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Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Hoenlein’

Thank You J Street (You Too, Reform Movement)

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

In the aftermath of being denied entry to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, J Street has fulfilled the predictions and warnings of those who foresaw divisiveness and petulance within the ranks had  J Street been admitted.

Rather than taking the vote as a sign that the organization had not yet become sufficiently established for the mainstream organizations to feel confident it would play nicely in the sandbox with others, J Street began a letter-writing campaign ridiculing the long-serving and highly respected executive vice president Malcolm Hoenlein. That campaign also attacked the manner in which the vote had been taken – a vote in accordance with the bylaws of the organization.

J Street lashed out at those who dared to apply the same rules to it as the Conference has applied to every other new member.

The sophomoric message J Street posted on its website sought to rebuke the Conference of Presidents, and to claim that the fact it was rejected proves its conceit:  its positions are bold, brave and absent from the Conference and the fact it was rejected proves its voice is needed.

J Street suggests that without its voice as an essential and robust part of the conversation, the Palestinian Arabs will continue to be victims of the Israeli aggressors and deprived of their rights to at least half of the sliver of land to which Israel is currently in control, either due to a global licence or as the result of a defensive war.

The emptiness of those claims is revealed when one actually looks at the membership of the Conference of Presidents.

Of the 49 voting members, well more than half are easily classifiable as either center, center left or simply left, when it comes to support for Israel.  And J Street’s claim and dominant focus is Israel and Israeli security.

Americans for Peace Now, the Jewish Labor Committee, the four or five organizations which represent the Reform movement, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the four or five organizations which represent the Conservative movement, and Ameinu all represent the leftist end of the spectrum of American Judaism.

The core center is well-represented by at least a dozen other organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, B’Nai Brith International, the Jewish National Fund, American Jewish Congress, American Gathering/ Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Zionist Movement, Amit, the Anti-Defamation League, B’Nai Zion, Israel Bonds, Hadassah,  NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, ORT America, Alpha Epsilon Pi,  and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

So J Street claims that its rejection from the club is because the Conference of Presidents rigged the system to exclude J Street, or that without its voice at the table American Jewry is deprived of a desperately needed view, or that J Street is entitled to an admission process different than the one  applied to every other application is yet more affirmation that the organization and not the Conference needs to change.

This is J Street’s message to its supporters:

THANK YOU, CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS!

Yesterday’s rejection of J Street’s bid to join the Conference validates the reason for J Street: those claiming to speak for the entire Jewish community don’t in fact represent the full diversity of pro-Israel views in our community.

The Conference of President claims to be the “the proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry.” Last night’s vote removed that pretense.

So join us in thanking Malcolm Hoenlein for for clarifying this situation and revealing to all what we’ve long known: a new voice is needed to represent the true majority of American Jews–and non-Jewish supporters of an Israel at peace.

Jewish Frat Joins Conference of Presidents of Jewish Groups

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The international Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), located on American campuses across the country, has been accepted as the first frat to be a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“AEPi is a remarkable organization with affiliates on campuses across the country and provides an array of educational and advocacy training programs,” said Conference Chairman Robert G. Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO. “The admission of AEPi reflects the commitment to involve the next generation of leaders.

“We look forward to AEPi’s participation as we continue to work with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Israel on Campus Coalition.”

AEPi’s international president Elan S. Carr and Executive Director Andrew S. Borans said, “Our membership in the Conference means that AEPi will be able to make an even greater impact on Jewish identity, Jewish leadership, and Israel advocacy in the years to come.”

55 US Universities Condemn ASA Boycott of Israel

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

At least 55 American universities and colleges have rejected the American Studies Association membership vote in favor of an academic boycott of Israel.

The number was tracked by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“This remarkable response is a clear declaration that American academia will not be party to the efforts to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” Robert Sugarman, its chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, its executive vice chairman, said in a statement.

The Conference of Presidents said it wrote to each of the institutional members of the ASA outlining why the boycott call is an unjustifiable and blatantly discriminatory act.

“The response is very encouraging and we are grateful that so many took the time during a holiday week to respond,” the group’s leaders said. “We continue to urge the rest of the members to speak out against the action and to disassociate from supporting the ASA.”

At the time of the Dec. 15 vote, only 1,252 ASA members out of 3,853 eligible voters were present, and two-thirds of them, about 825 members, approved the boycott.

Kerry Briefs Jewish ‘Leaders’ (Cheerleaders?) on MidEast Talks

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry met with what the Jewish Telegraph Agency described as “Jewish leaders” to “brief” them on the resumption of Israeli-Arab Palestinian talks on Thursday evening, August 8.

