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Jewish groups adjusting agendas for new GOP-led Congress

WASHINGTON – Faced with a new Congress intent on slashing the U.S. federal budget, Jewish groups are trimming their agendas to hew to its contours.

On issues from Israel aid to the environment to elderly care, Jewish organizations are planning to promote priorities that would find favorable reception in the new Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives. The groups are trying to build alliances based on shared interests and recasting pitches for existing programs as Republican-friendly.

“Some parts of our agenda won’t have much traction in this new climate,” acknowledged Josh Protas, the Washington director for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “We are looking for items that have bipartisan priorities.”

To be sure, Democrats still control the White House and the Senate, and many conservative initiatives will die in the Senate or by the stroke of a presidential veto. But the House, with its considerable oversight powers and its ability to stymie legislation, remains extremely important.

Protas says the JCPA, an umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, already has had meetings with staff members of the new House speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).

On domestic issues, many of the major Jewish organizations are devoted to policies that directly contradict Republican approaches. According to Protas, Boehner’s staffers told JCPA representatives that the best strategy for working around that is to cherry-pick the smaller issues within the broader agendas that could appeal to Republicans.

“We definitely got the sense that smaller, more focused legislation is what we’ll be seeing, so we’re trying to look at more discrete cases,” he said.

For example, on elderly care, a signature issue of the Jewish Federations of North America. The JFNA will seek to frame Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, or NORCs, one of the jewels of the federation system, as a cost savings, according to William Daroff, director of the Jewish Federations’ Washington office.

NORCs have been pitched previously as appealing earmarks for lawmakers to insert into bills. But Republicans say they will eliminate earmarks, or discretionary spending by lawmakers; the Jewish Federations’ emphasis on cost-effectiveness is an attempt to hit a popular Republican note.

“Programs like NORC,” Daroff said, “shift governmental policy away from expensive institutionalized care to less expensive” programs.

Daroff invoked Republican talking points in explaining how the Jewish Federations would continue to seek funding for security for Jewish community institutions. Security funding, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in recent years, has given local law enforcement the power to decide exactly how the money is spent, not federal officials.

“It’s not a nameless, faceless bureaucrat in downtown Washington making a decision but someone in a community allocating funds to what a community feels its needs are,” he said.

Another strategy is to establish relationships with Republican Congress members based on mutual concerns, and then trying to make the lawmakers aware of what drives Jewish community concerns, said Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center.

He cited international religious liberty issues, including the persecution of Christians around the world.

“You have to go member by member to find people’s interests,” he said.

Jewish organizations will continue to promote some issues even if the Republican-controlled Congress isn’t interested in them. Protas and Pelavin cited cuts in funding for the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or food stamps, as an area where their groups would push back against GOP cuts. Daroff mentioned plans by some fiscal conservatives to disburse funding for Medicaid and poverty assistance in bloc grants to states, which would dilute spending on programs for the disabled.

Israel funding is likely to remain steady, Capitol Hill sources said, although there are concerns about how the funding will take place given the Republicans’ interest in trimming foreign spending.

Some leading Republicans, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the new chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, say Congress could separate funding for Israel from overall foreign spending, allowing conservatives to maintain current levels for Israel while slashing foreign spending for countries they don’t see as friendly or programs they oppose.

The pro-Israel community sees such a proposal as disastrous, in part because it will make Israel a “special case” after years of efforts to make backing Israel a natural extension of foreign policy. That could engender resentment of Israel.

Correspondingly, the pro-Israel lobby sees foreign aid as a means to bolster support for the U.S.-Israel alliance in the international community. Pro-Israel groups in Washington often have taken the lead in lobbying for Israel-friendly countries in the past.

One proposal has been to make Israel funding a part of defense spending. Insiders say they have been reassured that Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, has no intention of giving up funding for Israel and the power it yields her.

It also remains unclear what Republicans mean when they say they plan on keeping funding for Israel steady. Israel and the United States are in the middle of a 10-year agreement that incrementally increases assistance year by year between 2007 and 2017, so that it averages $3 billion a year.

