What AEPi taught me about Israel, the Conference of Presidents, and Brotherhood

This is a guest post by “Jacob Wake Up!”. Based in Boston, Jake works in higher ed marketing, plays music, and is planning his wedding. He has previously held positions in Jewish nonprofit and the music industry. He also blogs at jacobwakeup.com and bostonska.net.

I am proud to say that I am an alumnus of AEPi. Just as my brothers let me know when I was screwing up, I’d like to let AEPi, the national organization, that they screwed up. I’ll start with a story:

I’ll never forget one evening in my senior year at UConn when I was relaxing in my fraternity house room and a handful of my brothers walked in together. They had serious looks on their faces; concerned but not quite angry. They told me they wanted to talk. It became very clear that this was an intervention of sorts. The worst crossed my mind: Did I have too much to drink at the last party? Did I say things I shouldn’t have to a young woman? Did I behave in a way that was unbecoming of a brother of my fraternity? Thankfully, it wasn’t so bad. I had decided somewhere along the way that it would be a good idea to grow out a goatee–the kind without a mustache, because I can’t grow one. I’m of a light complexion with dirty blonde hair, so it made me look how you might say “trashy.” While I hadn’t quite figured out my “style” (punk rock? student in sweats? ramah shacharit in pajamas?), it was conclusive that the goatee was not part of it. I was aiming for cool and I missed by lightyears. They were the ones to tell me, not any of my other friends. Brothers look out for you, tell you things you might not want to hear, and let you know when you’re screwing up. And I was grateful to be called out.

Last week, I was very upset to learn, that in a recent vote on whether or not to include JStreet in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Presidents, AEPi voted not to include Jstreet, according to a report in the Forward. This was wrong, small-minded, poor public relations practice, and above all, it was unbrotherly.

I’m grateful for my undergraduate AEPi experience. I found more male Jewish friends than I’d found at synagogue, Camp Ramah, and USY combined. This meant a lot to me. I learned lots of life lessons: how to speak up, how to assert yourself, how to look out for one another, and even how to work with people with whom you don’t see eye to eye. That last one was the kicker. Without AEPi, I’m not so sure I would have gained (at least not as early in life) the ability to do business with people with whom I disagreed, with people I called brother. This was a fundamental part of my AEPi experience. I would not have finished pledging had I thought my opinion, be it the opposite of a pledge brother, was not valued. This was also reflected in chapter meetings and business. Everyone had a chance to share their opinion or advice on a situation or chapter decision. Everyone had a voice. Sometimes we even ended our weekly meetings with time for anyone to say anything they pleased. We were all better for it.

In a seemingly careless move, AEPi decided someone doesn’t get a voice at the table. You’ve publicly said that this organization, even though it may not share our perspective on a particular issue, doesn’t get a voice. You’ve sided with the fraternity value of exclusion, not the Jewish value of debate, and not the familial value of inclusion. Does this Conference mean anything to folks outside of the Jewish community? It might not, but it is symbolic, and I know that the value of symbolism is not lost on an AEPi brother, Jewish or not. No one even asked you to change your stance on the Middle East crisis occupation. JStreet just asked for the opportunity to share their perspective. It’s worth noting that the word “Israel” doesn’t even appear in AEPi’s mission statement. [Editor's Note: A formatting error left out the strikethrough in this paragraph. It is intended by the author.]

What’s even odder is that we’ve aligned yourself with a handful of Orthodox organizations with very conservative values. We’ve to date created a fairly “open tent” by not questioning someone’s Jewish roots, something not shared by many other groups. By including those who are not Jewish, we recognize one of the reasons the fraternity exists is that at one time Jewish men could not be included in American fraternal organizations.

