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December 5, 2012 8:14 pm

The Useful Idiots of B’nai Jeshurun

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Congregation B'nai Jeshurun.

I recently wrote about how I wouldn’t permit my kids to attend an event held at the Stephen Wise Synagogue because of Wise’s disgraceful record of behavior during the Holocaust. The archivist of the synagogue condemned my “one-sided indictment of Rabbi Wise, saying we must remember that we are looking back into history – always easy to use a ‘retrospectoscope’ to accuse and condemn.”  The archivist is right – hindsight is 20/20 – which is why Wise shouldn’t be celebrated as a hero or have his name on any Jewish institutions.

Now there is another synagogue on the Upper West Side which no decent Jew should ever step foot into – B’nai Jeshurun. This so-called “Jewish institution” celebrated the victory of Israel’s enemies this week by issuing a statement “enthusiastically supporting the vote by the United Nations to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state.”

As the email, signed by B’nai Jeshurun’s three rabbis, cantor, board of directors and executive director said: “The vote at the UN yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world. This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition. Having gained independence ourselves in this way, we are especially conscious of this.”

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Now, whether one believes a Palestinian State is just or not, why strengthen an enemy who refuses to negotiate with us for peace? This nation has killed Jews and is engaged in an on-going war with Israel. All the major political parties of Israel opposed this move, as did all American Jewish organizations that I know of, and the vote was opposed by the governments of the United States and Israel. BJ’s extremist rhetoric simply gives aid and comfort to Israel’s enemies. As one member of the synagogue was quoted as saying “it is like a high-five to the PLO, and that has left us numb.”

At the other end of the religious spectrum of anti-Zionist Jews are the Neturei Karta, Orthodox extremists who embrace Jew-haters of all sorts. As Lenin famously said, those who work against their own people’s best interests in support of their enemies are “useful idiots.” The useful idiots of B’nai Jeshurun have decided to root for our enemies and in my eyes they can no longer be deemed a synagogue or a Jewish institution.

In 1929,  Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote in an essay called Peace:

A noisy whining is now being set up by a chorus of ‘peace seekers’ who aim to achieve (by preaching exclusively to Jews) conciliation with the Arabs. It is difficult to free oneself from a feeling of disgust. On the morrow of a slaughter so mean and so foul – let us confess our sins and ask that they not beat us again.

As Harvard professor Ruth Wisse says, “the rapid demoralization of Jews in the face of anti-Zionism… shows the depth of the influence of the past, for many have yet to achieve the simple self-respect that has been eluding the Jews collectively since the dawn of modernity.” May the members of B’nai Jeshurun who still have some self-respect find a real Jewish institution to affiliate with.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.

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  • As the child of parents who survived the concentration camps I have dedicated a my academic career and my clerical calling to educate the next generation to learn the lessons of the Nazi horrors. The first lesson of the holocaust is that the murder of6 million Jews in 21 nations did not begin with an edict to cast the Jews into the ovens. It began with a policy of demonizing the Jews as if they were less than human. Throughout WWII, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini, operated out of Hitler’s bunker and broadcast and rantings that called for the murder of the Jews on Nazi radio, in the Arabic language, a daily radio message that was beamed to the middle east, while the Mufti actively recruited Arabs to join SS units that systematically rounded up and executed thousands of Jewish families in the Balkans.

    Last Friday, on January 4th, 2013, Mahmood Abbas, the leader of what the UN has defined as the State of Palestine, issued a speech in which he praised the legacy of the Mufti of Jerusalem and of slew of Arabs who have murdered Jews over the past generation. To ignore Abbas’s message is ignore the first lesson of the holocaust, which is that anyone who glorifies hose who murder Jews is to be held culpable in the advocacy of mass murder/

    It is therefore incumbent on every person of conscience to condemn Abbas and to break off all relations with him and the entity that he represents.

    I await a response from the representatives of every Jewish organization and from every responsible cleric.

