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U.S. Jews can't criticize Israel

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    Orthodox leader: U.S. Jews have no right to criticize Israel By Sarah Bronson, Haaretz Correspondent http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/459037.html w w w
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2004
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      Orthodox leader: U.S. Jews have no right to criticize Israel
      By Sarah Bronson, Haaretz Correspondent
      http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/459037.html

      w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
      03/08/2004

      A prominent member of America's Orthodox community, who was also a
      Senate staff member for three decades, spoke out on Sunday night
      against American Jews who publicly criticize Israeli policies.

      "An American who wants to take sides should make aliyah [immigrate to
      Israel]," said Rabbi Dr. David Luchins, a national associate vice
      president of the Orthodox Union (OU) and a national officer for the
      Jewish Council of Public Affairs. "Their kids should serve in the
      army. It's better for American Jews to stay out of Israeli politics."

      Luchins carefully emphasized that "every Jew has the right to pray
      and pay for their side, whether it's Americans for Peace Now or
      Americans for Likud," and said he was not speaking on behalf of the
      organizations he serves.

      However, the former senior aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
      added that it's "devastating" for American Jews to criticize Israeli
      policies in front of U.S. politicians or in ads in The New York Times.

      Underlying love

      Taking a public stance against Israel is a "serious mistake," Luchins
      said in his speech at Jerusalem's OU Israel Center, because when
      American Jews write critical letters to their congressmen or protest
      Israeli policies, the average American does not perceive their
      underlying love for Israel.

      "When the rallies happen in New York against the pull-out from Gush
      Katif," he predicted, "the headlines will say, `American Jews protest
      against Israeli policy,' and the average American will read:
      `American Jews protest Israel.'"

      He also said that often, American and Israeli politicians make
      subtle, internal agreements between themselves, which they do not
      present to the public. A politician's publicly stated opinion about a
      peace proposal, for example, is sometimes a carefully planned
      diplomatic "charade," he explained. By writing critical letters or
      holding rallies, American Jews "sometimes mess up those charades -
      very badly."

      Luchins also criticized American organizations that attempt to exert
      financial pressure on Israeli politicians.

      "An Israeli Arab or a non-Jewish immigrant from the former Soviet
      Union has more of a say than the most ardent American Zionist who
      comes here 35 times a year," he asserted. Comparing Israeli politics
      to a baseball game and Israeli citizens to the teams, he told the
      audience that, "American Jewish Zionists have box seats, and we have
      the right and obligation to support our team. But we are not playing.
      Only the members of the team, even those who are benched, have the
      right to take part in team meetings. We fans talk strategy, but the
      only ones with the right to decide matters are the team members."

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