Jewish Leaders Are Turning Against Obama on Israel

Terror attack in Tel Aviv, 2013.  Source.

American Jewish leaders who supported the Oslo Accords or have criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are now strongly challenging the Obama Administration’s policy toward Israel. It’s the latest sign of a growing consensus in the Jewish community that the President’s vindictive approach toward Israel is unfair and overreaching.

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, head of the Kehilath Jeshurun synagogue and the Ramaz Day School in Manhattan, was an early supporter of the left-leaning Israeli party Meimad, and its American equivalent, Shvil Hazahav, which supported the Oslo Accords.

But last week, in an email to his Upper East Side congregants, Lookstein criticized President Obama’s plan for “reassessing the Israel/United States relationship.” Rabbi Lookstein then strongly endorsed an article by syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who wrote that “there is zero chance” that a peaceful Palestinian state could be established “now or even soon.” Krauthammer derided “the crushing disappointment of the Obama administration and its media poodles at the spectacular success of the foreign leader they loathe more than any other on the planet. The consequent seething and sputtering are understandable, if unseemly. Blaming Netanyahu for banishing peace, however, is mindless.”

Rabbi Lookstein wrote that the Krauthammer column “presents with utmost clarity an assessment of the reassessment. It deserves the attention of all of us.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was outspoken in his criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress. But this week, Foxman said he was “even more troubled” by the “statements now coming out of the White House calling for a reassessment of policy toward Israel.” While disagreeing with some of the prime minister’s statements and actions, Foxman emphasized that “none of this, however, justifies what we are hearing from the Obama Administration. Their reactions raise deeper questions about their intentions and perspectives”…

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