Let’s be clear: this is a shonde, a shame. I know that it pales in comparison to issues of hazing and sexual assault. Those need to be addressed and we should be vocal about it. But I couldn’t let this one squeak by. I paid my dues, literally and figuratively. I conservatively estimate (because this predates Mint.com) spending $2,300 over four years, and I know that we were a relatively inexpensive chapter. I also conservatively estimate $1,550, about 67%, of that cash going to the national organization, an entity I didn’t always understand and was often ambivalent towards. I did, however, understand it to be an integral part of the infrastructure. I saw it as an investment at the time, but I’m feeling pretty damn burnt right now.

Just as the guys I call “brother” took the time to let me know when I was screwing up, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know, this is not cool. We’re better than this. You gave me a chance, didn’t you?

Lastly, this just can’t be a good reflection of the organization in the long run. We know that young Jews increasingly favor open conversations around Israel. We know that 17-19 year old Jewish men are the primary demographic and we know that AEPi needs to stay relevant to them in order to exist. It seems like the best bet for long-term growth would be to encourage a wide range of opinions around this topic, letting a variety of young Jewish men know that they can find a home in AEPi. I know AEPi isn’t for everyone, but if we’re to continue to have an impact, we want to create a space that speaks to a pool that includes future leaders.

How about we — yes, we — start with an apology, and recognize that this was exclusionary and small-minded. Transparency and authenticity are the prevailing values among youth, even if not with Greek Life. Then maybe we can talk about how AEPi is going to take a proactive role in  being part of what we all know to be a difficult conversation, just as it’s taken such a proactive role in building young male Jewish leaders.

28 Responses to “What AEPi taught me about Israel, the Conference of Presidents, and Brotherhood”

  1. Hey Jake, reading this from Israel, it came up on my aggregate feed!

    I completely disagree with you. Your premise is rather off for two reasons. One the frat you speak of wasn’t all inclusive. I’m glad that ultimately that I wasn’t “accepted” into the frat when you made it, though you seem hypocritical.

    Further JStreet isn’t relevant to the Council of Jewish presidents. They are overall a Jewish lobbying group, and J Streets positions run counter to every point possible. Whether it would be not sanctioning Iran, to urging the US to not veto anti-Israel resolutions in the UN.

    In summation as your fellow classmate from UConn you have a very puzzling thesis. You were apart of a group that didn’t let all Jews who wanted membership to join. Then you’re mad because a group that is primarily funded by Iran and George Soros to be a part of a Jewish group.

    I think the clear issue is that you are grossly misinformed on JStreet.


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 14th, 2014 at 8:58 am
  2. Imagine I were to begin an article about the importance of reading with the sentence, “I am members of the Chicago Public Library,” or a post about my disgust for Donald Sterling with the statement, “I am fans of the Los Angeles Clippers.”

    That would sound silly, right?

    You start with the phrase, “I am,” which leads me to believe that you are in individual person. But then you proclaim to be “alumni.” The problem is that “alumni” refers to a group of individuals. So unless you’re trying to make some sort of philosophical point about the individual and the group having become one, it would actually be correct to say, “I am proud to say that I am an alumnus of AEPi.”

    Since they have a vested interest in their alumni not sounding like ignoramuses, any degree-granting institution should require that graduates know the following:

    ALUMNI is a plural noun referring either to a group male graduates or to a group of both male and female graduates. The singular ALUMNUS refers to one male graduate, ALUMNA refers to one female graduate, and the plural ALUMNAE refers to a group of female graduates. (It’s just like Hebrew, see?)


    Josh · May 14th, 2014 at 9:53 am
  3. Hi Jake—I appreciate your thoughts and totally agree with the important role of AEPi both socially and in developing future Jewish leaders. Unfortunately I believe you have been misled by what J Street stands for in both their thoughts and actions.
    Even liberal icon Alan Dershowitz opposed J Street’s membership request as he could not find anything pro Israel in the statements or actions of J Street. AEPi is fighting the scurrilous attacks on Israel on college campuses and in many instances the opponents of Israel use J Street as a foil to AEPi’s pro-Israel stance. While I agree with your general premise of inclusion I do not believe including a party that is diametrically opposed to ones existence is wise—-wolf in sheeps clothing.


