Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bad for Us: And the Rabbis Were Silent

You are not going to believe this commentary by John Podhoretz relating to this:

In a morning conference call with about 1000 rabbis from across the nation, Obama asked for aid: "I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,"...The 15-minute morning briefing was sponsored by the Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism, and included rabbis of all persuasions...Moline [Rabbi Jack Moline, the rabbi of the Conservative Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria] noted that in the lead up to the president's address, as the rabbis waited on hold, "there was a lot of chatter" among some participants who felt that the call should be seen as an opportunity "to instruct the President about [Presidential Medal of Freedom selection] Mary Robinson" and about the peace process in the Middle East.

"It was the subject of a good deal of conversation whether anyone was going to challenge him on that," in particular Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism, whose has publicly chided (*) Obama for his administration's stance on settlements.

When the issues failed to come up during the health care call, Moline pithily tweeted: "Yoffie praises President and does not raise any other issue. Good for him."

"Rabbi Yoffie stuck to the subject" of health care reform, Moline said in the interview, "I think it was a good thing."




What was this, back in July?:-

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, delivered a ringing endorsement of Obama's demands for a settlement freeze, saying that settlement expansion was not in Israel's interest.

Or this two weeks later:-

The vast majority of American Jews back a settlement freeze, according to Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism...the current dispute between Israel and the U.S. over construction in the settlements and East Jerusalem is so disturbing, he said. "This is a time that requires smooth and strong relations with [the U.S.] government. It's a time for differences to be worked through. It's a time for compromise and moderation. It's not a time to be involved in a dramatic public dispute."

"Settlement activity at the West Bank is not popular here," he continued. "It never has been. It's absolutely the last thing in the world you want to be involved in a public dispute over. Because not only you won't have the support of this government - you won't have the support of the American people either. Do you think nevertheless it was the right thing to accentuate solely this issue? Some claim this allowed the Palestinians and the Arab governments to sit and wait until the settlement freeze.

"Settlement freeze at the West Bank is something that we've supported," he replied, dodging the question. "I believe that it's possible to reach some kind of understanding on it - so whatever compromise or understanding is involved there, they need to do that."

That's a chiding?

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