For better or worse Israel Advocacy is now and must be on the agenda of nearly every Federation. We are with Israel in time of war and peace, advocating, lobbying, visiting and being supportive in every way we can.
A Federation board can never reflect every perspective and we acknowledge the validity of many points of view. But if we claim responsibility for Israel advocacy and if both the government and the opposition consider this a matter of life or death, then Israeli opinion must have an impact on our decision. It is their children who will carry the burden and their cities who will be under fire even if the fire is “only” conventional from Iranian rockets under Hamas or Hezbollah control. I’ve been in Israel on many occasions when the rockets are falling…in Haifa and in Sderot where the damage has been extensive, the cities have come to a standstill, the children are traumatized, and where people have died. In good conscience we have a right and perhaps a responsibility to speak out while maintaining full respect for other points of view.
As far as “unenlightened major donors” are concerned I can only affirm that we were under no pressure whatsoever from donors or non donors and can share that our Boston donors on both sides of the argument are quite enlightened and that we listen closely to the opinions of our entire Jewish community whether they are donors or not! Our Board is made up of Democrats and Republicans and share a wide range of views on the current Israeli government but voted unanimously for the position we took on the Iran deal because they sincerely and in good conscience believe that the Deal is not in the interests of either the State of Israel or the United Stares.
We in Boston have stood at the leading edge of every important issue in a jewish life. With complete respect for the decisions of other Federations we didn’t feel we could stand aside on this one.
CJP of Boston