    GHoward · May 14th, 2014 at 11:10 am
  4. Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly omitted a strike through the words “Middle East crisis.” It is intended by the author.


    Kung Fu Jew · May 14th, 2014 at 12:22 pm
  5. And who on earth thinks the J Street is funded by Iran??? That’s the most laughable conspiracy theory I’ve heard since I was told that the Koch brothers and Saudi royalty are jointly bankrolling the boycott movement to drive the Jews from the Democratic party.


    Kung Fu Jew · May 14th, 2014 at 12:28 pm
  6. “Liberal icon Alan Dershowitz”


    Balaam's Donkey · May 14th, 2014 at 12:43 pm
  7. Thank you. As an life time AEPi brother, I was ashamed to learn about this vote for exactly the reasons outlined by Jacob in this post.

    I personally find a number of the views held by members of the COP to be detrimental to longevity and well-being of a democratic and Jewish state of Israel. But they are in and should be. J Street acts to bring about a two state solution where one of those states is a democratic Jewish state and the other is for Palestinians. That is pretty mainstream. Disagreement with a brother, as Jacob notes, is part of being in a family. But this doesn’t mean you take your brother’s seat at the table.

    AEPi should be ashamed of this choice.


    dcc · May 14th, 2014 at 1:09 pm
  8. “I think the clear issue is that you are grossly misinformed on JStreet.”
    -a commenter who thinks J Street is funded by Iran.


    renaissanceboy · May 14th, 2014 at 1:23 pm
  9. Binyamin is silly to say that Jstreet is being primarily funded by Iran. It would be more accurate to say that it has received funding from and is often aligned with DC advocacy groups that promote the interests of the most extreme, revolutionary expansionist (in the Iranian Islamist context) and internationally confrontational (but now I’m bring redundant) forces within the Iranian Government, namely NIAC.

    www.jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews/item/j-street_and_niac_alliance_an_unholy_alliance


    Victor · May 14th, 2014 at 2:56 pm
  10. They have funding fro various Muslim and Arab groups and vote exactly like a pro-Iranian group that is possibly funded by Iran is enough to raise eyebrows. Why did they hide funding from Soros? It’s not hard to look this stuff up. I know it’s absurd that a Pro-Israel group is only Pro-Israel in name, and just happens to support everything anti-Israel groups do, silly me.

    This brother at the table has a gun to my head, that doesn’t bother you. While you were sitting on your couches watching rockets land in Israel I was in a bomb shelter. Nothing like being in the middle of Kabbalat Shabbat and hearing an air raid siren and then the most heart stopping thud in your life.

    J-Street has no novel ideas, just to side with the enemies of the Jews. I’m sorry that you guys who live in America would force us Jews in Israel to get killed for the sake of the warm fuzzy feeling that you’re pro “Peace”. The sad reality is that most are grossly informed of the demographic nature of Israel that the Arabs don’t pose a democratic threat.

    Further if you’re living in America you should bear in mind your further hypocrisy in that there are numerous US territories that have no voting rights. So when you mull that Palestinians that live in Ramallah can’t vote for MK Tibi, the average person living in American Samoa can’t vote for Obama.

    As stated before you AEPi guys worried about excluding at the table are full of bologna, until you admit every Jewish male into your frat to your table, don’t be surprised that J-Street was sent to time out.

    Here are links that reference everything since you guys didn’t take the time to see how absurd life is sometimes.

    Summary – J-Street funded by Arabs and Muslims as well as Soros. AEPi is more exclusive than the Council of Presidents. Thus, you can’t be made at AEPi or the COP for not letting in J-Street because you in AEPi have excluded your Jewish brother from the fraternity, you can’t have it both ways.

    www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132917#.U3O9V16F-3A

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Iranian_American_Council

    jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7422:the-well-justified-rejection-of-j-street&catid=113:oped&Itemid=296


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 14th, 2014 at 3:09 pm
  11. wow, lot’s of uninformed opinion here. J Street is not out of line with the political positions of organizations such as Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu which already sit on the CoP. In fact, I’d hazard to say they’re (slightly) to the center of APN.
    J Street advocates a two-state solution a now mainstream position currently advocated by such radical left-wingers at Benjamin Netanyahu.They advocate for peace and security for Israel. In contrast, the Jewish American right seems to be heavily invested in the status quo, which is not pro-Israel, as it cannot be maintained and promises future violence and instability.