Does “keeping funding steady” mean maintaining the 2010 level of $2.775 billion, or keeping to the agreement and upping the amount to $3 billion this year?

Officials say the best asset available to Jewish organizations dealing with domestic and foreign policy is the grass roots — not the lobbyists in Washington, but the activists across the country who make appointments to see their lawmakers on home visits.

The lesson of the Tea Party, the grass-roots movement that propelled Republicans to retake the House, should not be lost on Jewish groups, says Sammie Moshenberg, the Washington director for the National Council of Jewish Women, which will advocate this year for President Obama’s judicial nominees, pay equity, and immigration reform, among other issues.

“The inside-the-Beltway strategy is to find our friends where we can, on a bipartisan basis,” she said. “But also to get the grass roots to speak out — that’s key, that’s what always turns the tide. If the Tea Party taught us nothing, it’s that getting folks to speak out and be persistently involved makes a difference.”

JTA Wire Service

 
 

A half-century later, rabbis recall marching with Martin Luther King

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The late Rabbi Ralph Simon, then the president of the Rabbinical Assembly and father of Rabbi Matthew Simon of Rockville, Md., accompanying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who addressed the RA convention at the Concord Hotel in New York’s Catskill Mountains, March 25, 1968. Matthew Simon

At least that was the case in the 1960s, he says, when Dresner, now rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne, was one of dozens of rabbis who answered the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy from the North to join the civil rights movement in the Jim Crow South.

From the Freedom Rides of 1961 to the famous march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, when Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walked in the front row with King, Jews were prominent participants in the battle for civil rights that dominated the first half of the ’60s.

Of the thousands of white activists who headed South, nearly half were Jewish, according to “Jewish Dimensions of Social Justice,” a 1998 publication of the Reform movement.

“This was living out what Judaism itself has been teaching all along, that you have to help the oppressed, the underprivileged, not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,” said Rabbi David Teitelbaum, 84, of Redwood City, Calif.

As the United States gets set to mark Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 17, some rabbis who traveled South to join the man who would go on to win a Nobel Peace Prize talked to JTA about the civil rights struggle.

Teitelbaum went to Alabama with four other rabbis from northern California in March 1965 for the voter registration drive of African Americans and the Selma march.

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Rabbi Israel Dresner, left, and the late Rabbi Martin Freedman were part of the first interfaith clergy Freedom Ride. They and Rabbi André Ungar, right, marched in Selma, Ala., for civil rights with Martin Luther King.

The rabbis who joined these efforts were arrested, jailed, and sometimes beaten, protected by the color of their skin from the worst physical dangers, but nonetheless threatened on a daily basis.

Dresner’s first arrest was in June 1961, when he and the late Rabbi Martin Freedman of Barnert Temple, then in Paterson, along with eight Protestant ministers, formed the first interfaith clergy Freedom Ride. Their bus was part of a summer-long campaign of white and black activists, many of them clergy, who traveled together throughout the South to draw attention to the evils of segregation.

The young Dresner went to jail each summer for the next three years, as he brought ever-larger groups of rabbis and ministers to join the struggle in the South.

“I was a Reform rabbi, but I always wore a yarmulke,” said Dresner. “I wanted people to know I was Jewish.”

The president of the NAACP at the time was Kivie Kaplan, a prominent member of the Reform movement’s social action commission. Kaplan bought the Washington building that became the headquarters for the movement’s new Religious Action Center and also housed the fledgling Leadership Council on Civil Rights.

Black and Jewish lawyers drafted, on a table in that building, what became the major civil rights laws of the mid-’60s, recounted Al Vorspan, who directed the Reform commission for 50 years.

It was a time when Jews and blacks often found common cause in the struggle for justice in a country where both had been oppressed.

Rabbi Matthew Simon, 79, now the emeritus rabbi of B’nai Israel in Rockville, Md., was working at a Conservative congregation in Los Angeles when he joined the 1965 Selma march.

