Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Question. What do U.S. Jews really think about annexation? - by Stephen M. Flatow

The only way to know is to poll the Jewish population. But the answers may come as a surprise.

Stephen M. Flatow..
06 July '20..

What, exactly do American Jews think about the possibility of reuniting small parts of Judea and Samaria with the rest of Israel?

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, former president of the Union for Reform Judaism, says he knows. Writing in Haaretz this week, he declared: “American Jews are not happy.” Note he didn’t say “some” or even “many.” Rather, “American Jews”—all of them, apparently— are “not happy” about any possible annexation.

According to Yoffie, all American Jews are “shocked,” “panicked,” “puzzled,” “confused,” and “above all, angry” at what he calls “the monumental stupidity” of extending Israeli law to even the smallest part of the areas that have been at the center of the Jewish national homeland for more than 3,000 years.

Not that he is alone in his assumptions. Former U.S. Mideast envoy Martin Indyk, who has spent much of his life trying to create a Palestinian state in Israel’s backyard, recently claimed on Twitter that there is a “Diaspora Revolt” against annexation.

And presumably as one manifestation of that “Revolt,” 36 Conservative rabbinical students recently signed a statement denouncing any such Israeli actions.

I’m not surprised that some Conservative rabbinical students lean far to the left when it comes to Israeli issues. So do many Reform and Reconstructionist rabbinical students. That’s not news; it reflects long-standing ideological trends in those movement’s educational institutions.

And it’s surely no surprise that former ambassador Indyk, a professional crusader for Palestinian statehood, conjures up imaginary “revolts” to advance his agenda.

Yoffie himself, however, is a little more complicated.

As president of the Reform movement (then known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations), Yoffie stood up in front of the delegates to its national convention, in Cleveland, on June 3, 2001, and named the real obstacle to peace.

(Continue to Full Column)

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