Op-Ed: I am Ashamed of the AJC
One of the three-letter American Jewish bureaucratic organizations which does little has recently shut down the bulk of their operations in Israel, including firing the Jerusalem office director and three other staff members.
The American Jewish Committee has “proclaimed advocacy for Israel as the core of its mission” and now claims to be focused “in favor of global advocacy efforts, often in support of Israel.” As the Forward has said, they have positioned themselves as the “State Department of the Jewish people,” a self-proclaimed foreign affairs arm of the Jewish community.
And in an act of sheer lunacy, these self-appointed Jewish leaders issued a press release criticizing the Israeli government this week. Yes, indeed rather than focus on the 50% of American Jews assimilating, they issued a statement condemning a democratically elected Jewish government.
In the press release, they cite the quotes of Naftali Bennett "The most important thing in the Land of Israel is to build, build, build. It's important that there will be an Israeli presence everywhere. Our principal problem is still Israel's leaders' unwillingness to say in a simple manner that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel."
It is racist and undemocratic to say Jews do not have the right to live anywhere they want to. Would they dare to say such a thing to the Palestinian Arabs?
In an act of even more sheer lunacy, this organization which speaks for probably no one - other than a handful of wealthy liberals - says "Bennett contravenes the outlook of Prime Minister Netanyahu and contradicts the vision presented earlier this month to the AJC Global Forum by Minister Tzipi Livni, chief Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians." Clearly, the leadership of Israel needs the help of a fringe, small organization like AJC to communicate with one another. Bennett and others in the cabinet need AJC’s help to get Netanyahu’s ear or pulse.
Of course, a visit to their website indicates a so-called one-sided watchdog organization – their last three releases includes “Abu Ghosh in Israel Latest Victim of "Price Tag" Attacks”, “AJC Condemns Assault on Rabbi David Stav”, and “ Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett's Unwelcome Comments.” Nothing on the Arabs, naturally – but condemnation of Jews, sure they step right up.
Lest one forget, they have been very vocal in organizations which condemn President Barack Obama, claiming to be a “strictly non-partisan advocacy organization”, as they simultaneously assail Jewish organizations which criticize Obama’s support of the Palestinian Arabs.
These so-called American Jewish leaders must have missed recent demographic polls which show that 74% of all NYC Jewish Children are Orthodox and there’s explosive growth in the Orthodox & Hassidic communities. The AJC has barely any kippa-wearers in their midst – and represents liberals, not American Jewry.
The great Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote an essay called “Peace” where he said “A noisy whining is now being set up by a chorus of ‘peace seekers’ who aim to achieve (by preaching exclusively to Jews) conciliation with the Arabs. It is difficult to free oneself from a feeling of disgust.”
Can’t they send their leadership on a flotilla to Syria to solve the issues there? Maybe they should go open an AJC branch in Tehran, or Cairo? Owning a New York PR Agency, I know well that the sha-shtil (sssh, ed.) attitude has served these folks well for many years – now is a great time for them to continue that philosophy.
Ronn Torossian is a New York based entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.