NYT Flacks for Jewish Groups

NYT Flacks for Jewish GroupsYou have to know American Jewish leaders are really riled up when they call on the New York Times to flack for them against 15 leaders of Christian churches who had the audacity to send a letter to the US Congress, which said, with proper Christian indignation:As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel — offered without conditions or accountability — will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies.Is that clear? These church leaders are saying it is their moral responsibility to tell the Congress that it must hold Israel accountable to U.S. laws and policies when it disburses money to Israel.So what’s the big news angle in theNew York Timesstory for Saturday, October 20, following the release of the letter from the 15 leaders to Congress?  The lead of the story should be that “American Jewish leaders defend the action of a secular state that receives more U.S. foreign aid than any other nation in the world”.What these so-called “outraged” Jewish groups are saying is that their feelings are hurt. These American Jewish leaders have worked so hard over the decades to maintain “good relations” with their Christian colleagues, and just as they were about to have yet another “good relations” meeting between Christians and Jews (no mention of Muslims, it must be noted), here come 15 Christian leaders demanding accountability from a secular foreign state for human rights violations carried out with American money.Horrors, what a thing for Christian leaders to say!Man (and woman) the barricades, the fragile American relationship between Jews and Christians is under severe threat. In case you have missed this unfolding threat to fragile American relationships between Jews and Christians (still no Muslims involved), this is how the Times’ Laurie Goodstein began her not-so subtle attack on the 15 Protestant  leaders:A letter signed by 15 leaders of Christian churches that calls for Congress to reconsider giving aid to Israel because of accusations of human rights violations has outraged Jewish leaders and threatened to derail longstanding efforts to build interfaith relations.The Christian leaders say their intention was to put the Palestinian plight and the stalled peace negotiations back in the spotlight at a time when all of the attention to Middle East policy seems to be focused on Syria, the Arab Spring and the Iranian nuclear threat.The church leaders did not ask Congress to “reconsider” giving aid to Israel. And note the use of the weasel word “accusations” of human rights, as though Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights have not been amply demonstrated over the decades. The Times says the letter is intended to “put the Palestinian plight and the stalled peace negotiations back in the spotlight”.   That is balderdash, as Joe Biden likes to say.The 15 leaders make no reference to a motive for writing the latter. They do not have to. The New Testament is their motive. Putting the Palestinian “plight” in the “spotlight” is Times speak, speculation without attribution. The Times failed to explain that the “Jewish groups” that are attacking the 15 Christian leaders, are being directed by a secular organization, the Jewish Council of Public Affairs (JCPA). The Times does not distinguish between religious Jews and political Zionist Jews, a fatal flaw in its coverage. How secular is the JCPA? You be the judge. Here is how the JCPA describes its mission:The mission of the Council is to serve as the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community in addressing the principal mandate of the Jewish community relations field, expressed in three interrelated goals:One:  To safeguard the rights of Jews here and around the world. Two:  To dedicate ourselves to the safety and security of the state of Israel. Three: To protect, preserve and promote a just American society, one that is democratic and pluralistic, one that furthers harmonious interreligious, inter ethnic interracial and    other intergroup relations.“To dedicate ourselves to the safety and security of the state of Israel” is not biblical, my friends, it is political. The Times should say so. Instead it puts the JCPA, a secular public affairs organization, under the same umbrella as the rabbis and the 15 Christian church leaders.The planned Monday interfaith dialogue meeting was canceled by the JCPA, a secular organization. Here is the start of its news release making the announcement:"Canceling an interfaith dialogue meeting, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and other Jewish groups, have called for a summit with the heads of Jewish organizations that have been engaged in the roundtable and the heads of the Christian denominations that penned a letter to Congress calling for an investigation into Israel’s use of the U.S. military aid.“The letter signed by 15 church leaders is a step too far,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow.  “The participation of these leaders in yet another one-sided anti-Israel campaign cannot be viewed apart from the vicious anti-Zionism that has gone virtually unchecked in several of these denominations. We remain committed to the enterprise of interfaith relations because it is central to the development of a just and righteous society."