Friday, February 29, 2008

The American Jewish Washout

Seems that the Jewish Council for Public Affairs endorsed for the first time a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

You all know that I have explained that we're facing a four-state solution, though.

At its annual plenum Tuesday in Atlanta, this umbrella organization representing 14 national Jewish groups and 125 local Jewish community relations councils, resolved that "the organized American Jewish community should affirm its support for two independent, democratic and economically viable states -- the Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine -- living side-by-side in peace and security."

The resolution also included compromise language reflecting American Jewry's "diverse views about current and future policies of the Israeli government towards settlements," and blamed the standstill in the peace process on Palestinian intransigence as opposed to 'terror' or specifically noting the Qassam/Grad rocket attacks, e.a l.

I was informed that the resolution passed unanimously, though the Orthodox Union, which has been outspoken in objecting to any deal to share or divide Jerusalem, had considered abstaining. According to one of its officers, David Luchins, the O.U. was satisfied with the final text, but still felt it represented an attempt to "micromanage" the peace process.

Sorry, but that's not enough.

Too bad that the OU's rep there was David Luchins. David is nowhere near reflecting the majority mood and thinking of the OU membership. And he knows it and has admitted such to me, describing himself as liberal/center.

Members of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs

American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Anti-Defamation League
B’nai B'rith
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (???)
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Life
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Jewish War Veterans
National Conference on Soviet Jewry
National Council of Jewish Women
National Jewish Coalition for Literacy ???
ORT America
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Jewish Communities
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women's League for Conservative Judaism



February 28, 2008

The Orthodox Union is a member agency of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and participated in its annual conference this week.

As reported in the media, the JCPA debated and adopted a resolution with regard to the Israeli - Palestinian peace process. The media report, however, did not fully and accurately present the Orthodox Union's position and activities with regard to the resolution; we do so here.

The OU delegation engaged in the debate over this resolution by proposing and/or opposing provisions of or amendments to the resolution text. The following were the actions of the OU on this matter:

> The OU attempted to remove the resolution's text which would have, for the first time, put JCPA on record in support of the "two state solution" - but we were defeated by a vote of the delegates to the JCPA.

> The OU succeeded in inserting into the resolution's text the statement that "Israel's repeated offers to establish 'two democratic states living side by side in peace and security' have been met, time after time, by violence, incitement and terror."

> The OU attempted to remove the resolution's text calling for American Jewish support for any negotiations by the Israeli government over the re-division of Jerusalem - but we were defeated by a vote of the delegates to the JCPA.

> The OU succeeded in inserting into the resolution text which calls upon the American Jewish community to support Israel's insistence upon being recognized by the Palestinian Authority as a "Jewish state."

> The OU succeeded in defeating a proposed amendment to the resolution text which would have stated that the American Jewish community views the establishment or expansion of Israeli settlements as an "impediment to peace."

At the conclusion of the debate and amendment process, the OU delegation abstained from the vote on final passage of the resolution and informed the JCPA of our intention to file a formal, written dissent from the portions of the resolution with which the OU disagrees.

Er, so, the OU is still part and parcel of a body with which it disagrees and from which it dissents.

Why is the OU membership in such a body more important than such a basic and principled political issue?

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