Although the briefing was off the record, the JTA quoted unnamed attendants who said several things.

First, that the meeting was dominated by Kerry’s “enthusiam for the resumed talks, and the serious commitment he said [sic] saw from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.”

And second, that Kerry “repeated his appeal to American Jews to endorse and support the peace process, first made in early June”.

Invited participants at the briefing were: leaders from the Conservative movement, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Conservative movement, the Orthodox Union, American Friends of Lubavitch, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish Federations of North America, Hadassah, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Clearly, for this State Department, as well as the JTA, Jewish “leaders” is synonymous with the entire spectrum from center to center left.  Where was the Zionist Organization of America? Where was the Republican Jewish Coalition? Where was Aish HaTorah? Where were any Jewish organizations that might point out the folly of the current talks, or the demand for horrifyingly painful concessions from one side just to start the talks at all, and none from the other side?

Oh, right, those present were the American Jewish CheerLeaders for this Administration and its Middle East efforts all of whom prove an airtight theory usually wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein: the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In fact, almost exactly four years ago, during Obama’s first term he had his first major sitdown with roughly the same set of Jewish “leaders.” The meeting was called at a time when American Jews who very uneasy about Obama’s interest in being supportive of Israel. At that meeting, one man actually did square his shoulders and dared to make a sideways suggestion to the president.

According to an account in the Washington Post, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein said to the president, “If you want Israel to take risks, then its leaders must know that the United States is right next to them.”

The president’s response did not give Jews or Israelis the assurance they had been seeking.  Obama said to Hoenlein, ““Look at the past eight years,” he said, referring to the George W. Bush administration’s relationship with Israel. “During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”

In other words – being such good friends with Israel did nothing for President Bush’s ability to make progress on the peace process.  It looks like Obama’s Middle East team holds the same view the president expressed right to the faces of the American “Jewish leaders” back in 2009.   And now no one in that group is going to challenge him or his surrogates.

Obama ‘Damned If He Visits and Damned If He Doesn’t’

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Israelis, who were so anxious the past four years for President Barack Obama to show his support by visiting Israel, now are increasingly anxious about his trip in two weeks.

“People are concerned about what the real goal is,” Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations Michael Hoenlein told Politico.

“There’s a lot of speculation…..They keep asking, ‘Why is he coming? Why is he coming?’” Hoenlein said. “I say, ‘For four years, you were saying, “Why isn’t he coming?” Now, you’re asking “Why is he coming?’”

President Obama is scheduled to leave Washington March 19 for Israel and Jordan, but that depends on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to form a coalition government before then.

It is assumed that that the President will postpone the trip if there is no government, and officials cannot wait until the last minute to decide. Politico cited the needs for security arrangements and placing communications equipment and advance staff before the visit.

“The White House may need to make a decision on scrubbing the trip even before Netanyahu’s March 16 deadline” to form a coalition, the website reported.

On Eve of Obama’s Visit, the Right is Silent

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice President of the Conference of Presidents, is again asked why Obama is coming to Israel.

He laughs.

“Why is he coming? First they asked why he didn’t come. Now that he’s coming, they ask why he’s coming.”

Hoenlein’s view is that Obama is coming to Israel simply because of the constant attacks on him for not coming.

Still, I ask him, do you believe there is a danger that we will pay a political price for the visit—retreating from territory, freezing construction in Judea and Samaria, releasing terrorists from prison?

Hoenlein allows that the possibility exists. “But principally, as the White House said, the visit is meant to show the continuing friendship between the two countries.”

Hoenlein has been in the business for 35 years. When he warns of a danger, it’s not just because a Jew always has to worry. It’s a concrete warning—not least when we both know that there are Jews who will see to it that we have good reason to worry.

You can be quite sure that parallel to the official Israeli emissaries making their way to Washington at this time, there are a number of Israelis who make a living off the Palestinian issue going as emissaries of themselves.

Who is sponsoring these peace-mongering harbingers of terrorist attacks?

There are for-profit corporations, among them Israeli companies, that make their money from political consulting and brokering services. Their patrons include governments, government foundations, and intelligence bodies.

This is nothing new, though. In every generation there are people who work in the service of the enemy. Otherwise why would the prayer against informers be an integral part of the Amida prayer?

Judging by past experience, these brokers will offer their good offices—or have already offered them—to the State Department and the foreign media, both journalists writing background articles prior to Obama’s visit and those who will tag along during the trip. The brokers are already preparing beautifully produced folders with diagrams and flowcharts detailing the steps toward peace with the Palestinians and the prices to be paid: freezing Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, giving away more of Area B, releasing terrorists from jail … forgetting only the additional price to be paid in blood.

