The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations rejects J Street’s application for membership.

The Conference of Presidents has been the go-to organization, where the voice of Jews has been concerned, for quite some time now.  It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who requested that it be created because he wanted to hear what the Jewish state (which had just recently been founded) had to say, through a unified voice.

Some say that the Conference failed in providing unity because of its rejection of J Street’s membership application on April 30, while others would disagree.  The vote of 22-17, in favor of rejecting the application, was a decision that was based on several different facts, as well as a few possible opinions.

There has been quite a bit of resentment built up over the incredible influence that J Street (a much smaller Orthodox movement) has had in Israel.  Their less-than-traditional outlook is being felt, in even greater intensity, on the home-front.

The question on everyone’s mind is, “was the decision to reject J Street’s membership application the right decision to make?” While the question is a simple one, the answer is a little more difficult to come up with.

The J Street membership application had been submitted nearly a year before its final rejection.  During that time period, J Street continued to criticize Israel openly.  There are many who are of the opinion that accepting J Street’s membership application would have ultimately legitimized both the actions, as well as the opinions of the outspoken group.

Others feel as though acceptance of the J Street membership application would have resulted in more long-term damage to the overall pro-Israel movement that is taking place in America.

There are a number of conference members who have a completely different opinion altogether.  While they have been in support of accepting J Street’s membership application, they openly disagree with the blatant actions, as well as statements made by J Street.  These members do, however, believe that the conference would benefit by having a “big tent”, so to speak.

This opinion was the result of J Street’s list of 180,000 online members.  The conference disagreed, and made it quite clear that membership numbers play no part in their decisions.

Some think the rejection decision might have been directly related to the fact that AIPAC would be lobbying Congress, for the much needed support of issues beneficial to Israel.  Accepting J Street’s membership application would ultimately give them the platform to lobby in the opposite direction.  Others think the decision to reject J Street’s membership application was purely opinion based.

The important thing to remember is that the decision was made for a reason, nonetheless.


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