Earlier this week the Obama campaign announced the formation of “Rabbis For Obama," featuring over 600 rabbis from across the country and across all Jewish denominations dedicated to four more years of big government and anti-Israel policies.
The campaign didn’t bother to check the list ,or simply didn’t care who was on it ,because at least seven of the Rabbis on the list are members of the Rabbinical Council of The Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)--an organization named by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the 10 most anti-Israel organizations in America (I am sure their mothers are proud).
The Rabbis include:
- Rabbi Chava Bahle, Suttons Bay, MI
- Rabbi Rachel Evelyne Barenblat, Lanesboro, MA
- Rabbi Haim Beliak, Los Angeles, CA
- Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Berkeley, CA
- Rabbi Linda Holtzman, Philadelphia, PA
- Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Chicago, IL
- Rabbi Brant Rosen, Evanston, IL
According to the ADL analysis JVP, the organization with which these Rabbis are involved:
…calls for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, accuses Israel of "apartheid" policies, and supports divestment campaigns against Israel. Like other Jewish anti-Zionist groups, JVP uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide a greater degree of credibility to the anti-Israel movement. JVP recognizes its role as such, specifically noting that the group's Jewish nature gives it a "particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies" and the ability to distinguish "between real anti-Semitism and the cynical manipulation of that issue." JVP activists regularly attend anti-Israel events wearing t-shirts and holding signs proudly broadcasting their Jewish identity. In March-April 2010, leaders of JVP unsuccessfully lobbied for the passage of a divestment resolution at the University of California, Berkeley, targeting companies that do business with Israel.
Some of the members of Obama’s anti-Israel Jew-crew can be considered “standouts.”
For example, Rabbi Chava Bahle is also a member of an organization called 14 Friends of Palestine, which advocated condemning Israel for the Gaza flotilla incident, in which a boat from Turkey filled with terrorists and weapons was stopped by Israel 2010, resulting in several deaths. Bahle and the group also advocates the false meme that Israel is preventing food and medical supplies from reaching Gaza.
In his book Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity, Rabbi Brant Rosen wrote this about Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s response to thousands of rockets fired into her civilian areas:
I remember reading this news with utter anguish. At the same time, oddly enough, I realized that I was finally observing this issue with something approaching true clarity: This is not about security at all -- this is about bringing the Palestinian people to their knees.
Once I admitted this to myself, I realized how utterly tired I had become. Tired of trying to excuse the inexcusable. Tired of using torturous, exhausting rationalizations to explain away what I knew in my heart was sheer and simple oppression.
Rosen is also an advocate of the BDS movement that calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb’s history includes dining with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and being the first American rabbi to visit Tehran. And through her organization, Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence, Gottlieb (as well as other rabbis on Obama’s list) thanked South African Judge Goldstone for his now discredited report on Operation Cast Lead that accused Israel of war crimes:
Judge Goldstone, we want to offer you our deepest thanks for upholding the principles of justice, compassion and truth that are the heart of Jewish religion and without which our claims to Jewishness are empty of meaning. We regret that your findings have led to controversy and caused you not to feel welcome at your own grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. We believe your report is a clarion call to Israel and the Jewish people to awaken from the slumber of denial and return to the path of peace.
These seven rabbis were easy to find because they were all part of the same anti-Israel organization. If each of the 600+ Rabbis were looked into I am confident there would be similar cases to report.
For example, one name I’ve recognized right off is Arthur Waskow. Waskow is associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)--also on the ADL’s most anti-Israel group list.
In his description of the Rabbis for Obama group, Ira Forman, Jewish Outreach Director for the Obama campaign said:
Their ringing endorsement of President Obama speaks volumes about the President’s deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel and his dedication to a policy agenda that represents the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish Community.
I wonder if Mr. Forman and President Obama believe these anti-Israel activists represent the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish Community--or, based on his policies since he took office, simply represent the values of Barack Obama.