“Turns Reality on Its Head:” Rabbis Ask House Democrats to Withdraw “False and Misleading” Letter
by CJV Nov 26, 2019
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional
rabbis in matters of public policy, today sent a letter to Representative
Andy Levin, expressing “grave concern” and asking him and 105 cosignatories,
all of whom are Democratic members of the House of Representatives, to
withdraw a letter sent last week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The CJV
said that the letter took a consistently hostile position towards Israel,
misstated historical facts, and called upon the Administration to violate US
Early last week, Mr. Pompeo announced that the Trump Administration would
reverse the Obama-era position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank,
concluding that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the
West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.” The CJV
commended Mr. Pompeo for his decision, writing that “recognition of the
legality of Jewish settlement in Judea accords with the Bible itself and the
Mr. Levin and others, however, sent a letter to Mr. Pompeo on Thursday
expressing “strong disagreement” and making a number of claims which the CJV
termed “false and misleading.”
“The signatories demonstrated an alarmingly callous attitude towards
Israelis, their self-determination, and their human rights,” said Rabbi
Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV. “Jews were
ethnically cleansed from towns in Judea and Samaria in 1929 and 1936, and
then driven out entirely by Jordan in 1948 – yet the signatories claim that
the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits them from moving back. It is hard not
to read that claim as unsympathetic to Jews and history.”
The CJV highlighted numerous false historical and legal assertions found in
the members’ letter. For example, the letter says it was wrong to move the
US Embassy “outside of a negotiated agreement,” though the Jerusalem Embassy
Act of 1995 called for the embassy to be moved simply because Jerusalem is
the capital of Israel and home to Jews for 3000 years. The signatories also
referred to settlements and the “associated demolitions of Palestinian
homes;” in reality, no home has been demolished to make way for settlements,
while the entirely new town of Rawabi hosts over 4000 Arab residents and
construction continues with Israeli support.
“The worst part of the letter,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the
CJV Rabbinic Circle, “is its condemnation of the ‘halting of aid’ to the
West Bank and Gaza. The Trump Administration is withholding that aid in
accordance with the Taylor Force Act and the Anti-Terrorism Clarification
Act of 2018, because the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA (the UN Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and Hamas were using
US funds to encourage and reward terrorism. For members of Congress to
declare that ‘this administration has undermined America’s moral standing’
by denying funding for terror turns reality on its head.”
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