    KRG · May 14th, 2014 at 3:37 pm
  12. Binyamin it seems like you have some kind of grudge against AEPi. Are you suggesting that the only qualification to become a member of the fraternity is being a Jewish male?


    NYCHusky · May 14th, 2014 at 5:06 pm
  13. Ameinu and Americans For Peace Now advocate for peace without supporting Israel’s enemies. J-Street actively does the same type of lobbying Arab groups support, and typically brings to campus speakers from National Iranian American Council, who say that we have to trust the Iranians only want to harvest nuclear energy from weapons grade uranium, to wanting to condemn Israel in the UN. J-Street would actively go to members of Congress and try to undo the lobbying of AIPAC.

    Since the largest non-Grass roots foreign influence in the US comes from Arab countries, why do we need a “Jewish” one that is funded by them as well. Thank God the majority of the grass roots support from Israel is genuine and already in the US.

    Promoting a 2 State Solution is what most people advocate under the premise that there are millions of more Arabs in Yehuda and Shamron than there really are. The demographic reality has to be exposed before we jump on the band wagon. Netanyahu is paying lip service with the 2 state solution. The 2 state solution has been dead for a long time, sorry.

    So the question is, do you really know J-Street?


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 15th, 2014 at 4:42 am
  14. I will keep this simple: I was AEPi back in the Stone Age: George Washington, class of ’69. First of all, it mystifies me why a fraternity belongs in the Conference. But, to the author’s main point, I agree with him completely. I won’t debate the pros and cons of J Street, but the reason people are getting so exercised is they have demonstrated the need for this voice. Some of the legacy organizations in the Conference appear willing to throw overboard the thousands of young Jewish kids who do not want to check their progressive values when the discussion turns to Israel.


    Eric Geller · May 15th, 2014 at 8:56 am
  15. ERIC GELLER FOR THE WIN! Thank you Brother Eric and other archaic brotherhood things!


    dcc · May 15th, 2014 at 1:07 pm
  16. @Eric Geller

    Are you saying that JStreet is the only representative and advocate of progressive values among the COP? You clearly don’t know very much about the Conference. Are two states a progressive value? In which case AIPAC has been a progressive organization for two decades. What exactly makes JStreet so much more progressive than any of two dozen other COP orgs?

    I don’t understand why JStreet supporters are so upset about not participating in a legacy Jewish institution with dubious influence. Is JStreet even a Jewish advocacy group? Would JStreet define itself as a Jewish community voice? The local chapters I’ve seen are considerably not Jewish in makeup, deliberately so, and I wonder how all those non-Jewish members feel about being placed in the “Jewish” box.

    The COP represents me and my values about as much as Mubarak represented the average Egyptian and Egyptian values, so I couldn’t care less whether they accept JStreet or not. But I wonder why JStreet, whose entire ethos has been to upstage the establishment, is struggling so hysterically and desperately to join the establishment.


    Victor · May 15th, 2014 at 2:41 pm
  17. Hello Jake,

    While I respect your right to disagree with AEPi and while you may not be a die hard Zionist like myself. AEPi has to protect its core values. One of which is strengthening the bonds with the jewish state. Israel is being alienated by the world community like never before,the botched “peace” plan headed by Kerry has only allowed Israel to be seen in a more negative view and has distanced some of its traditional allies. I don’t agree with everything Israel does but as a Zionist I will always defend its interests which are not only in in the interest of the United States but are in the interest of all of “modern western civilization”. Jstreet seeks to subvert Israel and weaken it, it delegitimizes its sovereignty and military strategy. AEPi seeks to be a leader in the jewish and zionist sphere and it cannot allow jstreets vile propaganda to be uttered. Also jake,read the news 1 in 4 people on the globe are now considered an anti semite, the sole reason that AEPi even exists. AEPi must stand strong with israel and stop those that wish to subvert it from with in.


