Connect with us
Israel Bonds RRSP

RSS

J Street drops Jamaal Bowman endorsement, saying his rhetoric ‘crossed a line’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — J Street pulled its endorsement of New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, citing his “framing and approach,” a sign of how alliances on the Jewish left are shifting after Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.

Bowman was one of the earliest and most outspoken members of Congress to call for a ceasefire following Hamas’ invasion of Israel on Oct. 7 and the outbreak of the ensuing war in Gaza. He has also described Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as “genocide.”

J Street, while critical of Israel’s wartime conduct, has not called for a ceasefire in the conflict. The liberal Israel lobby also adamantly rejects the use of “genocide” to describe Israel’s counterstrikes after Oct. 7, and opposed South Africa’s bringing genocide charges against Israel in the International Court of Justice.

“We have been pleased to work with Congressman Bowman for over four years to promote a shared set of values and principles rooted in the pursuit of justice, equality and peace,” said J Street’s statement, which was issued on Friday. “The past few months have, however, highlighted significant differences between us in framing and approach.”

The announcement comes as Bowman faces a primary challenge in his district, which encompasses parts of Westchester County and a slice of the Bronx. His rival George Latimer, the Westchester County executive, has earned the endorsement of the PAC run by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Bowman is seen as the most vulnerable member of the “Squad,” the group of outspoken progressive Democrats that is uniformly critical of Israel and its conduct of the war.

Latimer spoke Saturday night at the Westchester Jewish Council gala, where he received an enthusiastic reception. “You are not alone,” he said, a message that has resonated with liberal Jewish New Yorkers, some of whom have felt alienated by progressive criticism of Israel.

Bowman’s campaign did not reply to requests for comment.

The announcement is also significant as J Street is vying to act as the voice of mainstream Democrats on Israel, as opposed to its rivals to the right, including AIPAC and a more centrist pro-Israel PAC, Democratic Majority for Israel.

J Street, along with other Jewish Democrats, has for years accommodated and at times endorsed even the toughest criticism of Israel, including from Bowman. In its announcement on Friday, J Street pointed to Bowman’s support for a two-state solution, a signature issue for J Street. But since Oct. 7, some Jewish progressives have felt rattled by the rhetoric they’ve heard on the left, including from those who have downplayed the Oct. 7 attack or accused Israel of genocide.

In an interview with The Forward, which first broke the news of J Street dropping Bowman, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the lobby’s president, said Bowman’s rhetoric was a step too far.

“When the rhetoric, the framing and the approach go too far, that’s where we are going to hold our line,” Ben-Ami said. “And that’s when we felt that Bowman crossed the line here.”

Ben-Ami cited the use of the term “genocide”, which Bowman has used multiple times in the months since the war began, as a breaking point. “The rhetoric around genocide, the singling out of Israel, and at times Jewish people, that happens in some of these events — that needs to be called out in real time,” he said.

Policy was previously J Street’s only red line; before this, it has withdrawn an endorsement just once, in 2018, when Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib made clear late in the election cycle that she favored a single, binational state in place of Israel.

Another Jewish group, the New York-based Jewish Vote, which is affiliated with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, has endorsed Bowman. JFREJ has also called for a ceasefire and accused Israel of genocide.

“This is yet another in a series of poor decisions that J Street has made in recent months,” it said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.


The post J Street drops Jamaal Bowman endorsement, saying his rhetoric ‘crossed a line’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS

Israeli Hospital Earns Spot In Global Top 10

An ambulance is seen at the entrance to the emergency room of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hospitalised, in Ramat Gan, Israel, July 15, 2023. REUTERS/Rami Amichay

A hospital in central Israel was ranked in the top 10 of medical centers globally, in the new rankings out by Newsweek. Sheba Medical Center, located in Tel HaShomer in central Israel, was ranked the ninth best hospital in the world according to the US publication, its sixth year in a row.

“This is a distilled moment of Israeli pride. In this challenging period, Sheba has proven its professionalism and quality for the sixth time in a row. In many ways, this is a true expression of confidence in the entire Israeli healthcare system, for which I thank it from the bottom of my heart,” said Israeli President Isaac Herzog following the news.

