When will we learn that no one group or ideology owns 'love of Israel?'
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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As the June 1 Israel Parade draws closer, some organizations are threatening not to march. They are protesting the decision of parade sponsors to allow organizations like the New Israel Fund– a favorite target of the right wing of the Zionist movement– to be included in the parade, because of its alleged sympathy for the BDS strategy (boycott, divestment and sanction) designed to modify Israel’s position on settlements in the West Bank. The NIF steadfastly denies supporting BDS. They (the more right-wing organizations) feel that the NIF and its friends should have no place at the Zionist table, or at a parade that salutes Israel. And as long as they do, these more right-wing organizations won’t march.
An American in Israel asks why, after 'Save Darfur,' we don't pay more attention to African refugees in the Jewish state.
Elliot Vaisrub Glassenberg
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When I made aliyah more than two years ago, I was shocked to discover a community of Darfuri asylum seekers living in Israel. Like so many American Jews I was active in the Save Darfur campaign; I wrote letters, sent money and prayed in synagogues waving green “Save Darfur” banners. Yet to this day, I do not fully understand why I, like so many American Jews, had little awareness of the African asylum seeker situation in Israel.
More than 400 American Jewish clergy asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to go ahead with new construction in a corridor connecting eastern Jerusalem to the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim.
When our Brooklyn synagogue recently hosted two former State Department veterans, Elliot Abrams and Robert Malley, a few congregants and even a local merchant objected to our having invited Mr. Abrams, a known “war criminal.”
Similarly, when our synagogue hosted Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian academic, others claimed our pulpit now had “Jewish blood on its hands.” Another congregant asked, “How can you invite Malley? He and the president hate Jews.”
Nearly 4,000 American Jews have signed a petition from the New Israel Fund in support of Israel's social justice movement.
The petition was published Sept. 2 in the International Herald Tribune in advance of the movement's major demonstration on Sept. 3, which brought out 400,000 Israelis in what some say was the largest protest in Israel's history.
Pushback is hard as anti-Jacobs group threatens another ad.
Responding to an ad from a small but vocal group of critics who insist that the president-designate of the Union of Reform Judaism is not sufficiently pro-Israel, the movement and its supporters pushed back hard this week with a series of statements and opinion pieces this week defending him.
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Ads questioning the Zionist credentials of the leader-designate of the Reform movement are a distortion, Reform leaders said.
The ad attacking Rabbi Richard Jacobs for not being sufficiently pro-Israel appeared in a number of Jewish newspapers this week. It was placed by a group of Reform Jews calling themselves Jews Against Divisive Leadership.
Okay, he works for the competition and all, but I have to say it: the Forward's J.J. Goldberg nailed it on the issue of Rabbi Richard Jacobs, recently selected as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism.