Jews Slam New York Mayor Bill De Blasio for 'Secret' AIPAC Speech in Open Letter

58 Signatories Warn Israel Lobby 'Doesn't Speak for Us'

Getty Images

By Michael Kaplan

Published January 29, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A group of New York Jewish public figures have signed an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio condemning his recent proclamation that the pro-Israel lobbyist group AIPAC would always have a friend at City Hall.

The letter counters the idea that AIPAC represents the best interests of de Blasio’s New York constituents, including the city’s Jews. “AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone; it does not speak for us,” the letter reads.

The letter’s 58 signatories include religious leaders, progressive academics, political activists, and others. They span the gamut from center-left liberal Zionists like author Peter Beinart to far-left voices like Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. Prominent writers and playwrights like Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Eve Ensler also signed on.

The statement comes as de Blasio — a self-proclaimed champion of open-government — faces mounting pressure for comments made during a closed-door AIPAC gala, asserting his unending support for Israel and his loyalties to the right-wing lobbyist group AIPAC.

In the audio leaked by a reporter who bypassed security, he asserts that strong support for Israel is “elemental to being an American, because there is no greater ally on earth, and that’s something we can say proudly.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.