The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, today criticized Democratic Presidential Candidates Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders for appearing at the National Conference of J Street, a group which the CJV termed an “Anti-Israel Jewish organization.” It further noted that Buttigieg, Castro and Sanders – as well as fellow candidates Beto O’Rourke and Kate Gillebrand (who has since ended her campaign) – all declined to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this year.
“AIPAC celebrates Israel as a first-world democracy and beacon of freedom in the Middle East,” said Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Vice President of the CJV. “J Street, by contrast, is about everything Israel is supposedly doing wrong. It allies with an array of left-wing, anti-Israel ‘Jewish’ organizations, such as the New Israel Fund and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, both of which, according to the NGO Monitor research organization, work to demonize Israel and support the Anti-Semitic ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) campaign.”
Several of the candidates will speak immediately before Dr. Saeb Erakat, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, who claims the murder of Jewish children is attributable to “occupation,” and has called the Palestinian Authority’s generous “Pay to Slay” payouts to families of those jailed or killed while committing murderous acts of terrorism, “a social responsibility.” Another speaker is Peter Beinart, who not only compared Israeli housing regulations to acts of terrorism, but recently claimed that Israel refused entry to Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, not because they advocate for Israel’s destruction and make openly Anti-Semitic statements, but because Israel believes “the occupation must be hidden.”
“It is simply frightening that candidates who shunned the non-partisan (and bipartisan) AIPAC conference would take center stage at J Street,” added Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle, “promoting its hostile attitude towards Israel and Israel’s security. Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg have also made individual, alarming statements that mischaracterize and distort Israel’s extraordinary record on human rights and civil liberties. US support for Israel has always been bipartisan – but that notion is undermined and vitiated when respect is given to anti-Israel organizations and denied to pro-Israel groups.”