    Aaron · May 15th, 2014 at 3:10 pm
  18. Victor, There is no point in having a back and forth about this. You and I just have different views. And that is what is so great about being Jewish, is it not? We are wired to be contentious. It is in our DNA, not that there is anything wrong with that.

    J Street has simply identified a gigantic reservoir of Jews who had no where else to turn, me among them even at the ripe old age of 67. I will leave it to others to figure out why J Street has exploded onto the scene as it has.

    Back in my Stone Age days, in the ’60′s, all we thought about in the Kappa Deuteron chapter of George Washington was the location of the beer and the girls’s dorms.

    Now that we are older and wiser, I say bring all of our points of view out into the open, just like they do in Israel. I can’t understand why our discourse here in America should be any less vibrant than it is in Israel.

    To the creator of this blog: keep it up, keep fighting, and let’s tell the world (not that anyone cares) that not all alums. share the views of whoever is currently running our “fraternity.” If they were truly fraternal, they would have not black-balled J Street. So juvenile, just like we were back in college.


    Eric Geller · May 15th, 2014 at 5:44 pm
  19. So, we’re wired to be contentious, but any contention that someone might have with JStreet is juvenile and un-fraternal, with absolutely no basis in any semblance of fact or reality.

    All that vibrant discourse they have in Israel has led to… what, 6 or 7 consecutive governments since Rabin with quite similar ideas for how to secure the country, preserve lives and establish a Palestinian state – coalitions that represent the opinions of far more Jews than JStreet could ever hope to represent, not to mention multiple generations of lifelong military professionals – but we’ll be happy to bully, trample and assert our moral indignation all over them, an ocean and 11 armed-to-the-teeth aircraft carriers apart, because, all that vibrancy notwithstanding, the Israelis are children who don’t know what’s good for them. Have no fear, ‘cuz Mista Eric Geller, 67 years wise, is gonna open up a can of Jewschool.

    I can see why you wouldn’t want to actually have a back and forth, Eric. Condescension and narcissism feel better. I feel pretty damn good right now, for example. But you know.

    Please don’t respond. For my sake, and yours.


    Victor · May 15th, 2014 at 6:50 pm
  20. J Street has over 160,000 rank-and-file Jewish supporters, over 1,000 rabbinical endorsers, and put more PAC money towards moderate political candidates than any other Israel-related PAC. Their founder and staff are former members of the Clinton administration and closer allies of the Obama administration.

    Why does J Street need the Conference of Presidents when the American government ALREADY listens to them and relies upon them for support?

    Really, the Conference of Presidents needs J Street to maintain any facade of relevancy.


    Kung Fu Jew 18 · May 15th, 2014 at 7:59 pm
  21. You have it all wrong because in a generation the active Jewish community will be Orthodox. Just think about the statistics that most active Jews right now under 40 are Orthodox. What that will mean is that groups like J-Street will bite the dust very soon. J-Streets raison-d’être is to undermine AIPAC, and shut down discourse.

    Before worrying about where my cousins and friends live beyond an imaginary armistice line behind my apartment, maybe the Jews in America should worry about will their grandchildren be Jewish.

    A Pro-Israel group in America just has to support the government of Israel as we have our skin in the fight. Israel is learning to find support from other countries, to lessen the dependence on the United States, so that Jews in America don’t stab us in the back, with asinine polices like telling us to abandon our homeland for “peace”.

    The 2 state solution is dead, the demographic reality on the ground is that there are 8 million Israelis around 6+ Jewish and maybe a 1 million Arabs living under the PA. Does that seem like a demographic problem?

