Re: The boycott crowd (April 20)

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Rabbi Rosenberg states, “To set the record straight, J Street – the pro-Israel, pro-peace national Jewish organization to which I have belonged since its inception in November 2007 – does not currently support BDS, nor has it ever supported the BDS movement.”

This statement invites analysis. What is “support”? In 2014 Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote, “J Street invites BDS supporters and those who oppose Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people to speak at its events”. It was arguably the platform provided by J Street that catapulted BDS into the national Jewish consciousness. At the time, that was explained by J Street as not “support”, but “open-mindedness.” According to many contemporary sources, including the Zionist Organization of America, J Street’s relationship with BDS was one of the key reasons the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations rejected J Street’s application for membership in 2014.

Rabbi Rosenberg also states, ”As for the statement that Jesus was a Palestinian, I have no idea what this assertion, ripped out of historical context, is supposed to mean.  When Jesus was alive, he lived and taught as a Jew in what is today both the state of Israel and the West Bank.  Such an observation casts a negative light on neither Israel nor its critics among the boycott crowd.”

Contrariwise, the fact of the matter is that the statement in question is the foundational tenet of Replacement Theology, which has been put forth by Palestinians to suggest that Palestinians have replaced the Jews as the inheritors of Israel. This dangerous theology is also widely accepted by liberal Protestant denominations, which support the BDS movement. It is by no means a benign assertion.

Howard Brown

North Kingstown, RI

hbrown@jamestownr.com