Opinions & Commentary

JCRC winks, nods at members who support BDS

The moral outrage expressed against The Jewish Advocate [“JCRC head dismayed by Advocate coverage,” April 7, p. 8] is remarkable coming from the sanctimonious Jewish Community Relations Council, whose duplicity is legendary. Presumably, what prompted Jeremy Burton’s public rebuke was the intimation that JCRC members – specifically, Workmen’s Circle – support BDS. According to Burton, these are falsified facts. But are they?

During the 2014 Open Hillel conference, Alice Rothchild, in her workshop, “Beyond Hillel: Opening Jewish Community Organizations,” described how Workmen’s Circle circumvented JCRC’s prohibition on openly endorsing BDS, with a wink and a nod from Burton. Rothchild explained that while Jewish Voice for Peace supposedly doesn’t receive money from established Jewish organizations, Workmen’s Circle does, and has a seat at JCRC’s table. Since Workmen’s Circle could not openly speak in favor of BDS, they instead twice rented their space to JVP, who in turn held public for advocating for BDS, according to Rothchild. JCRC was aware of what happened. On both occasions, Burton allegedly threatened to pull Workmen’s Circle’s funding, but opted instead for a “slap on the wrist.”

Why then does JCRC continue to invoke the mantra and lie of an “open tent,” while these seemingly benign ‘Jewish’ organizations are becoming increasingly radicalized and are using Jewish communal resources to achieve their nefarious ends? While feigning “moral outrage,” mum seems to be the word for Burton when it comes to taking action and enforcing JCRC’s rules, unless these “red lines” don’t really exist. Which is it, Burton? Where is your moral outrage?

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