    At the end of the day I live here in Israel, I vote here in Israel, and I determine the policy here. People trying to manipulate the US government against our sovereignty is shameful. AEPi gets that, fundraises and helps Israel, I’m afraid the majority of the AEPi brothers support not letting in J-Street.


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 16th, 2014 at 2:59 am
  22. Ok, Binyamin. First, you don’t determine policy anywhere besides your daled amos. I think you proved that in Gush Katif. You’re proving it this very moment in Havat Gilad. You’ll prove it again the next time Danny Danon gets on his knees to beg the US to veto the next anti-Israel UN resolution.

    At least JStreet has a plan. What’s yours? Where is your vision? Five years ago Hotovely said she’s come up with a plan for the territories. She held a few meetings, met all the experts and quietly forgot about the whole thing. You think Feiglin will save you? Yeah, with a secret platform he can’t reveal until he’s elected to anything important. I call bullshit. Who else you got? Kingdom of Judea? I’ve made my rounds. Have you?

    The only reason we’re still talking is that the Palestinians either don’t want a permanent deal or know they can’t sell it to their own people. Otherwise Bibi would have happily signed it, and the overwhelming majority of Israelis would have built bronze statues of him for it. If Oren starts getting traction, and there’s nothing like a bout of Palestinian violence or diplomatic aggression to focus Israel’s policy apparatus, Sharon’s disengagement in Shomron and Judea is about to get a reboot.

    You determine nothing, much less Israeli policy. But thanks for coming here, making friends and influencing people. You can sleep well this shabbos knowing you set those American Jews straight on who is in charge and kept eretz yisroel safe.

    My hero.


    Victor · May 16th, 2014 at 4:00 am
  23. Hello Jake,

    While I respect your right to disagree with AEPi and while you may not be a die hard Zionist like myself. AEPi has to protect its core values. One of which is strengthening the bonds with the jewish state. Israel is being alienated by the world community like never before,the botched “peace” plan headed by Kerry has only allowed Israel to be seen in a more negative view and has distanced some of its traditional allies. I don’t agree with everything Israel does but as a Zionist I will always defend its interests which are not only in in the interest of the United States but are in the interest of all of “modern western civilization”. Jstreet seeks to subvert Israel and weaken it, it delegitimizes its sovereignty and military strategy. AEPi seeks to be a leader in the jewish and zionist sphere and it cannot allow jstreets vile propaganda to be uttered. Also jake,read the news 1 in 4 people on the globe are now considered an anti semite, the sole reason that AEPi even exists. AEPi must stand strong with israel and stop those that wish to subvert it from with in.

    To be utterly honest, Judaism is in a process of transformation. Folks like me who are secular American Jews have Zionism to replace our apathy to the traditions and relgious tenants of our faith. I dont like going to synagog, I dont keep kosher, and I dont celebrate the
    Holidays until my family pressures me to come home. But I give AIPAC and my alumni hillel money every passover, and I do what I can to support Israel. Buy some Israeli bonds, invest in some Israeli startups, Warren Buffet beleives in the economic success of Israel and so should you!


    Amillz · May 16th, 2014 at 6:41 am
  24. @Victor

    Well you’re proud of Gush Katif? My dalet amos are infite to your traction. Further I voted for the party that is taking care of business. Yes there are issues with people destroying houses and outposts, but that happens when you have people like Livni in the government. Your zeal to relinquish the Jewish heartland is sickening. You’ve never been there and you’re enthusiastic to repeat Gush Katif. Your lack of empathy of the suffering of your Jewish brothers is the prime example of a Rasha.

    The CoP runs to ensure Israeli support, the plan doesn’t need to exists. Your analysis shows a lack in critical thinking of how to support/undermine a countries sovereignty. The ideals you want undermine my safety.

