SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

News Feed Item

AJC Responds to New York Times Op-ed on U.S. Jews and Hagel

NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is dismayed by today's New York Times op-ed article, available online, "Don't Let Pro-Israel Extremists Sink Chuck Hagel." The author is James Besser, a former Washington correspondent for the New York Jewish Week.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO)

AJC Executive Director David Harris issued the following statement in response:

This op-ed is so replete with glaring errors of omission and commission that it's hard to know where to begin. Indeed, the very conceptual, or actually ideological, premise on which it is constructed is without foundation.

Essentially, the author argues that a group of wealthy right-wing zealots now call the shots in American Jewry. They have either taken over or, at the very least, intimidated mainstream groups like AJC into supporting, openly or quietly, their extremist agenda. This includes settlement expansion and seeking to silence anyone who doesn't yield to their political orthodoxies.

To be blunt, this is absolute and total rubbish.

First, AJC does not have such donors. Our donor list is made public in each annual report. I invite anyone to review the list. 

Second, those who know us understand that we would not begin to yield to the will or whim of any such donors, be they of the doctrinal right or, for that matter, the left.

In fact, I can cite the cases of donors on both sides who dropped out of AJC in recent years precisely because we were not right-wing or left-wing enough for their taste.

Decision-making and direction are determined by AJC's Board of Governors through discussion and debate, involving close cooperation between lay leadership and staff. We welcome different points of view among our leaders and outside speakers who inform our thinking, a long-standing hallmark of AJC.

Third, our stance on Israel-related issues is staunchly centrist and non-ideological. An incredibly long paper and voice trail underscores that point, as do the daily examples of our diplomatic and political advocacy.

We fully support Israel's right to exist free of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and the moral and political hypocrisy of double standards.

We steadfastly defend Israel's right to protect itself and its citizens.

We speak up for the special U.S.-Israel link, as serving the highest interests of both nations.

And we belabor under no illusions about the immense dangers Israel faces in a hostile, arms-laden region -- from Syrian chemical weapons to Iran's nuclear ambitions; from the deadly arsenals of Hamas and Hezbollah to the growing strength of political Islam.

At the same time, we have consistently, and over a long time, advocated for a two-state Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

We supported the Egyptian and Jordanian peace treaties, as well as Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and Israel's unilateral withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza.

We have expressed concern about settlement expansion (and settler-initiated violence) on multiple occasions dating back years, indeed decades.

Project Interchange, AJC's educational initiative bringing leaders from different sectors in the U.S. and other countries to Israel, visits Ramallah regularly to meet with the Palestinian Authority. AJC's Board of Governors, during its upcoming visit to Israel, also will meet with PA leaders, as it has consistently done on previous trips.

And no Jewish organization in the world has come close to our time spent, and relationships built, in the Arab or, for that matter, Muslim worlds.

Fourth, to begin the op-ed by using the possible nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense as a case study is wrong-headed, to say the least. The author's attempt to sanitize Hagel's world view is mischievous at best, malicious at worst.

There are good reasons to be concerned about Hagel in the Pentagon, and one need not be a "zealot" or "extremist" to hold such views.

The Washington Post editorial board opposes his nomination.  LGBT spokespersons, women's groups, and those worried about climate change also have voiced concern.

Hagel's voting record and statements on Iran-related issues alone should give pause to anyone who wonders what message his appointment could send to Tehran.  

Fifth, to seek to draw a parallel with the NRA is particularly offensive, especially to those who have opposed the group's agenda.

We wish the NRA were remotely open -- say even one percent -- to the pluralistic views of Americans on gun rights and gun limits that organizations like AJC are to the direction of American Jewry and Israel.

Why the New York Times chose to publish such an off-base, politically motivated piece chock full of errors and distortions is beyond us.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...