During the holiday of Hanukkah, a little over 300 far-left American Jewish clergy who refuse to accept Israeli democracy trampled on the meaning of the holiday by signing a “call to action” pledging to ban, boycott and protest against the members and democratically-elected officials of Israel’s Religious Zionist parties.
The “call to action” signers also pledged to prevent Religious Zionists from speaking at or participating in events at their congregations and organizations, and to encourage others to also ban the democratically-elected members of the Religious Zionists Party.
The “call to action” misstates Religious Zionist parties’ positions, in a misleading effort to portray Religious Zionists as extremists. For instance, the “call to action” falsely states that the Religious Zionist parties support “expelling Arab Israeli citizens who are seen as opposing the government, challenging the democratic Right to freedom of speech.” In fact, Religious Zionists merely supported expelling convicted murderer terrorists!
Murdering Jews is not “freedom of speech.”
The “call to action” signers identified themselves only as “rabbis” from their respective cities and states, to try to give the impression that they are mainstream. The signers deceptively omitted their group affiliations. ZOA’s analysis reveals that the signers/boycotters of religious Zionists were mostly from extreme anti-Israel radical groups, including J Street, T’ruah and JVP.
It seems that every time an anti-Israel letter is signed by 300-something “rabbis,” they turn out to be affiliated with the extremist anti-Israel J Street and similar hostile-to-Israel groups. (See, for instance, “Majority of 340 Pro-Iran Deal Rabbis are from J St & Other Israel-Hostile Groups,” Aug. 19, 2015.)
ZOA compared the names and locations of 320 "rabbis* who are boycotting Religious Zionists to lists on hostile-to-Israel groups’ websites. (Their affiliation with Jewish movements was not checked, but it is hard to imagine any Orthodox rabbi on these lists, ed.)
Our comparison revealed the following:
- 203 (almost two-thirds) of 320 clergy who pledged to boycott Religious Zionists are members of the extremist “J Street Rabbinic & Cantorial Cabinet.”
- 12 clergymen who pledged to boycott Religious Zionists are members of the extremist “J Street Rabbinic & Cantorial Cabinet Executive Council.”
- The clergy who pledged to boycott Religious Zionists also include 3 (out of 4) of the extremist J Street Rabbinic & Cantorial Cabinet’s co-chairs, plus a former J Street cabinet co-chair. In addition, the “call to action” to boycott Religious Zionists was initiated by two co-chairs of the J Street Rabbinic & Cantorial Cabinet, David Teutsch and John Rosove.
- At least nine non-Orthodox rabbis (T’ruah CEO Jill Jacobs; Ken Chasen; Elliott Dorff; Amy Eilberg; Lizzi Heydemann; Claudia Kreiman; Esther Lederman; Gerald Serotta; Susan Talve) who pledged to boycott Religious Zionists are on the Board of Directors or Advisory Board of the extremist T’ruah or are T’ruah officials.
- At least two of them (Lynn Gottlieb and Buz Bogage) who pledged to boycott Religious Zionists are on the Board of Directors or Advisory Board of the vicious anti-Israel BDS group, mis-named “Jewish Voice for Peace.”
- The pledge to boycott Religious Zionists was signed by Sharon Kleinbaum, who is notorious for using her LGBT synagogue’s pulpit to viciously propagandize against the Jewish state and to invite and stand in “solidarity” with enemies that boycott, demonize and seek to destroy Israel. In 2014, dozens of prominent members of Kleinbaum’s congregation quit because of Kleinbaum’s obscene anti-Israel antics, including mourning and reading the names of Hamas terrorists during synagogue services. (Hamas’ charter calls for the murder of every Jew throughout the world. Hamas launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians and broke 10 ceasefires with Israel in 2014.) A gay Jewish activist wrote that Kleinbaum “bashes Israel all the time, making people get up and leave services. . . . She is very vocal in her hatred towards Israel.” (See much more at: “ZOA Concerned: Biden Appoints Radical Israel-Basher, Sharon Kleinbaum, to U.S. Religious Freedom Commission,” Aug. 10, 2021.)
J Street is funded by anti-Zionist radical George Soros and other anti-Israel Arabs and promotes anti-Israel UN resolutions; funds anti-Israel Congresspersons; seeks to divide Jerusalem; and more. Ironically, while boycotting Religious Zionist Jews, J Street openly supports BDS in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and gives platforms to BDS leaders who support BDS to all of Israel; to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, who pays Arabs to murder Jews; to former U.S. president and Israel-hater Jimmy Carter; and Salam Al-Marayati and Ayman Odeh, both of whom oppose Israel’s very existence. (See “J Street Sides With Israel’s Enemies & Works to Destroy Support for Israel,” ZOA Special report.)
Extremist T’ruah promotes defunding and stripping the tax exemption from Jewish humanitarian charities. (See “Far-left Rabbis’ Defamatory War Against Pro-Israel Jewish Charities,” JNS, May 3, 2022.)
Extremist JVP (the so-called Jewish Voice for Peace) is a vicious anti-Israel BDS group.
*Note: We understand that some additional clergy signed on to the “call to action” after we analyzed the initial signers. We would not be surprised if most of the recent signers also are affiliated with extremist anti-Israel groups.