The Director General of the hospital, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, added; “This achievement represents a resounding endorsement by our colleagues around the world. Sheba is working diligently to make Israel a better, healthier place and highlights our abilities to be both a center of medical excellence, as well as a beacon of co-existence, where Jewish and Arab medical personnel are working side by side 24/7 to save the lives of civilians and soldiers- Jews, Moslems and Christians alike.”

According to the hospital, which placed 11th in last year’s list, thousands of patients came through their doors in 2023 from every continent on earth, “for the treatment they could not receive in their home countries.”

Concluding on a thoughtful note, Sheba wrote: “Being ranked by Newsweek as the 9th best hospital in the world is a major achievement and an honor, yet our greatest reward lies in the lives we touch and the hope we instill. Together, with our dedicated team of medical professionals, we will continue to push the boundaries of medical advancement, ensuring that every patient receives the highest standard of care regardless of their background or where they live. Thank you for entrusting us with your health and allowing us to be a beacon of hope beyond boundaries.”

Per the rankings, four of the top five hospitals in the world are in the US, with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota at the top, followed by the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Also included in the list from Israel were the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, which ranked 64th in the world, and Rabin Medical Center’s Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, placing 158th globally.

The post Israeli Hospital Earns Spot In Global Top 10 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

Second Synagogue in Tunisia Attacked Since October 7

A screenshot from a video of Tunisian rioters burning the El-Hamma synagogue on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Source: Twitter

A mob set fire to the courtyard of a Tunisian synagogue in the city of Sfax on Sunday, the second such incident since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Nobody was injured in the fire — as there are no Jews left in Sfax — and authorities were able to put out the fire before it spread and destroyed the building, but reported showed significant damage to parts of the synagogue.

Israeli Historian Edy Cohen posted a video of the fire and explained that this is yet another example of antisemitism in Tunisia. He argued that “Israel through the Western countries must help Tunisian Jews.”

האנטישמיות בתוניסיה
היום בבוקר נשרף בית כנסת עתיק בתוניסיה .
כתבתי עשרות פוסטים ומאמרים על האנטישמיות הגואה בתוניסיה אשר הגיעה לשיאה לפני פחות משנה כאשר נהרגו שני יהודים בפיגוע של קיצונים.
ישראל באמצעות מדינות המערב חייבת לעזור ליהודי תוניסה. pic.twitter.com/8Nw1jkjtiw

— אדי כהן Edy Cohen (@DREDYCOHEN) February 26, 2024

In 1948, there were an estimated 105,000 Jews in the country. However, by 1967, that number had declined to 20,000 after many fled to countries such as Israel and France, and today Tunisia is estimated to only have about 1,500 Jews.

This is not the first time an antisemitic mob set fire to a synagogue since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack.

On October 17, rioters set fire to the el-Hamma Synagogue, doing considerable damage. People also entered the synagogue and destroyed much of it. The synagogue is not an active place of worship, as there are no Jews left in the city.

Videos from the riot show crowds of people walking in, around, and on top of the synagogue — including at least one person waving a large Palestinian flag.

En Tunisie, la synagogue d’El Hamma a été détruite et incendiée hier soir par des centaines d’émeutiers, sans la moindre intervention policière. De nombreuses vidéos sur TikTok et Facebook. Et pas la moindre mention dans les médias nationaux https://t.co/U601jWVYWq pic.twitter.com/6F8uIZhoe3

— Joseph Hirsch (@josephhirsch5) October 18, 2023

The riot was precipitated by false reports that Israel had bombed Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, resulting in more than 500 casualties. News outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post uncritically reported the story.

Later, reports from those same outlets, along with human rights groups, suggested that a rocket launched by Palestinian terrorists malfunctioned and hit the parking lot of the hospital, killing dozens. U.S. and Israeli intelligence also conclude this is what took place.

But the damage of the initial reporting was done, whipping much of the Arab world into a frenzy, resulting in huge protests and — in this case — mob violence.

Just a year prior to the war, there was a deadly terrorist attack against the El Ghriba Synagogue on the island of Djerba, where the vast majority of Tunisia’s Jews live. The terrorist opened fire on security guards, killing two and injuring six. He also shot at Jews at the synagogue, two of whom were killed and another four were injured.

