One of the members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, as reported by the Times of Israel (TOI), openly called yesterday for the Biden administration to push Israel to immediately end the fighting. James Klutznick, the chairman of the left-wing, pro-Israel group Americans for Peace Now (APN), stated: “Continuing this devastating war poses unacceptable risks for Israel, Gazan civilians and the entire region. For the sake of the security and well-being of civilians in Israel and in Gaza, the Biden administration must push Israel to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and pivot from war to peacemaking.”
The superficial unity of the Conference of Presidents, which TOI described as “the consensus-driven foreign policy coalition of American Jewish organizations that has one overriding mission: backing Israel,” has “fractured…. The casualties in Gaza have eroded the Jewish consensus, as has the rhetoric of some far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.” TOI cites, as further evidence, the call to Netanyahu by the Union for Reform Judaism, representing the largest American Jewish religious denomination, to rein in his ministers who have been pushing for the removal of Palestinians from Gaza.
APN’s frequent ally in the Conference, J Street—which TOI called the “Jewish Middle East policy group,” as of today still expresses support for the war, but has been pressing Israel for weeks to do more to reduce killing civilians and to stop the calls for moving Palestinians out of Gaza. The group warned a month ago: “J Street will no longer be able to provide our organizational support for the current military campaign.” TOI adds that J Street’s 2024 Convention was suspended, due to the unstable situation, citing J Street’s website announcement: “Due to the state of the ongoing conflict, we have decided to postpone the upcoming 2024 Convention to 2025.” Both APN and J Street were at November’s massive pro-Israel rally in Washington.