Taking sides is legitimate -- but not when one claims to be unbiased.
Non-partisan is a term which is generally used to describe an organization or a person unaffiliated with any party, free from bias, or political designation. So when an organization makes a claim of being nonpartisan, but historically consistently supports certain viewpoints, policies and positions, clearly that description can no longer be used to identify it.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is just that kind of organization. It claims to be “strictly non-partisan” – yet cannot be non-partisan when they continually support a failed peace process and a two-state solution. Just as those who oppose a Palestinian State on principle are partisan, so too are those who support a two-state solution. The AJC has a $100 million budget providing it with a strong bully pulpit that allows it to further its left-wing agenda, which includes promoting a Palestinian State. That is the prerogative of its Board and its leaders, but they should not falsely claim to have no political leanings.
In 2004, the leadership of the AJC met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's national security adviser, Jibril Rajoub, and the AJC leader, David Harris, publicly urged Israel to use the “road map” to get to “peace.”
At that time he said, "If the line were closer to the Clinton-Barak lines, the U.S. would have less concerns and the fence could be politically defensible." (Those parameters would have placed nearly 97 percent of Judea and Samaria in Palestinian hands.)
During that meeting, Rajoub said, "Terror attacks against Israeli civilians within the Green Line were a tragic mistake for the Palestinian people.” The clear implication was killing innocent Jews elsewhere is alright. The partisan leaders of the AJC responded with silence, and ignored the words of Rajoub, perhaps because focusing on them would require the organization’s leaders to reflect on what that means for true peace. This month, Rajoub said, "I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning."
Perhaps the reason AJC continually pushes its “non-partisan” classification is because it represents a liberal ideology which is out of touch with the majority of both American Jews and Israelis. In their desire to be seen as mainstream, repeating a lie again and again may convince some people. In reality, the majority of Israelis rejected the far-left parties who hold positions most similar to AJC overwhelmingly in the two most recent elections. AJC’s own polls show that for two years less than half of U.S. Jews support a Palestinian state, 38% and 43%, respectively.
Yet, Harris and AJC march on with their liberal agenda, most recently with a Huffington Post op-ed entitled “Give The Peace Process A Chance.” Harris falsely claimed Tzipi Livni is a “minister with the Likud Party,” when she is a Minister of the Hatenua party, the furthest left-wing party currently in the coalition. Harris failed to mention that just a few weeks ago he issued a press release where he condemned Livni’s colleagues for opposing a Palestinian State. AJC’s release quoted Minister Naftali Bennett as saying, "The most important thing in the Land of Israel is to build, build, build. It's important that there will be an Israeli presence everywhere. Our principal problem is still Israel's leaders' unwillingness to say in a simple manner that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel." The AJC condemned Bennett for supporting the right of Jews to live anywhere in the Land of Israel.
In AJC’s press release, Harris said, "Bennett contravenes the outlook of Prime Minister Netanyahu and contradicts the vision presented earlier this month to the AJC Global Forum by Minister Tzipi Livni, chief Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians." Showing support for Livni’s ideology, not Bennett’s – is partisan. Harris has the right to say what he wants -- but as Bennett and Livni are partisan – so too is AJC.
Harris continues to blindly advocate for a Palestinian State with little rhyme or reason; like a broken record he calls on Israelis to sacrifice repeatedly. Perhaps AJC should remember the words of Albert Einstein who said, "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.”
In 1928, the great Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky said, “Peace with the Arabs is, of course, to be desired. There is no need for a discussion on this matter among the Jews. All of us, one hundred percent of us, want peace.” Prime Minister Netanyahu proclaimed in a Knesset meeting in 2006, “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” In 2013, both Jabotinsky’s and Netanyahu’s words remain true.
The AJC has positioned itself as the “State Department of the Jewish people,” a self-proclaimed foreign affairs arm of the Jewish community. At least the State Department under pro-Israel presidents changes viewpoints with time. The AJC, regardless of who is in charge, Prime Minister Netanyahu or Rabin, President Bush or Obama, has been committed to a two-state solution – regardless of what American Jews or Israelis want.
Indeed, the AJC has that right in this great country -- just don’t pretend that it is non-partisan. Even a PR firm CEO couldn’t claim or spin that the AJC isn’t liberal.
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