These proposals have been floated previously, including several that were published in The New York Times. They are a cause for concern for the people of the State of Israel, who at the moment are living relatively peacefully.

Transferring parts of Areas B and C to the Palestinians would diminish the ability of the IDF to move around those areas. Enough blood has already been spilled for it to be crystal clear that Palestinian police officers simply don’t deliver the goods when it comes to providing security. Only the IDF does that. Moshe does the job. Moussa does not.

Benny Begin was among the first to see the problem with outsourcing Israeli security to the P.A. He was warning already in 1993 about people who during the day are P.A. policemen, but at night are terrorists. I spoke with him this week, and he discussed at length why he hasn’t changed his mind.

The release of terrorists, which is liable to accompany the surrender of territory, is a catalyst for terrorist attacks. It funnels high-quality manpower to the terrorist organizations and reduces Israel’s capacity to punish and deter the terrorists.

Ostensibly, the rationale for “gestures” such as these is that the world will see that the Palestinians fail to reciprocate and then stand at our side.

The problem is that it never worked. And it still doesn’t.

Every gesture or concession simply sets the stage for the next set of Israeli concessions. Menachem Begin thought that the evacuation of Sinai would save Judea and Samaria. Then came the pressure on Shamir to participate in the Madrid Conference. Then the retreat from Gush Katif was supposed to save Judea and Samaria. No sooner was the retreat from Gaza completed than the world renewed its pressure on Israel to withdraw from from Judea and Samaria.

Isn’t it time to switch approaches and change direction, to bring something truly new to the political arena, to put up an iron wall that will stand up against these pressures? To signal that the era of limited political endurance and insufficient national stamina is finally over?

West Coast Happenings

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Events In The West: This Shabbos Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, will be the scholar-in-residence at Beth Jacob Beverly Hills… On March 30, Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo will be the scholar-in-residence at Young Israel of Century City.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Ryan and Anit Silver, a son… Manasseh and Menucha Levi, a daughter… Schneor and Liba Nejar of NY, a son (Grandparents Simcha and Tzirel Frankel)… Binyamin and Ilyssa Bass, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Dov Ber Genauer, son of Yaakov and Nechama Genauer… Benzion Huttler, son of Rabbi Yossi and Goldie Huttler… Dovid Fasman, son of Shmuel and Shoshana Fasman… Aaron Kahan, son of Mark and Marlene Kahan… Binyomin Zuman, son of Dr. Betzalel and Devorah Zuman.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Adam Silverstein, son of Neil and Leslie Silverstein, to Rena Kolom of Lincolnwood, IL… Hillary Barak, daughter of Dr. Mark and Michelle Barak, to Aaron Khodorkosky, son of Igor and Larissa Khodorkosky of Tarzana, CA… Sara Bina Czapnik, daughter of Avrohom and Rivky Czapnik, to Shmuel Aron Gottesman of Lakewood, NJ… Yosef Goldberg, son of Menachem and Golde Goldberg, to Dassie Cohen of Baltimore, MD… Yocheved Huniu to Moshe Abramson of Baltimore and Israel.

Mazel Tov – Weddings: Beni Malkin, son of Dr. Michael and Rachel Malkin, to Tzirel Pritzker of Brooklyn, NY… Bradley Lipman, son of Brian and Ilana Lipman, to Allyson Brody of Cedarhurst, NY… Carmiel Schoenfeld, son of Alan and Elisa Schoenfeld, to Sara Soniker of New Rochelle, NY.

Congratulations: Deputy Barry Poltorak for receiving the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Annual Distinguished Service Award for his heroic and lifesaving effort as a deputy sheriff during the October 27, 2001 City of Carson fire… Donald Etra for being named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Century City Bar Association.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Moishe and Mussie Witkes of Safed, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Yonason and Sussie Denebeim).

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Jason and Donna Roberts, a daughter (Grandparents Irving and Rivka Gold).

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Daniel Stahl to Dr. Ariella Schwartz.

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov- Birth: Roy and Galit Zer-Chen, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvahs: Aleeza Kapenstein, daughter of Jim and Jill Kapenstein… Atara Bayever, daughter of Jason and Tova Bayever.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Marc Borenstein, son of Jack and Renee Borenstein, to Jean Liao.

DENVER, COLORADO

Mazel Tov – Engagement: Avi Mehler, son of Dr. Philip and Leah Mehler, to Abby Moskowitz, daughter of Jay and Joyce Moskowitz.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/west-coast-happenings/west-coast-happenings-4/2012/03/15/

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