represent the win-win aspect of negotiations.”

How about over in California?

Vic Rosenthal is the treasurer of the Jewish Federation of Central California. His response to the JCPA’s claim, he told The Jewish Press: “I don’t know how they can call themselves ‘the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.’ They certainly didn’t ask me, or any of the other board members of our local Federation. Many of us feel strongly that forcing Israel to sit down with the PLO, which doesn’t have the ability to deliver peace even if it wanted to, at a time of maximum instability in the region, is worse than a waste of time — it’s dangerous.

And Doris Wise Montrose lives in Los Angeles, where she heads the seven year old, 30,000 strong organization, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, was emphatic: “The JCPA most definitely does not represent me or my organization. The JCPA represents only those Jewish organizations whose leaders cling to the politically correct delusion that Israel will achieve ‘peace through appeasement’ with enemies who have vowed to destroy it.  The position of the JCPA and other like-minded organizations only serve to weaken Israel and put the lives of Israeli citizens in danger.”

In an email from a Chicago suburb, Peggy Shapiro, the Mid-West coordinator for StandWithUs, also rejected the idea that the JCPA represents her views.  She wanted to know: “Why are some obsessed with believing that a recalcitrant Palestinian Authority and the terror-government Hamas will suddenly find peace with Israel a viable option?  Neither government has given evidence to support such a belief. Yet the JCPA is making another push to push the U.S. to push Israel into another round of talks.”

Shapiro also pointed out that the Middle East beyond Israel is roiling with violence.

“Who focus on Israel and the Palestinians at this moment in history?  Egypt is on fire, Syrians are being slaughtered in the thousands, Jordan is shaky, and Lebanon is run by Iran’s terror proxies – Hezbollah.  It is delusional to think that peace with Israel is the key and that once (if only) the Palestinians and Israelis arrive at an agreement, the Sunnis and Shias will kiss and make up and all the Muslim world will be at peace?

“I understand the JCPA’s desire for peace. I share it. Yet anyone who believes such wishful thinking is denying some harsh realities on the ground,” Shapiro concluded.

David Steinmann is a New Yorker who scoffed at the JCPA’s claim.

“JCPA neither represents me or, as far as I know, any meaningful proportion of the organized American Jewish community.  They may well represent American Jews who are neither knowledgeable about these matters or blind to the extreme dangers to Israel which the current two-state proposal entails,” Steinman explained, and then went on to articulate some of the dangers in the proposals the JCPA was urging the U.S. government to push:

the proposed two-state solution would simply  follow in a long line of Israeli concessions which have provided not a single reciprocal gesture from the Palestinians who have instead, continuously increased their demands on Israel in order to even begin to speak about speaking. And, finally, but by no means less important, the proposed Palestinian state would put all of Israel’s major population centers in the center of Palestinian bulls-eyes. Planes landing at Ben Gurion airport, for example, could be shot down with little difficulty from land now proposed as a part of a Palestinian state.

The danger of the plan at the basis of the “peace talks” the JCPA is pushing was used by many respondents to explain how out of touch the JCPA is with any but like-minded peace process pushers, and therefore is not a legitimate representative voice of American Jewry.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. 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


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