    Since you’re not paying attention there is a push to Annex Area C and a bunch of other moves. Gush Katif should have shown the world how idiotic it is to withdrawal from territory. The people who lived in Gush Katif are still mostly homeless and have PTSD. These are the Jews who moved there and brought life back to Gaza. These are the Jews that were removed from Yamit. These Jews are our brothers. Rockets are landing on Sderot all the time, and nobody gives a care because we had Operation “Pillar of Cloud”.

    I grew up in America, and I’m a bigger Zionist than you, I moved here and I work to make Israel a better place. You’re the arm chair quarterback cheering the enemies of the Jewish People.


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 18th, 2014 at 2:26 am
  25. Next you’ll show me all the Arab scalps you took right?

    The only relevant part of all that braindead dribble was that you don’t have a plan. Which is how the Talmud tells us to conduct our lives, right, without a plan? This is not the Israeli right of Jabotinski or Begin or Sharon. This is an anti-intellectual bunch of incompetent baffoons, and no amount of chest thumping or “Jewish people”-ing can fix it. I pity you. You don’t even realize that annexing area C is an idea from the left. It is a withdrawal, a child of Oslo, an attempt to force a Palestinian state on the Palestinians against their will. It is a version of the two state solution. It is only a kilometer here and two kilometers there from what Jstreet supports, just without the broad international support and legitimacy, peace and trade agreements with 50 Arab/Muslim countries, etc.

    Ugh. You’re so full of nonsense you’ve lost the ability to think.

    Ideas that I want? I’m not foolish enough to think that I have any input on Israeli policy. Everything described above is the declared policy of the last 20 years of Israeli governments, including the current one. The bulldozing of settler communities is not a function of Livni, but a right wing nationalist government enforcing the nation’s laws. You are completely disconnected from the political reality, and you think I’ve lose the ability to think critically?!


    Victor · May 18th, 2014 at 7:02 am
  26. @Victor what’s your plan? Besides make fun of me? I’m not “full of nonsense .. lost the ability to think” – “I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God.” —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik

    The issue with the politics in the area which you are of course far more superior than me on is lunacy. The past 20+ years of Oslo have been a joke. We’ve be negotiating with an entity that doesn’t or can’t make peace.

    The Left has been creating some sort of doomsday scenario of a demographic time bomb. It turned out to be a big lie, in actuality the Jews well outnumber the Arabs.

    The idea of Annexing Area C may be nothing new, but as someone who frequents Area C on a regular basis I can attest that annexing it is becoming more realistic. Feiglin as well as Bennet have plans to essentially solve the problem. And where as I can vote for Feiglin in a Likud primary you can’t.

    Sharon was only apart of the Right for a short while, and then he died a stump. The laws here are arbitrarily enforced as anyone here could tell you. Further the leftists in various posts have ensured that people can’t add bedrooms to their houses etc. Just look at the non-sense that it took to get Ariel University accepted. Again something that happened under the government I voted for.

    I don’t know what political reality I’m disconnected with. Do you have some super secret understanding of the world that I don’t have.

    Why are you bashing the Talmud? Is it weird to bash on something that was universally accepted by the Jewish people?


    Brandon/Binyamin · May 18th, 2014 at 8:40 am
  27. Binyamin,

    Making fun of you? Are you serious?

    1) You essentially call the JStreeters traitors to the Jewish people for supporting a 2-state solution, yet you ALSO support a withdrawal from part of the land! You and JStreet agree completely on the concept, just off a few kilometers on the details. Are you a traitor, Binyamin? What makes you a better Zionist than them? If you have a disagreement, then explain why you disagree. Stop recycling idiotic and hurtful garbage that alienates good people. It’s Lag B’Omer; make a friend, for G-d’s sake (literally)!

    2) You have no plan. You even have the decency to admit it, and that’s important. What you don’t realize yet is that the people you are voting for ALSO have no plan! It is a shocking realization, but I want you to understand that. Feiglin has no plan. He is simply not a serious person, and the more time you spend asking his people actual questions the more you will realize that (I’m serious, go ask them, watch them get defensive when you push them and call you a traitor for daring to ask). Bennett also has no plan. He is a serious person, but right now he’s just playing politics to drain voters from Likud. He has nothing new to offer. If Bennett were in Netanyahu’s place, he would be doing just as Bibi is. Look back 10-15 years, and you’ll see that Netanyahu was exactly like Bennett today. It’s easy to be a big macher when you have zero responsibility.