“I had very good relationships with the black clergy in the San Fernando Valley,” he recalled. “We worked together on social action issues, on voting rights and housing rights, not just in Los Angeles but all over the country.”

Jews who took part in these efforts took considerable push-back from fellow Jews who felt that Jewish activism was better directed at issues of Jewish, not general, concern.

Most of the rabbis who marched with King, or joined the Freedom Riders, were Reform, said Vorspan, now senior vice president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, formerly known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

UAHC came out “strongly and unequivocally” in favor of civil rights activism, he said, but the rabbis who went South risked more than physical danger.

“Many of their congregations were on the verge of firing them for it,” Vorspan said. “I personally went to several congregations threatening to fire their rabbis and told them it would be a ‘chilul HaShem,’” a desecration of God’s name.

Three of the largest Reform temples in the country, including Temple Emanuel in New York, temporarily withdrew from the Reform movement, he recalled, because of the movement’s support for the civil rights struggle and later opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, leading black activists were borrowing heavily from Jewish sources, particularly the Bible, in their sermons and speeches. King himself often used biblical motifs, especially the Exodus, to dramatize the African-American journey from slavery to freedom.

One night in Georgia in the summer of 1962, Dresner and King were trapped with other activists in a house surrounded by hundreds of members of the local White Citizens Council.

While they were waiting for help, King told Dresner about the Passover seder he’d attended that spring at a Reform synagogue in Atlanta. He particularly recalled reading the Haggadah and hearing the phrase “We were slaves in Egypt.”

“Dr. King said to me, ‘I was enormously impressed that 3,000 years later, these people remember their ancestors were slaves, and they’re not ashamed,’” Dresner said. “He told me, ‘We Negroes have to learn that, not to be ashamed of our slave heritage.’”

Negro was the accepted term for African American in the 1960s, Dresner noted.

In March 1965, Rabbi Saul Berman, then the spiritual leader of Cong. Beth Israel in Berkeley, Calif., traveled to Alabama with the rabbinic delegation from northern California.

Black leaders in Selma called, asking the rabbis to bring a box of kippot with them.

“At that time, black people in the South were wearing kippot as a freedom cap,” explained Berman, now a prominent Orthodox scholar who teaches at Stern College and Columbia University School of Law in New York. “It was an extraordinary indication of the extreme penetration of the Jewish community.”

At the same time, Berman said, a “disturbing undercurrent” began to surface in the movement. As his group of 150 activists was arrested for the second time on its way to Selma, debate broke out as to whether they should disband, with a promise not to return, as local police were urging.

“They didn’t want to book us — half the group was clergy,” Berman said.

As the white ministers pondered the best move, the black participants became angry.

“The question arose, whose movement is this?” Berman said. “It was a precursor of much more intense feelings of that sort that emerged in the late ‘60s as black leaders began to resent white leaders who felt the civil rights movement was ‘theirs.’ I didn’t recognize the significance of that scene until much later.”

Among the rabbis gathered in Selma was André Ungar, now rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley, in Woodcliff Lake. He said that he and his wife, Judy, had been “privileged” to take part in the march.

“She was very pregnant and very thirsty,” he recalled, “but when she asked for something to drink, people turned her down because she was a ‘carpetbagger’ like the rest of us.”

King, said Ungar, was “a wonderful man, a great American, a true friend of the Jews. He spoke about Moses and Amos and Martin Buber with great knowledge and passion. The world would be a better place with King alive.”

Many of the rabbis who were active in the civil rights struggle went on to support freedom for Soviet Jewry, motivated by the same sense of prophetic justice that drew them to the South and by the desire to protect their fellow Jews in trouble, a more particularist concern that grew as the decades passed.

Today, relations between the black and Jewish communities are rarely as strong as they were in the heyday of the civil rights struggle.

“The issues of concern today are those of American society as a whole, not of blacks being able to enter American society,” said Simon, who notes that even after 30 years in suburban Washington, he still does not know his local black clergy. “I interact with them from time to time, but they’ve never come to us for a common action.”

