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J Street’s Response to Presbyterian Church (USA) Divestment, Kidnapping of 3 Israeli Teens

by Rabbi John Rosove

June 23, 2014 | 6:29 am

Those who understand the Middle East know that to approach events there aggressively and in a black-white, good-evil context alone will likely result in an escalation of conflict. Though good people differ about what recent events mean (i.e. the unification of Fatah with Hamas, the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks, the Presbyterian Church (USA) Divestment vote, the Kidnapping of 3 Israeli Teens, and the escalation of violence in Iraq and Syria), those who care deeply about maintaining Israeli security, its democracy and Jewish character, must consider all elements of these conflicts before reacting defensively and aggressively.

The two following articles express J Street’s position on much of what is transpiring. As a co-chair of J Street’s national Rabbinic Cabinet including 800 rabbis and cantors, I agree with the sentiments expressed in both.

J Street is a pro-Israel, pro-peace political organization in Washington, D.C. and is the largest pro-Israel PAC in the United States. It continues to affirm that a two-states for two peoples resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations is the only alternative that can preserve both Israel's identity as a democratic society and as the homeland of the Jewish people. A one-state solution will destroy Israel as we know it.

J Street repudiates Presbyterian divestment decision, sees no victory for BDS Movement - J Street said that it does not believe that boycotts or divestment will bring Israelis and Palestinians closer to a two-state solution to their conflict, nor are they appropriate tools in pushing toward resolution of the conflict. We do not support the decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest from three North American companies doing business in the Palestinian territory. http://jstreet.org/blog/post/j-street-repudiates-presbyterian-divestment-decision-sees-no-victory-for-bds-movement_1

Kidnapping of 3 Israeli teens could trigger more violence, Houston Chronicle -  Warning that “the Kerry effort's failure has left a dangerous vacuum,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami argued that “the Obama administration must not step away and leave the parties to their own devices, which will only allow the situation to deteriorate. On the contrary, the time has come for some plain speaking and more forceful leadership.”  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Ben-Ami-Kidnapping-of-3-Israeli-teens-could-5568239.php

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed his duties as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in November 1988. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley...

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