    There is no one with a plan for keeping all the territories under any realistic set of conditions. So, every serious person in charge of Israeli policy agrees that there will be a withdrawal. The ONLY disagreement is on a kilometer here or there, of leaving Jews under Arab rule or evacuating them, of maintaining control over the electromagnetic spectrum and airspace and water or giving the Arabs a say in how it’s shared… just details.

    3) Whatever Oslo’s faults, and we’re talking 1500 Jews dead, it had a lot of benefits. Of the countries that Bennett now wants to nurture economic relationships with as an alternative to the EU, do you know when Israel gained diplomatic recognition from most of them? Check. Look at all the diplomatic recognitions in the 1990′s. All that came after Oslo; it opened the flood gates. For 20 years, Israel has legitimized its military control over the West Bank and Gaza, and has shifted the financial burden of providing a basic standard of living for millions of Palestinians from Israeli taxpayers to international donors. Much of that money ends up being spent on Israeli consumer goods, which the Palestinians love to buy, supporting the Israeli economy. I could go on and on. A lot of mistakes were made – inviting Arafat’s thugs back, giving them weapons – but was Oslo a total failure? Or did it satisfy some Israeli interests, while falling short in meeting others? A serious person can look at the policy objectively and determine what worked and what didn’t. Much of Oslo has worked for 20 years. Acknowledging this is not treason. Your annexation of Area C is based on the Oslo framework!

    The same can be said for the Gaza withdrawal. Was it really a total disaster? Start counting on the fingers of one hand all the right winger MK’s pounding the table to go back into Gaza and settle 8,000 Jews between 1.5 million Arabs. Were mistakes made? Of course. But staying the hell out of Gaza has near universal support. We can all bitch and moan and regret. Do you want your son to die settling 8000 Jews back into Gaza? Show me who would sacrifice their children for such a thing today. Such admissions are anathema only to un-serious people, demagogues scrambling for power.

    4) Ariel Sharon was not from the right? This is where anyone who listens loses all respect for you. The man WAS the right. He created Likud! Sharon was not a fanatic, but a nationalist, who understood the limits of Israeli power (after testing them his entire life, often with tragic consequences). And of course, Disengagement was HIS plan! Your vaunted annexation of Area C and withdrawal from the rest is HIS plan! You see how you play these stupid games with who is a traitor and who isn’t? You are supporting Sharon’s idea, based on a leftist concept of withdrawal, but preserving the maximum security possible, and you call him a traitor for creating the very plan you now support! And you see no inconsistency in this whatsoever?

    5) My plan? You’re joking right? I’m just a simple yid in medical residency, who would like to get married at some point and have a quiver full of kinderlach, G-d willing. You know what the Lubavitcher Rebbe told an American doctor who asked what he could do to help Israel? His job. There are serious people who get paid to spend their lives thinking and planning and executing on the best way to preserve Jewish and non-Jewish lives in the Land of Israel. I defer to their judgement, and to your judgement, you fruit loop, as a citizen of Israel, to know what’s best for you and for your children, and to vote for serious parties and persons who can defend the security and interests of the nation state of the Jewish people. Which is why when you act like an un-serious buffoon, spewing garbage and ignorance, it hurts.

    Go ahead, be a serious person. I dare you.

    Finally, bashing the Talmud? Is that what I did? Read again.


    Victor · May 18th, 2014 at 8:01 pm
  28. The inside story of J Street’s rejection by the Conference of Presidents

    This article directly refutes much of what was published above regarding the CoP vote to exclude JStreet. Necessary reading for everyone who thought they knew what happened, but really didn’t.


    Victor · May 30th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik