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Author Topic: Reform leader calls on U.S. to pressure Israel, Jews to pressure U.S.
Babbler # 2878

posted 02 December 2003 03:44 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In an interview with Haaretz in his New York
office, just a few days after the conference,
Rabbi Yoffie did not let up on his call for
Israel to freeze all settlements immediately,
regardless of what the Palestinians are doing.

NEW YORK – Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president
of the Union for Reform Judaism (formerly known as
the Union of American Hebrew Congregation), did
not attend the United Jewish Communities’
General Assembly (GA) in Jerusalem last week. It
was not a form of protest of any kind, just a
scheduling problem.

But to the thousands of American Jews who did attend the gathering in Israel and
the million and a half members of his organization, Rabbi Yoffie sent a sharp and
unequivocal message that may not necessarily please the Israeli government or the
American-Jewish establishment. At the biannual conference of the Reform movement that took place two weeks ago in Minneapolis, Yoffie broke the vow of silence he had taken upon himself since the
beginning of the intifada and sharply attacked
the government’s settlement policy, which
he says endangers the future of Israel as a
Jewish and democratic state.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3192

posted 02 December 2003 05:33 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think he's right. I personally don't see a binational state as the disaster he does, but a viable two-state solution would be a hell of an improvement from what's going on now, and Zionists who do care about the Jewish majority and the two-state solution should be rallying around this man.

The problem is that the purpose of the settlements is to push the Arabs off the entire territory; many American Zionists (typically the more religious Jews and evangelical Christians) are unlikely to settle for anything less. And Sharon's behaviour (warning of "painful land concessions" while continuing to grab land) demonstrates that he is not willing to abandon this goal.

If Israel were threatened with the loss of American support, that would make the Israeli government listen, certainly - but as long as the fundamentalist Christians (who have much greater numbers and hence deeper pockets than America's Jews) and the Cold War neoconservatives maintain their unconditional support for the expansions, the prospect of losing the support of Reform Jews, well, it isn't much of a threat.

[ 02 December 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]

From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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