Still, vestiges of commonality remain.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center, is the only non-African American on the board of the NAACP. Many synagogues and Jewish community centers run Freedom Seders at Passover with local African-American and Latino leaders, or interfaith Shabbat services to honor Martin Luther King Day.

And rabbis who marched with King say they’d do it again.

“Because I’m Jewish,” Dresner said. “I didn’t see any alternative.”

JTA Wire Service

 
 

Do hearings on Muslim radicalization leave room for nuance?

WASHINGTON – Are the congressional hearings on radicalization among American Muslims an instance of McCarthyism, or is the opposition to them political correctness run amok?

Jewish groups may disagree on why, but there appears to be wide consensus that the congressional hearings led by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, are off on the wrong foot.

The differences are over whether hearings, which began March 10, are needed at all — and if they are, what they should address.

The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee agree that examining Muslim extremism is a proper issue for Congress, and AJC went a step further by saying that lawmakers should not bend to political pressures.

An AJC official, Yehudit Barsky, director of the organization’s division on the Middle East and International Terrorism, submitted written testimony to the hearings, which officially are called “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response.”

In her testimony, Barsky said it was “essential that we all tread carefully so as to avoid rhetoric that smacks of stereotyping members of a particular faith and similarly avoid actions that amount to discrimination against, much less persecution of, members of a faith group based on their identity or beliefs, as opposed to their actions.”

In a statement, the ADL echoed that sentiment.

“Homegrown Muslim extremists pose a real threat to the United States, but the issue is one that may be difficult to explore seriously in a hearing that has engendered an unfortunate atmosphere of blame and suspicion of the broader American Muslim community,” the ADL said. “We need to be careful not to single out an entire community for special scrutiny or suspicion.”

The Reform movement called on congressional Democrats to expand the hearings to encompass all forms of terrorism.

The National Jewish Democratic Council and J Street said the hearings are indelibly tainted.

Critics of the hearings say King seeks to smear American Muslims. They note that in the lead-up to the hearings, King said there are “too many mosques” in America. King also has suggested that Muslim leaders do not cooperate with authorities and that the vast majority of clerics are radicalized.

The Republican Jewish Coalition said King was fulfilling his proper mission.

“The hearings have met with strong resistance from the left, but they are critically needed,” the RJC said in its newsletter.

King was unrepentant as the hearings began last week.

“To combat this threat, moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim-American community,” he said.

Yet King failed to invite to the hearings major Muslim-American groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to defend themselves against charges that they coddle terrorist sympathizers. The council criticized the King hearings as tainting all American Muslims.

But the hearings also did not invite those who maintain that much if not all of the Islamic world has been radicalized.

If anything, the hearings provided an opportunity to hear a range of voices, including both those who praised the American Muslim community’s stance against radicalism and parents of American Muslims lured into terrorism. There were also a number of Muslims who have criticized insularity among Muslim Americans.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, testified before the committee. So did Leroy Baca, the Los Angeles County sheriff who praised the Council on American-Islamic Relations as cooperative.

In her testimony, Barsky, who listed recent planned attacks by Muslim extremists on U.S. Jewish targets, cautioned against viewing the hearings as an assault on all Muslims.

“Some Muslim organizations, joined by well-meaning supporters, have reacted to the idea of discussing the threat posed by Islamic extremist terrorists by raising the specter of McCarthyism,” Barsky said. “They and others have demanded that any discussion or investigation of this national security threat be broadened to include all extremists in all communities.

“Logic and experience, however, dictate that any meaningful inquiry focus on particular organizations and extremists that currently pose a national security threat.”

The Reform movement said the failure to broaden the inquiry unfairly singled out Muslims.

“A wide-ranging exploration of radicalism writ-large is necessary, and we would welcome it,” Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the movement’s Religious Action Center, said in testimony submitted to the committee. “But today’s hearing is not that exploration. It is a narrow, myopic investigation into the American Muslim community which unfairly targets one group of citizens in congressional proceedings.”

