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June 15, 2009

NJDC Reacts to Hoenlein’s Comments

Listed in: Israel, Stop the Smears, NJDC News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Marc R. Stanley, Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), and Ira N. Forman, CEO of NJDC, released the following statement:

It is highly ironic that on the very day that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that he embraces President Barack Obama’s leadership in bringing about Middle East peace, a prominent Jewish organizational staffer—Malcolm Hoenlein—was quoted in a right-wing “news” website Newsmax saying that Jewish leaders are apparently questioning “what he [Obama] really believes and what does he really stand for.”

Hoenlein said that he was speaking personally and not representing the views of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, where he serves as Executive Vice Chairman. Speaking not just personally, but on behalf of our organization, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), we must point out that Obama has spoken repeatedly and eloquently about the unshakeable bond that ties the U.S. and the state of Israel together—including during his recently address to the entire Arab world in Cairo. Netanyahu has also repeatedly praised and thanked Obama, calling him (on May 18th) “someone who is acutely cognizant of our security concerns.”

We can personally attest that the Obama administration has a sophisticated understanding of the long and ancient connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and this President has demonstrated a detailed grasp of the conventional and nuclear threats to Israel’s security as well. He has also shown a clear awareness that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric must be halted if peace is to be achieved in the region.

In addition, we take issue with Hoenlein’s anecdotal analysis of Jewish public opinion. Our outreach to Jewish Democratic leadership shows strong and consistent support for the President’s efforts to bring peace and security to Israel.

We call upon all American Jews to join Obama and Netanyahu in the ongoing search for peace and security in the Middle East.