Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the executive vice president emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, was incredulous that the JCPA would have the chutzpah to claim they are the representative voice of organized American Jewry.
“They don’t represent me or most of the American Jewish community,” Lerner told The Jewish Press. “At this point most of the community realizes that the PA is not serious about peace, most of the community realizes that they must put the security of Israel first, and most of the community realizes that Israel has gone above and beyond for the sake of peace.”
“They seek peace but there is no peace.” Lerner had a suggestion for the JCPA: “they should wake up already.”
Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET, a pro-Israel think tank in Washington, D.C., also rejects the idea that JCPA represents her.
With the Middle East imploding all around the tiny state of Israel, now, is precisely not the time to destabilize the one, solid, democratic, ally that we have in the Middle East, the state of Israel. Ask yourself: Has the Gaza withdrawal bought any quiet and calm to Israel’s southern borders? Has the Lebanese withdrawal brought any quiet and calm to Israel’s northern borders? Now, with both Egypt and Syria imploding and Muslim slaughtering Muslim ruthlessly, and with the potential for more violence throughout the feuding Muslim and Arab world, (which by the way, has nothing what-so-ever to do with the size and shape of Israel’s borders,) now is precisely the wrong time to try to encourage Israel to take more ‘risks for peace.’
Chicago pro-Israel activist Richard Becker told The Jewish Press, “Can we not all agree on the definition of ‘insanity’ as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”
Becker has been an observer of the Middle East conflict for many years. He pointed out that the Arab Palestinians, “have spoken clearly and distinctly on the subject of Israel. They speak unambiguously and with one voice—-no Jewish state, no defensible borders, no Jewish connection to the land, no long-term peace, etc. Are we incapable of hearing ? Or is the truth too painful to bear ?
Becker recommended that the U.S. government should “stop throwing away hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a defective process that sets unattainable expectations with the inevitable outcome sure to disappoint and inflame. We’ve seen this movie before.”
A long time Washington insider, Barbara Ledeen, told The Jewish Press, “It is complete folly to pretend that a so called Kerry ‘peace’ initiative has any traction. There are only two subjects the JCPA or any other Jewish organization should discuss on the Hill – the IRS’s outrageous investigations into Jewish groups and Iran. Anything else is irrelevant.”
New Yorker Helen Freedman, the executive director of Americans for a Safe Israel, was similarly clear: “the JCPA absolutely does not represent the ideology of AFSI. The continued deception about the viability of a ‘two state solution’ defies understanding. We say enough.”
Jerry Gordon of western Florida has been an observer of the Middle East since his time as an intelligence analyst during the Viet Nam war. More recently, Gordon has been writing for the New English Review.
Gordon made it clear that the JCPA does not represent his views.
“Jewish Center for Public Affairs, the capstone of local Jewish Community Outreach Councils, champions outreach to both domestic and Middle East Muslim Jewish hate groups in the guise of dialogue. Its resolutions on academic freedom and free speech denies defense of Jewish college students against anti-Israelism on campus. The JCPA’s views on Israel are in alignment with J Street and the current Administration seeking to impose a draconian two state peace solution rejected by the majority of Israelis.”
But they aren’t in alignment with the people Gordon relies on for accurate information, or to be effective advocates for Israel.
So, while the secretary of state is apparently doing exactly as the JCPA recommended to the congressional committees, it is not the view of many engaged American Jews that it is the right thing for Kerry to be doing. Nor is it accurate for the JCPA to claim it represents the organized American Jewish community. And yes, any claim that there is such a thing as an “organized American Jewish community” is bound to be held up for ridicule. And with good reason.
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.
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