The Jewish elders have spoken. That’s at least what the New York Times told us in blazing one page ad titled “A Letter from Senior Jewish Leaders on the Iran Agreement”. It appeared a day after Iran’s supreme leader, Khomeini declared, “There will be no more Israel in 25 years”. A group of former organizational machers proclaimed themselves as the “”Senior Jewish Leaders””. In an ad paid for by the group “No nukes for Iran Project” they declared their support for the Iran Agreement.
These former leaders of some Jewish organizations may have done many wonderful things in their time. I am sure they were dedicated to the building Jewish life and the survival of Israel. They have the right to express their personal views, and those who disagree with them have the right to argue in response. But the true gall, or simply put unbelievable Chutzpa, to claim, that they are the elder statesman of American Jewry. The assertion in this ad is disingenuous. In straight words, it’s a lie.
Imagine if this self-appointed group of “Senior Jewish Leaders” called for a rally in support of the treaty in Manhattan or Washington. Chances are, the crowds they could draw would not reach beyond a few dozen. Instead of doing something that would show if they are leaders of anyone and anybody, they find a few dollars and place an ad in the New York Times. They claim to the world they are “senior leaders of the Jewish people”.
Where they elected by anybody? Who appointed them? Do they represent today any major Jewish constituency? Have the “SJP-Senior Jewish Leaders” organized conferences or had any initiatives that effected Jewish life. Or maybe they are so senior that they get together surreptitiously charting the course of world Jewry. A kind of Jewish “Trilateral Commission”?!
These ex leaders owe their former organizations an apology. They are using their past associations to assert a position, that in many cases is not supported by these organizations today.
The group “No Nukes for the Iran Project” paid for the ad in the Times. They have risen like a phoenix from nowhere. If you Google them, there is little information to be had. Their website claims that former Congressman Robert Wexler stand behinds the project. There is no information if he is really involved, or just a front for others. Their website does not reveal the organizations address or phone number. No board members are listed. No where does it tell us the name of the executive director or staff. The location of their offices remains a secret. The most important question of all, there is no information on who funds this project. It all seems quite strange, the group paying for ads that claim to speak the “Senior Jewish Leaders,” is doing everything it can to hide its true identity, and the names of backers and funders.
It’s time for the mysterious “No Nukes for Iran Project” to come out of the closet. First it needs to let us know its address and phone number. Second it should reveal who are the board members and funders. Next it owes the American Jewish community an apology, yes it has the right to put its view forward, but it must do so in an honest and truthful fashion.
This ad is a falsehood. Signed by many people who have done wonderful things for the Jewish people in the past, but they are not the “Senior Jewish Leaders”. No one appointed them and no one elected them. They have no right to speak on anyone’s behalf other then their own.
Rabbi David Eliezrie is president of the Rabbinical Council of Orange County. His email address is email@example.com.