Pelavin joined a Capitol Hill protest that included representatives of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim bodies and described the hearings as “anti-Muslim.” Also appearing at that event were a prominent Conservative rabbi, Jack Moline, who has advised the Obama White House, and Marc Schneier, an Orthodox rabbi and co-founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Steve Emerson, who heads the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a research organization that has consulted with a number of pro-Israel groups, said the concerns were overblown.

“Those involved in terrorism are a tiny sliver of the overall Muslim-American population,” he wrote in a New York Daily News Op-Ed. “But one ought to be able to focus on a very real problem — homegrown terrorism fueled by Muslim extremism — without being accused of painting the entire U.S. Muslim population with a broad brush.”

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), perhaps the most passionately pro-Israel lawmaker in Congress, said in a statement that King’s tone mitigated against a sober assessment of domestic Muslim extremism.

“Instead of singling out this particular community for investigation, our focus should remain on the many sources of terrorism and violence that threaten our nation and its residents,” she said, noting her concerns about the “tone and substance” of the hearings.

“I ask,” she said, “if this hearing were focused on the Jewish community, Japanese community, or the African-American community, or any other community, would we not be justifiably outraged?”

JTA Wire Service

 
 

A year after the BP spill, inspiration in an uphill battle

_JStandardOp-Ed
Published: 29 April 2011
 
 

Al Vorspan: ‘Shrill’ and proud

Larry YudelsonLocal | World
Published: 20 April 2012

In May 1966, Sen. Thomas Dodd took to the Senate floor to denounce an article in American Judaism — as the magazine of what is now the Union of Reform Judaism was then known.

The article, calling for an end to the still-young war in Vietnam, argued that “Vietnam is not comparable to Munich and Hitler.”

Such anti-war views represented only “a vociferous minority,” Dodd claimed, calling support for the war by the Jewish War Veterans organization more reflective of religious opinion.

Now 88 years old, Albert Vorspan, the author of the article, remembers that era well.

“During Vietnam, we had a large, shrill voice and shook up the Jewish community,” he says.

He’s not apologetic about that.

What he does regret is that a decade ago, during the run-up to war in Iraq, the Reform movement “mostly went along.”

One difference may be that in 1966, Vorspan was one of the vocal leaders of the Reform movement. Hired in 1953 to spearhead and direct the Commission on Social Action of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations — as the umbrella organization of Reform congregations was then known — he remained a formidable presence in the group for nearly 40 years.

But by 2002 he had been emeritus – serving on the commission’s board, but not its director – for a decade.

Vorspan will speak Friday night at Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne, presenting the first annual Tikkun Olam lecture in honor of the congregation’s rabbi emeritus, Israel Dresner.

Vorspan speaks of Dresner fondly.

“We’ve been in jail together. We’ve demonstrated together,” says Vorspan.

Vorspan says that Dresner was arrested many more times — while demonstrating in the Civil Rights movement — than he was.

“Dresner was even more immersed than I. He was the most arrested rabbi, the closest to Martin Luther King. I was none of those things.”

Yet Vorspan’s role in the movement was critical.

“When I came to the Union, they said, what do you want to do? I said, ‘I want to go down south, I want to meet King, I want to find where our congregations fit into this. I want to see what our congregations can do to help.’”

“In the 1950s, [and] especially in the ‘60s, I knew we were involved in the greatest moral struggle in American history, probably since the Civil War. This would determine whether America would be a racist country or not. It was a mammoth fight.”

Vorspan brought to the struggle a commitment to equality forged while growing up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in an era when “we were the capital of anti-Semitism in America. It was both racist and anti-Semitic. You’d have to Google it to believe it. Jews were probably treated as badly or worse than blacks. There were public schools you could belong to but not the Lions Club. Not the Automobile Club. Whole parts of both cities were Judenrein. Jews couldn’t live there.

“There were very few voices speaking out against it. We thought that was the way things were.

“I knew in the end that what’s going to crack open Minnesota is the Civil Rights revolution, transforming America and knocking down these walls. That’s how Jews would live like full Americans. Now Minnesota is one of the most civilized, cosmopolitan communities in the country.”

