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December 5, 2012 8:26 pm

NY Synagogue’s Leaders Celebrate Palestinians’ UN Victory, Angering Congregants

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PA Chairman Abbas after his return from the United Nations status upgrade bid. Photo: Screenshot.

What many saw as a significant setback in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was cause to celebrate for leaders of one New York City synagogue last week.

The three rabbis, cantor, board president and executive director of Manhattan’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, reacting to the Palestinians’ upgrade to nonmember observer state status at the UN, sent an email to congregants lauding the move prior to Shabbat on Nov. 30, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

“The vote at the UN [Nov. 29] is a great moment for us as citizens of the world,” the email—which was signed by the synagogue’s three rabbis, cantor, board president and executive director—said. “This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition.”

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The synagogue’s email compared the Palestinians’ UN victory to Israel’s achievement of independence in 1948.

“Having gained independence ourselves in this way, we are especially conscious of this,” the email said.

Additionally, the email expressed hope that the Palestinian UN vote would “mark the moment that brought about a needed sense of dignity and purpose to the Palestinian people, led to a cessation of violence and hastened the two state solution.”

B’nai Jeshurun member Allan Ripp told the Times that he and his wife were “just sort of in a state of shock” due to the email.

“It’s not as if we don’t support a two-state solution, but to say with such a warm embrace—it is like a high-five to the P.L.O., and that has left us numb,” Ripp said.

Eve Birnbaum, another member, said she was “very dismayed” that B’nai Jeshurun’s “rabbis and the board would take a position that is contrary to what many members believe, contrary to the peace process.”

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  • Iris Harris

    The problem starts with recognizing those Arabs who live in the judea and Samaria areas as Palestinians. If they are Palestiniansn so are the Jews who were born in Palestine. Those Arabs have no right to a separate state in a small area that is within Israel. They have their state. It is called Jordan. If they are not from Jordan , they are from Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, iraq, Lebanon and many more Arab countries from where they originated to infiltrate the state of Israel. It is a big myth that the Arabs where there before the Jews. In the eighteenth century Palestine was populated by more Jews than Arabs. The so called Palestinian Arab entity was formed in the nineteen seventies where the PLO invented it from nothing, to justify this ludacrice demand.

  • The members of B’mai Jeshiurun should study the words of Winston Churchill in 1948 in THE GATHERING STORM: “MEIN KAMPF was the new KORAN”.

  • I AM THE ONLY CHILD OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS WHO LOST THEIR ENTIRE FAMILY EXCEPT ONE SISTER AND HER CHILDREN. MY parents suffered in Auschwitz and Buchenewald. If we had Israel then perhaps the 6 million who perished would have had somewhere to run and escape Hitler. The enemies of Israel are my enemies. The world did not care when 6 million Jews perished. RABBI DR,. BERNHARD ROSENBERG SHAME ON THIS SYNAGOGUE AND ITS LEADERSHIP.

  • David S. Most

    And I’m sure there will be other self-delusional rabbis who are so enmeshed in their “progressive” ideology that they choose to hide from reality! The PA and Hamas have one, and only one, goal: to drive the Jews out and rule all the land between the river and the sea.

    That is published, announced often in Arabic, and means just one thing: Judenrein Israel and Palestine.

    Rabbis like these once counseled the Jews in Germany that the “civilized Germans” would never implement their “Final Solution”. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Such misguided rabbis are a cause for shame. Were I a member of that Schul, my resignation would have been immediate!