A press release from this month and accompanying op-ed demonstrate the urgent need for the CJV, why a rabbinic group in particular must fill that need, and the political potency of the results in current public policy debates — as well as the need for further growth in the months ahead.
A new group, “Never Again Action,” sprang up in July 2019, to try to validate the anti-Semitic Holocaust minimization said by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Never Again Action is actually an outgrowth of IfNotNow, widely recognized as an anti-Semitic Jewish group masquerading as “anti-Israel.” Never Again Action targeted the GEO Group, a 30-year-old government provider of detention services during both Democratic and Republican administrations, claiming it was responsible for “mistreatment of children” though GEO Group has no connection to detainment of unaccompanied minors.
That government contractor was looking for a Jewish group to speak out on this issue, and found us with the help of a knowledgeable source (which is, itself, very significant). Given knowledge of the true circumstances, we were able to speak out effectively from a place of genuine Jewish values. In reality, we simply said the obvious — but because Never Again Action claimed to be acting from a Jewish perspective, it took a rabbinic group to contradict their misrepresentations.
Please compare the articles that appeared in the Southern Florida Sun-Sentinel before and after the protests. Although the reporter seems to have a bias in favor of the group, quotes from ourselves and the GEO Group did much to rebut the group’s statements — as did the simple fact that no more than two dozen people showed up to demonstrate. Our op-ed further reduced the damage of Never Again Action’s poison.
Our efforts will be of ongoing value to an authentic understanding of Jewish values, as the GEO Group and its PR firm will continue to use our statements to combat Never Again Action, which plans further activities across the country. Besides us, there was no other organization that could make these statements and have similar credibility as a rabbinic voice — although, as before, what we said offered a relatively simple, common-sense perspective on the uniqueness of the Holocaust and the abhorrence (and tacit Anti-Semitism) of Holocaust minimization.
Aug 9 – “It maligns the targeted company and its employees, defames ICE agents, displays woeful ignorance of history, trivializes and distorts the Holocaust, and is a vulgar insult to six million murdered Jews and the survivors of that horror. The fact that many of the protesters will be Jewish themselves merely makes it worse.”
Aug 15 – Besides the fact that they requested no meetings with Israeli officials, wishing only to travel to ‘Palestine,’ these are not people who would be convinced by seeing ‘the facts on the ground.’
Aug 21 – Organizations which claim to represent the Jewish community should represent Jewish interests in a non-partisan fashion. Instead, left-wing Jewish groups are trying to paint the President as having used an Anti-Semitic trope, in order to avoid addressing the substance of his remarks.
Letters and Statements
Aug 29 – Despite an intense dual curriculum, students in those Jewish schools which administer the NYS Regents’ examinations outperform those in the public school system – and dominate the top-scoring private schools in English, Algebra 2/Trigonometry, and Global History. The idea that the parents, teachers and school administrators of our community are unable to properly set curricula, requiring outside oversight and enforcement, expresses profound disregard of our long legacy of pursuit of knowledge.
All of our board members’ op-eds since our last update can be accessed on our website.
Jewish group exploits Holocaust memory to fight migrant detention crisis. It’s dishonest and unJewish.
by Rabbi Pesach Lerner and Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld , Sun Sentinel, Aug 16
As a host of mainstream Jewish organizations joined the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to restate our community’s rejection of the misuse of Holocaust imagery, a cadre of Jewish progressives rushed to defend the (in)famous “AOC.” An entirely new organization sprang up, “Never Again Action”, whose mission was presciently described by Ms. Friedberg in 2018: to “exploit the memory of the Holocaust as a rhetorical cudgel.”
Israel Bans Jew-Haters Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
by Rabbi Dov Fischer, American Spectator, Aug 16
It was refreshing indeed to hear Thursday’s news that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who seem to represent a long-underrepresented constituency of terrorist supporters and America-haters, will be barred from setting foot in Israel after all. Looks like Rashida Tlaib, to cope, will have to satisfy herself with her sense that the Holocaust was calming. And with Benjamin Netanyahu having made the decision to bar her, Ilhan Omar can tweet, “See, I told you it was about the Benjamins, baby.”
The Myth of Jewish Influence in the Democrat Party
by Rabbi Dov Fischer, Daily Wire.com, Aug 21
To anyone who’s been paying attention to Ilhan Omar, this latest outrage comes as no surprise — it’s pretty much par for the course for this Somali-American socialist from Minneapolis.
Give Trump The Benefit Of Doubt – You Give It To Democrats All The Time
by Rabbi Yaakov Menken, The Forward, Aug 22
Whether particular Jews are acting against true Jewish interests is not a “dual loyalty” canard, and when one considers the President’s comment, this is the only form of “disloyalty” that fit the context.