Historically, Jewish people were in the forefront of movements that endeavored to further basic human freedoms and to foster peace in the world. A new American Jewish group, J Street, has come into being over the past few years with a goal of “pro-Israel-pro-Peace.” The Israel Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, denounced the group as being anti-Israel and declined its invitation to attend a meeting and engage in dialogue. Hannah Rosenthal, administrator of the Obama administration Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, expressed her disappointment at the refusal of Oren to engage in open dialogue. In turning down an opportunity to discuss alternative roads to peace, Ambassador Oren behaved in a manner not befitting a Jew.
Rosenthal, who is the child of a Holocaust survivor, believes “young people want to be part of the discussion, they feel they have fresh ideas and they feel that we have to end the stalemate(in the Middle East).” Ms. Rosenthal understands there is anti-semitism in the world as witness 170 UN resolutions about Israel with but a scant few dealing with Darfur or the Congo or Iran or any number of places in the world where people are getting killed and raped.
The Jewish people need open discussion and it is imperative that Israel representatives enter the dialogue rather than denounce anyone who opposes policies of the Netanyahu government as being anti-semitic.