On the Issues

In accordance with its mission, the CJV limits itself to issues where Jewish values appear to mandate a particular perspective, refraining from taking an official position when we recognize that credible arguments from Rabbinic literature can be mustered in support of contrary views. This is not the case with regards to many issues debated actively today.

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a global problem, found in both the political right and left wings. It is far too real and too dangerous to be wielded as a one-sided political cudgel.

We are thus alarmed by those who indiscriminately accuse conservative officials, legislators and public figures of harboring anti-Semitism, while ignoring blatant anti-Semitic bigotry from the left. This transpired repeatedly during the 2016 elections, and it continues today – as many who strongly condemned the President remain silent regarding lawmakers who associate with Louis Farrakhan.

We are also especially concerned with the environment on college campuses today, where Jews are prevented from speaking, denied elected or appointed office due to interest in Israel, and termed “Islamophobic” for opposing unmistakably anti-Semitic groups that glorify both terrorists and terrorism.

Israel and its Enemies

The People of Israel are permanently connected to the Land of Israel by the religion of Israel. No other people or creed is as bound to its homeland as are the Jews, who pray towards and for Jerusalem thrice daily. Entire Jewish religious practices are reserved for those fortunate to live upon our Holy ground. We assert that a Jew should be able to live and practice his or her faith anywhere in the Jewish Homeland as a basic matter of civil rights.

“Palestine” is a Roman name, assigned to the land to dissociate it from native Jews being slaughtered and driven from their homes. Although every nation’s ancient holdings differ significantly from its modern borders, Arab maps of Palestine trace precisely that portion of the British mandate that is now Israel. This is no coincidence. The word “Palestine” cannot be pronounced in Arabic, and reflects no genuine national aspiration. As always, it is part of a campaign to remove Jews from their homeland.

The CJV represents multiple schools of thought with regards to modern political Zionism, yet unanimously recognizes recycled anti-Semitism. Those who claim to be “anti-Zionists” mean not the students of Herzl or Jabotinsky, but anyone who prays for “our eyes to behold Your return to Zion” – any Jew who subscribes to Judaism.

Boycotts of Israel are uniquely odious, as economic warfare was a classic, hateful tactic used against Jews throughout history. The Nazis’ first anti-Jewish campaign was a boycott, as always with the pretense of combating Jewish thievery – and Arabs have boycotted the Jews of Israel since 1945. So the boycott campaign is neither new nor original, but rooted in Judenhass. In essence, it claims that replicating an old Nazi tactic will convince Jews to compromise on the security of their children. This is obviously motivated by animus, not a desire for reconciliation or a fair and lasting peace.

U.S. Defense and Security

The Bible teaches us that evil is real, that it must be fought, and that violence must sometimes be countered with force. The United States uses, and must continue to use, its military to advance the spread of human rights and freedoms.

This commitment to freedom does not entail open immigration from conflict-ridden territories into the United States or other free countries. On the contrary, it is a poor use of limited resources to import refugees when far greater numbers could be given shelter closer to their homelands. This practice is still more objectionable – and frankly dangerous – when a refugee population has been indoctrinated to despise our values, hate our citizens, and support violent Jihad.

Religious Liberty

The most significant danger to the free exercise of religion today comes from those who would permit no religious exercise at all – e.g. those who would force business owners to facilitate same-sex weddings in violation of their religious beliefs. The CJV has made public statements and addresses, and participated in Amicus Curae briefs, in defense of equality and freedom for religious institutions and individuals of different denominations.

As Judaism is focused upon practice, we are uniquely threatened by efforts to require business owners and public servants to choose between their livelihood and their faith.

Marriage and Family

The Talmud records praise for the pagan world that “they do not write marriage documents for men.” One of the foremost commentators explained nearly a millennium ago that although the behavior was common, and they even had specific, dedicated same-sex partners, they at least refrained from calling it “marriage.” [1]

The CJV perspective on acknowledgement of the separate creations called “man” and “woman,”[2] and upon behaviors called abomination in our Bible,[3] should need no elaboration. It should also be obvious that current advocacy for “transgender” athletes is disenfranchising biological women, denying them opportunities in sporting competitions provided decades ago.[4] The CJV also argues that a woman’s desire for basic privacy is in no way inferior to the desire of a “transgender” male to feel included.

[1] Tractate Chulin 92b; Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki ad loc

[2] Genesis 1:27.

[3] Leviticus 18:22.

[4] “Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard claims two silver medals at world championships,” Stuff Limited, Dec. 6, 2017. https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/99579324/kiwi-transgender-weightlifter-laurel-hubbard-leads-at-world-championships

 

Life

The Jewish Bible elevates a human soul to something precious, created in the Divine Image. Preservation of life is thus one of the foremost Jewish values. Judaism opposes any form of euthanasia, and opposes termination of care in many circumstances where doctors might wish to do so. The CJV supports empowerment of families to make critical end-of-life decisions, ahead of doctors and hospitals.

Judaism similarly cherishes fetal life, yet prioritizes that of the mother in a tragic case of conflict. Jewish Law requires termination of pregnancy in order to save her life, even if the child cannot survive the procedure.

We regard it as unfortunate that “Pro-Life” is often equated with complete opposition to abortion under all circumstances. To us, providing an exception when the mother’s life is endangered is not a political concession but a moral ideal. This, the Jewish position, remains sharply at odds with the view that abortion should be a “choice” or a last-ditch method of birth control.

Please see the CJV Position Papers on Abortion and Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide for more information.

Israel's Religious Affairs

As an American public policy organization, the CJV’s position on Israel’s religious affairs is limited to countering what we consider to be Jewish colonialist intervention. Faced with declining interest at home, the American liberal movements are using change in Israel as a cause around which to rally their flagging troops.[1]

Few Israelis demonstrate interest in American liberal Jewish practice. As in America, the liberal Jewish movements ally themselves with secularists, many of whom are less interested in enabling alternate forms of observance than in obstructing traditional ones. Leading agitators for “religious change” at the Western Wall admit that they would prevent all Jewish prayer at the site if given the option.[2] Many even have ties to anti-Israel groups;[3] this is no surprise, as their efforts aid those who defame Israel as denying religious and other freedoms.

The CJV stands with and represents traditional Jews who, knowing the scene in America and the true nature of the liberal movements’ call to arms, are best able to help Israelis to reject the deceptive demands of liberal Jewish leaders.

[1]nbsp; “A Declining Reform Movement Wants to Reform Israel,” Yaakov Menken, Israel Natl. News, Mar. 22, 2016. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18591

[2]  “Original Women of the Wall Call to End Prayer at the Wall,” Yaakov Menken, Hamodia, Jan. 3, 2017. http://hamodia.com/2017/01/03/original-women-wall-call-end-prayer-wall

[3]  “Women of the Wall Leadership Linked to Anti-Israel Groups,” Rachel Avraham, The Jewish Press, Nov. 10, 2013. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/women-of-the-wall-leadership-linked-to-anti-israel-groups/2013/11/10/

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