Letters, the Week of Aug. 4, 2016


Readers discuss JSPAN and the DNC.

JSPAN Only Supports Parts of Bend the Arc
Liz Spikol’s article “Jewish Groups Hold Events to Counter Inflamed Rhetoric” (July 28) misstates the relationship between the Jewish Social Policy Action Network and Bend the Arc, and possibly creates a misimpression about JSPAN’s activities.
Bend the Arc is not, and never has been, “the parent organization” of JSPAN. JSPAN is an independent organization founded in Philadelphia in 2003. Several years ago, we decided to become the Philadelphia affiliate of Bend the Arc, but we retain our separate organizational structure, and make our own decisions on policy. We do not automatically endorse every initiative of Bend the Arc, and our activities extend far beyond any Bend the Arc involvement we undertake.
Furthermore, the article alludes to the fact that Bend the Arc “has a political action committee and a branch that endorses candidates directly.” It should be clear that JSPAN does not participate in these aspects of Bend the Arc’s activities. We are strictly a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and do not engage in partisan political activity. We do not endorse candidates for office. Our relationship with Bend the Arc is solely with its 501(c)(3) component.
JSPAN’s mission is to engage in the Jewish mandate of tikkun olam, repairing the world. We advocate on behalf of domestic issues relating to social justice as we are taught by Jewish tradition. Our mission statement expresses our goal to “advance equality and opportunity for all in our pluralistic democracy, [and to] protect the constitutional liberties and civil rights of Jews, other minorities, and the weak in our society.”
Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom | President, JSPAN
Israel Did Not Fare Well During DNC
A number of events affecting the Jewish community were omitted from your coverage of the Democratic National Convention in the July 28 issue: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)’s anti-Semitic speech calling our fellow Jews “termites,” thus implying they need to be exterminated; the presence of Palestinian flags and the chanting of “intifada” inside the convention hall; and the burning of U.S. and Israeli flags outside the Wells Fargo Center.
As compared to the Republican National Convention’s strong pro-Israel platform, the DNC, by moving left, shows weak support for the Jewish state. Compare also the GOP vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and his pro-Israel record to that of the Democratic nominee, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress and supported the Iran deal.
And who can forget Hillary Clinton’s embrace of Yasser Arafat’s wife?
Do not be surprised to see a large number of American Jews voting for the GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
Cornel Spiegler | Newtown


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