Hank Sheinkopf and George Birnbaum co-authored this article.
The new CEO of the Center For Jewish History (CJH), David N. Myers is a leader of The New Israel Fund which openly supports a boycott of Israel, and holds leadership positions of If Not Now, When and J Street. He has extreme viewpoints - including supporting “some forms” of boycotting Israel, and that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state.
CJH which serves as the biggest repository of Jewish history in the United States, and serves as a centralized place of scholarly research, events, exhibitions, and performances.
David N. Myers writings’ (available for perusal on Nakbaeducation.com) include “that the deep wound of the Nakba must finally be exposed to the light of day.” He writes of “..the essential step of acknowledging Israel’s role in the dispossession of Palestinian Arabs” in 1948, and quotes Uri Avinery’s wartime memoir which claims “..cruelty, indifference and violence by Israeli soldiers towards Palestinian Arabs.”
Should we expect presentations on the Nakba at the Center for Jewish History? Or presentations on the cruelty of Israeli soldiers hosted by Breaking the Silence, a major New Israel Fund grantee?
IfNotNow, When – whom Myers gave an impassioned December 2016 fundraising appeal for- is an organization dedicated to “stopping the occupation” (a position which places them firmly at odds with all major Israeli political parties and the American Jewish establishment). The activist organization “wants mainstream American Jewish organizations to publicly oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank” and according to Haaretz holds “…sit-ins in the lobbies of buildings housing Jewish groups” to protest their not loud enough condemnation of Israel’s West Bank “occupation.” Their members have been arrested while holding sit-ins at the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel International, AIPAC and the Jewish Federation, and they refuse to meet with the leaders of these organizations - for which they have been widely condemned.
Myers – who was honored by Peace Now in 2014 - has regularly co-written op-eds with the head of the New Israel Fund, where he calls for Arabs in the settlements to be made citizens (a death knell for Israel). Myers writes of mostly opposing the “boycott of Israel” and as “opposed to most forms of a boycott of Israel.” Mr. Myers writes that BDS should not be “demonized”, and that another way to think about BDS is that the settlements cause it. (Similarly, the occupation is largely the cause for the United Nations hostility towards Israel in Myers’ eyes.)
In a May 2016 op-ed in The Forward Myers observes that“..Israeli democracy is under threat. Incitement against human rights organizations proceeds with little trace of official censure; cabinet ministers aim to impose new ideological litmus tests in the realm of education and culture; government-sponsored bills place Jews on a higher plane than other citizens, and the State’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi declares that “Israel is first and foremost Jewish, and only then democratic.” Myers recently described himself as a “fierce critic of Netanyahu and the immoral and destructive policies of his government.”
Is a fierce critic of Israel an appropriate choice to head such an institution?
As a Camera review of a Myers presentation from a Brandeis University student said, Myers presents a one-sided, biased outlook on the Arab-Israeli conflict, one where he is “implicitly comparing Israeli-Jews to Nazis by saying that the oppressed had become like their oppressors in behavior and attitude.” The media watch dog organization wrote that Myers “asked Israel to self-destruct by suggesting it grant citizenship to Palestinians ― thus disrupting the balance of Israel’s democracy and reducing the political power of Jewish-Israelis in their own asylum.”
Campus Watch reported, “Myers in a April 2011 Campus Watch article, "Anti-Israel Jewish Studies":. . . employed all the usual clichés—'cycle of violence,' 'disproportionately harsh'—to single Israel out as 'the most responsible party' for the 'escalating violence' in a July 2006 Los Angeles Timesop-ed. In a piece titled, 'Rethinking the Jewish Nation' in the Winter 2011 edition of the Havruta Journal, Myers argued that 'Statist Zionism,' or a Jewish state, should give way to a 'global Jewish collective.'
Those who endorse any form of a boycott of Israel, an end to the Jewish State and sit in positions of leadership for organizations that oppose Israel are free to hold these viewpoints. They should not hold positions of leadership in the Jewish community.
Mr. David Myers must be terminated as CEO of the Center for Jewish History.
Hank Sheinkopf, CEO of Sheinkopf Communications, is a leading political strategist who has worked on campaigns in four continents. His clients have included former president Bill Clinton. Ronn Torossian is CEO of one of America’s largest privately held Public Relations firms, and the award-winning author of “For Immediate Release.” George Birnbaum is a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.