Israeli NGO to NY Jewish Group: Don't Agitate for PA State
An Israeli grassroots organization has told Arutz Sheva that it sent a letter in which it criticized a New York Jewish community organization for what it called the uncalled-for insertion of a controversial issue, establishment of Palestinian state, into community-wide initiatives.
Mattot Arim, a nationalist grassroots network numbering 20,000 Israelis, contacted JCRC-NY, a New York Jewish community organization, last week.
The latter group had circulated an anti-divestment petition to discourage the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) from divesting from Israel.
While saluting the "important initiative", Mattot Arim said that the petition included "repeated statements urging establishment of a new Palestinian state, for example, 'We will ... urge the PCUSA to ... help foster a two-state solution', and 'We share goals [including] a two-state solution', and several similar mentions".
The JCRC-NY initiative was entitled a "Community Action Alert". Mattot Arim chided that those sections of the petition's text which urged establishment of Palestinian state were "inappropriate because they do not represent a consensus opinion of the community".
"Many in the United States Jewish community and in Israel are in firm opposition to the notion of establishing yet another Arab state. Many feel this notion is a miscarriage of justice and historical tradition. Also, many believe that the Palestinian state notion is an existential threat to the sole and only Jewish state in the world."
Mattot Arim wrote that the appeal of the JCRC-NY initiative would "be enhanced by removing references to Palestinian state. The petition will then neither endorse nor negate Palestinian state, out of respect for the spectrum of opinion in the Jewish community there and here in Israel. The solution is practical since endorsement of Palestinian state is entirely incidental to the important cause championed by the Petition, namely divestment from Israel".
"We stand in awe of your many promising activities and initiatives", the Israeli group praised its American Jewish counterpart ."But we raise our voices in protest over what appears to be a hasty disposal, in thought if not in deed, of land sacred to our people".
Mattot Arim also said the land which the NCRC-NY was relegating to a new Palestinian state was "dangerously located just a bike-ride away from Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Israel's sole international airport."
JCRC-NY identifies itself, on its website, as "the central coordinating and resource organization for the Jewish community in the metropolitan New York area" which represents the Jewish community to governmental officials.
The website states that JCRC-NY "urges support on issues of concern to the New York Jewish community".
The JCRC-NY is an affiliate of the UJA-Federation of New York from which the JCRC-NY "receives a generous annual grant which covers approximately one-half of our operating budget".
Mattot Arim activists told Arutz Sheva that American Jewish groups had, in the past, agitated for disengagement from Gush Katif when that event was not yet certain and "became a crucial negative group agitating for what turned out to be a terrible disaster for Israel. We hope this does not happen again, this time over the prospect of having a new terror state looking over Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion airport."
JCRC-NY did not respond as yet to Mattot Arim.
Arutz Sheva would be pleased to receive their response.