The post Second Synagogue in Tunisia Attacked Since October 7 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

From Ground Zero to the Gaza Border: US Medical Doctors Volunteer In Israel

A Hanukkiyah, a candlestick used during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, stands on the remains of a burnt windowsill, following a deadly infiltration by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip, in Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel, Oct. 17, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

On September 12, 2001, Dr. Marc Wilkenfeld, a specialist in occupational medicine, was treating victims of terror at a site that would later become known as Ground Zero. More than 22 years later, Wilkenfeld found himself 6,000 miles away from Ground Zero treating terror victims in Israel. 

Wilkenfeld took leave of his job for two weeks to volunteer with IL-USDocAID, an initiative that was established in the immediate aftermath of the Hamas attacks on October 7, in which more than 1200 people were murdered and 253 were abducted to Gaza. 

The project, a joint partnership between Israel’s Health Ministry and the Israel Economic Mission to the US, came in response to the sudden duress suffered by Israel’s health system from soaring casualties and the deployment of thousands of medical staff members, who serve in the IDF as reserve soldiers, to the frontlines.

Wilkenfeld said he was driven to come to Israel after seeing reports of mobilization efforts by Israeli civilians, some as early as October 7 itself. The idea of Israelis who were told to stay in their safe rooms rushing to help first responders wherever they could compelled him to action. 

“In America, you feel helpless. What are you going to do? The ability to go here and even play a small role, just to give some advice medically – it’s a beautiful thing,” he told The Algemeiner.

Wilkenfeld took his family with him, who volunteered by cooking for soldiers while he was treating people. 

In Israel, Wilkenfeld experienced many firsts. Despite 30 years of being active in the medical profession, including at the scenes of terror attacks, it was the first time he had ever encountered an ambulance station pockmarked by shrapnel and ambulances riddled with bullet holes. 

Visiting physicians are given a choice to volunteer with paramedics in ambulances or work directly inside hospitals. 

When you have a doctor in the ambulance there’s more you can do as a paramedic,” Wilkenfeld said. “It also gives real strength for the paramedics to know that people want to come and give help.”

Wilkenfeld said the visit taught him not to pay too much attention to misinformation about Israel. 

“I didn’t learn too much about medicine, but I learned a lot about Israel,” he said. “You read in the press that Israel is an apartheid state. But from a medical perspective it’s precisely the opposite.”

During his time in the country, Wilkenfeld said that all the patients he treated received the same medical care, from the “arab in east Jerusalem” to the “major rabbi from Har Nof,” an ultra-Orthodox suburb.  

He noted, however, that working in Jerusalem was vastly different from the south, which suffered the brunt of the onslaught, where people are still in an acute state of shock. 

“I’ve seen almost a thousand 9/11 responders, the responders in Sderot have the same look in their eyes,” he said of the southern Israeli city in which at least 50 civilians and 20 police officers were murdered. “They talk about the bodies in the ambulance station, about how to prioritize patients, that they haven’t slept in weeks.”

He also said that meeting with the families of hostages left him with a “terrible sadness,” rendering him speechless. Leaning on his medical expertise, however, eventually allowed Wilkenfeld to find his own voice to console them.

“It’s not possible to live in southern Israel and not have PTSD,” he said. 

Wilkenfeld returned to his job in New York, where he serves as chief of occupational medicine and clinical assistant professor at NYU-Langone in Long Island, with a somber sense of the realities facing Israel.

He is already working to recruit more volunteers for the project if war should come to Israel again.

If there is a next time, God forbid, now we can mobilize,” he said. “Now we know who to talk to, where things are.”

Parting ways with the Israeli medical personnel he worked alongside, Wilkenfeld was struck by their sacrifice amidst incomprehensible conditions.

“I leave and they have to live with this.” At the end of the day, he said, “they did much more for me than I did for them.”

To find out more about volunteering as a medic in Israel, click on the following link: IL-USDocAID: https://www.ilusdocaid.org/

The post From Ground Zero to the Gaza Border: US Medical Doctors Volunteer In Israel first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News