JAT Action Alert: 11 December 2003

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DATE:      11 December, 2003
TYPE: Action Item
SCOPE: Boston Area
SUBJ: Jewish Leaders Acting Against Government of Israel (2)

Protest Boston Jewish Leaders Who Organized Against the Elected Government of Israel in Geneva.

A few days ago JAT issued a call to write letters to The Jewish Advocate about the front-page op-ed column written by two Boston Jewish leaders who participated in the Geneva activities and wrote a glowing report about them.

This JAT calls for action directed to Barry Shrage, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), whose chairman of the board, Alan Solomont, was one of the community leaders participating in Geneva.

ACTION

Please read the background material below and then send a letter or fax or write an email to Barry Schrage of CJP (see the contact information below).

Options for you to recommend to Barry:

  1. Solomont should resign from his community leadership position, or be censured.
  2. The CJP must find a way to stop this from happening ever again.
  3. The CJP must distance itself from the Geneva plan to make it clear that it does not support an undermining of the elected government of Israel.

BACKGROUND

Boston's Jews hold widely divergent views on many issues, including of course on Israel. Our community operates according to a time-honored principle: that the leadership and the communal organizations support the elected government of the State of Israel -- regardless of their private political opinions. This agreement celebrates and respects Israel's democracy, and it serves to ensure that our community will not divide.

Alan Solomont, chairman of the board of directors of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and Geoffrey Lewis, past president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, publicized and advocated (on the front page of The Jewish Advocate) for the "Geneva peace plan" in opposition to the elected government of the Jewish state, and in contravention of the long-standing community principle that forbids Boston leaders of communal organizations to do precisely such a thing. If you did not see the article yourself, you can for the moment view the beginning of it on the Advocate's website at:

http://www.TheJewishAdvocate.com/

Their article contained an attempt at a disclaimer: they wrote that they were acting only as individuals and not as officials representing Boston Jewry. This simply does not hold water. They do represent the Boston Jewish community. They cannot divorce themselves from their leadership positions when it comes to political matters affecting Israel and Jews. They have a responsibility as leaders to reflect the sentiment of the community (the JCRC board did not discuss the matter), and to be guided by the overriding, time-honored principle of not opposing the elected government of Israel.

They have broken faith with our community.

They have treated Israel, as its enemies do, as "the Jew among nations." No other nation allows its foreign policy to be determined by others?

Geneva: Israel is NOT considered a Jewish state:

"Geneva" implies that there does not have to be a Jewish state. The document never refers to Israel as a Jewish state. The chief reason Israel is prepared to make concessions is to gain from the Arab world acceptance as a Jewish state. Geneva categorically avoids this. But those who promote it have prevaricated on this most basic point.

Geneva: Israel losses control of her borders, ceases to be a nation.

The minimal definition of "nation" is control of one's own borders. "Geneva" does NOT retract Arab claims for "right of return." It places the matter in the hands of international communities, including Arab states, and thus Israel becomes less than a nation: she losses control of her borders.

CONTACT INFO

A letter or fax will have more impact, but if you don't have time for that, by all means send an email message. We don't have an email address specifically for Barry, but messages sent to the address below will surely be brought to his attention.

Barry Shrage, President
Combined Jewish Philanthropies
126 High Street
Boston, MA 02110
phone:   617-457-8500
FAX: 617-988-6262
Email: barrys@cjp.org

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