It is always important to know what our legislators are thinking about Israel and the Jewish community. So, when we learned that Congressman David Price would be speaking (virtually) on 5/3/2020 about “What’s Next for Middle East Diplomacy,” we wanted to hear what he had to say. While the co-sponsors would be the local synagogues and Jewish Federation, we learned that the event would be hosted by JStreet. It was rumored that JStreet was involved at Price’s insistence. Regardless, this meant that anyone who wanted to “attend” would need to register through JStreet, and that the moderator, introduction, Q&A and final comments would all go through JStreet. This was a good clue that the event would be biased against Israel, and in this we were not disappointed.
For example, anyone who signed up would read the introduction which stated, “The Trump administration’s Deal of the Century promotes Israeli unilateral annexation of territory and abandons the idea of a viable Palestinian state.”
Price said that the Trump plan was the “latest in hostile moves,” sidelining Palestinian interests. He listed various ways to prevent Israeli sovereignty in Judea/Samaria (in his loaded words, “annexation” in the “West Bank”). He parroted false claims that such a move would be a serious breach of international law, “like Russia and Crimea.” He recommended action such as sanctions against Israel, should declaration of Israeli sovereignty occur. Price expressed pride that the US House has stated that “annexation is unacceptable.”
Price praised his host: “JStreet and Peace Now have spoken out in impressive ways.” On the other hand, he referred to a journalist who likened Benjamin Netanyahu, a Prime Minister facing bribery charges, as analogous to a pedophile serving as a school principal.
Terrorism against Israelis— stabbings, rockets, car rammings and fire kites aimed at Israel were never mentioned.
Questions were filtered through JStreet. The closest Price came to express anything negative about Arab/Palestinian behavior was that “the Palestinian side has been disabled by dreadful leadership.” In this regard, he stated that the US and Israel should have enabled more moderate Palestinian leadership, but of course said not a word about how that could be achieved. We wish he had shown some sympathy for victims of terrorism towards Israel, but it did not happen. Rather, blame for the situation was repeatedly placed on the US and Israel.
While we appreciate hearing from our Congressman, was it appropriate for our synagogues and Jewish Federation to use JStreet as the host? What do you think? Please let us know, we look forward to hearing from you! – Click here