His sense of justice was heightened by his experience in the Navy during World War II.

“My ship, like every ship in the Navy, discriminated against its black members,” he said.

Vorspan peppers his conversation with Yiddishisms. He grew up “unhappy Conservative.” His older brother Max was a happy Conservative Jew, ordained as a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and serving as a senior administrator at the movement’s University of Judaism in Los Angeles.

“He was a big influence on me,” Vorspan recalls. “I had a very good Jewish education, but I found it boring and uninspiring. It didn’t turn me on. Reform was very appealing to me. I was a potential Reform Jew from the time I was a kid.”

Vorspan’s path to becoming a leader of Reform Judaism began when, after serving in the Navy and studying at New York University and the New School for Social Research, he was hired to join the six-person staff of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (now the Jewish Council for Public Affairs).

From there, he was hired to start the Commission on Social Action.

“Their openness to creating a social justice program and taking the risks of doing it appealed to me,” he recalls.

The idea for the commission, he says, was that of Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, then ten years into a 30-year tenure at the helm of the Reform congregational body.

“He always thought it was a mistake for the Reform rabbinic group, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, to be the ones so identified with social justice.

“Eisendrath used to say, ‘Why the hell is it always the rabbis? Where are the laymen? Laymen have the same obligations as rabbis.’”

Vorspan is clear on what he achieved at the Commission on Social Action, and the Religious Action Center that it spawned.

The battle for Civil Rights “would not have been won if not for Jews. Jewish-black solidarity was the engine that made it possible. Without us, there would be no NAACP. The president of the NAACP was a Jew, a member of our commission.

“In the end — this is something you probably do not know — the great Civil Rights laws of the United States of America were drafted on the conference table of the newly established RAC of UAHC. It was black lawyers and Jewish lawyers who drafted those bills on that table.”

If the Civil Rights struggle was his greatest success, and advocacy against the Vietnam War brought him the highest-profile criticism, “the biggest lumps I’ve ever had in the Jewish community was not race relations; the toughest stuff was when I opened my mouth saying many of the things Peter Beinart is saying [criticizing Israeli policies in the west bank]. I said them in The New York Times and I had my head handed to me.”

His criticisms appeared in a May 1988 New York Times Magazine article entitled “Soul Searching,” containing diary entries of his wrestling with what was happening in Israel with the outbreak of the first Intifada several months before. In particular, he criticized the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations for uncritically standing behind the Israeli government, saying it “seems to be putting a kosher stamp on everything — shootings, deportations, excessive force.”

“I was shocked by the fierceness and the vehemence of the response. Back then we had a JDL that was physically threatening. The Israeli embassy invited me to say my piece, and I respect them for that. I said there was no way to end the intifada and violence without a political settlement. It was such a radical statement then, and now it’s a truism.”

Vorspan says that despite being the largest denomination of American Judaism, the Reform movement — and its leftward tilt — has had little impact on the Presidents Conference.

“Then and now we were kind of the tail. We don’t wag the dog. And even though Eric Yoffe was gutsy as president of the Union and raised hell on all of these issues, it didn’t ever change the Presidents Conference. The Presidents Conference is what it is, which is a polite echo of Israeli policy.”

“I regret I didn’t blow my top about Iraq, that I allowed myself to get befuddled, to be so gullible, after being so vehement on Vietnam. I’m embarrassed about that.

“On torture, we spoke up. Not as much as I would have liked, but compared to the rest of the Jewish community, it’s bravado. At some point a Jewish organization has to say that torture is beyond consideration. The question of whether you speak on the issue of torture and violations of civil liberties in the fight against terrorism — those are tough issues for the Jewish community, and most of the Jewish community has resolved the issue by ducking it.

“I’m angry that the Jewish community, instead of facing issues like guns and torture and economic injustice, wraps itself in the Israeli flag and takes out full-page ads. Everybody is a defender of the faith, and the faith is Israel.”

 
 
 
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