Of all the things I never expected I’d hear coming out of the mouth of Malcolm Hoenlein, the powerful executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, “It’s time to set sail!” was certainly near the top of the list. But there he was, jacket and tie removed, a blue captain’s hat with the words “Israeli Navy” stitched in gold replacing the yarmulke he usually wears. He was standing at the bow of a rickety boat called the “Queen of Hearts,” which was about to make its way around the tip of Manhattan on a swelteringly hot June 24.6
A wave of outrage rippled through New York’s Haredi community, crossing the usual ultra-Orthodox divisions, in response to the June 21 announcement that Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin would be sent to a federal jail for 27 years for bank fraud, with no possibility of parole.24
It was almost 11 p.m. on a Monday night, and Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto was two hours late.
“The relations are going off the cliff,” one Jewish leader warned. “It’s getting worse by the day,” another added. A member of Congress spoke of a “chasm” between Israel and Turkey, and a Turkish government official was the most colorful of all. “Relations between Israel and Turkey,” he said, “resemble two Formula 1 race cars facing each other and going to crash.”15
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