David A. Harris, NJDC’s President, published an op-ed in Talking Points Memo that addressed the absurd—albeit limited—controversy about the Obama administration’s appointment of Hannah Rosenthal to the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism.
Right-wing windbags Ed Lasky of the American Thinker and Aaron Klein of World Net Daily both wrote articles attacking Rosenthal for her associations with dovish Israel groups. Lasky even dubiously predicted that Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League’s National Director, would condemn the appointment. Harris wrote in response to both pundits:
I recognize that in Lasky’s distorted understanding of the world he may have been surprised by Foxman’s praise. But Klein, who wrote his piece three days after Foxman’s statement, seemed to totally ignore Foxman’s welcoming words. Does Klein really think that Foxman would welcome Rosenthal if she served - as Klein falsely asserted - on a “pro-Hamas’ board?” In fact, it seems to be quite popular to invoke Foxman in right-wing attacks against this appointment. Is anyone on the right willing to acknowledge that Foxman and the ADL issued a statement supporting the selection of Rosenthal?
Harris went even further to confront the recent vitriol in the Jewish community surrounding J-Street, a group the labels itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace:”
Anyone who labels J Street as “pro-Hamas” or Rosenthal as someone who “does not care much for Israel” is someone who is entirely out of touch with reality—and should be treated as such. I fully appreciate personal disagreements over the policies of particular organizations; I know I have mine. However, it is not helpful when members of the Jewish community wage baseless hyperbolic attacks against qualified Jewish leaders.
Clearly, not everyone in the Jewish community always agrees with every policy of our president. But when much of our mainstream leadership supports an Obama appointment, maybe the right wing should concentrate more on meaningful differences - such as actual policy disagreements - instead of further marginalizing themselves with absurd attacks.
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