    There is a adage in the Talmud which is that SILENCE IS AGREEMENT. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  • Ravi

    many jewish people like to celebrate the division and diversity of jewish opinions, but I

    believe that only the unity of the jewish people can help provide the strength necessary

    to provide for the survival of Isreal and survival of the jewish people —

    secular jews as well as other jews who take for granted the survival of Israel or the

    jewish people are denying the facts of reality and history

    • PIM MEIBOSCH

      WHEN IT IS TIME TO REALLY FIGHT YOU WILL SEE OUR UNITY.

      • dan kaplan

        are you saying that it is not yet time to fight ???

        you are delusional. the fight began 2000 years ago.

        • PIM MEIBOSCH

          DID WE FIGHT SINCE THE STATE OF ISRAEL WAS ERECTED ?
          STUPID QUESTION DESERVES STUPID ANSWER.

  • Jon

    These are, as I like to call them, “Sally Field Jews.” they want people to “really, really like” them. They probably associate themselves with many lefty liberal non-Jews who are anti-Israel and this is their way of making themselves more palatable to their liberal lefty anti-israel friends. “See, I don’t like Israel, either!” they can now tell those friends, in the hope that, just like Sally Fields at the Academy Awards, they’ll “really, really like” them.

    Also, the fact that they are a “non-affiliated” synagogue makes me wonder if maybe they have committment issues. Maybe they’d be better off as a church.

    • PIM MEIBOSCH

      I REALLY,REALLY DON’T LIKE YOU.
      SO, TAKE YOUR CHURCH AND GO TO THE MOON.
      WE ALL BE BETTER OFF.

      • G. Fränkl

        Why this site allows Dutch anti-Israel voices from his original homeland of The Netherlands, (doubtless Israel is not and never will be his true homeland!) is beyond me.

  • Okey

    These pro-PLO “Jews” have by their actions endorsed violations of international agreements, laws and conventions.
    They deserve no respect from any one who values morality and the rule of law.

  • PIM MEIBOSCH

    AFTER ALL THE EMPTY NETANYAHU NEGOTIATIONS THE PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK FINALLY WOKE UP.
    I PERSONALLY SUPPORT THEIR NEW STATUS.
    I LIVE IN ISRAEL AND I’M NOT THE ONLY JEW IN ISRAEL TO SUPPORT THIS.

  • I MET A MAN WHO HAD A STAND SET UP IN SEATTLE, WA. AND HE WAS JEWISH. I THOUGHT WHEN I WENT UP TO HIM I WAS DOING SOMETHING GOOD BY TAKING A PAPER HE WAS PASSING OUT. WELL, WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT THIS SO-CALLED JEWISH MAN WAS BLAMING ISRAEL FOR THE TROUBLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I DROPPED THE PAPER HE HAD HANDED ME LIKE IT WAS A HOT POTATO. I COULDN’T BELIEVE THIS MAN WAS JEWISH AND WAS AGAINST EVERYTHING ISRAEL STOOD FOR. I WAS TERRIBLY OFFENDED AND I AM A CHRISTIAN AND I HAVE HAD A GREAT PASSION FOR THE JEWS SINCE I WAS A CHILD AND LEARNED OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO MILLIONS DURING WWII.

  • 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

  • Charles Rosenberg

    Are they laughable, delusional, or dangerous….perhaps our brethren at this shul check all three boxes.

  • It has reached the point where there is no difference between liberal Jews and antisemetic Jews…Both Hitler and the Grand Mufti are looking up from Hell and smiling at their allies at B’nai Jeshurun.

  • Linda Sobel

    They must be members of the portion of Jewish institution that pretend to be Jewish. they should be exiled and disinherited to embrace those who wish our destruction. Shame on those rabbis, cantors and members of the exec board.

  • Richard Rosen

    Bnai Jeshrun is Jewish traitors. Say it loud and clear.

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