O.U. challenges Ackerman on Israel critique


The Orthodox Union challenged a Jewish congressman to explain his criticisms of Israeli peace policies.

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, blasted all sides at a hearing he convened last week on Israeli-Palestinian peace progress.
Israel’s settlement expansion and some of its security measures in the West Bank, Ackerman said, “made a mockery of nascent Palestinian efforts to put just a little authority back in the Palestinian Authority.”

In a letter Friday, Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, the umbrella body for Orthodox synagogues in North America, welcomed Ackerman’s critiques of the Palestinian Authority as showing his understanding that it is “impotent at best, or corrupt at worst” but says he is “puzzled” by his criticism of Israel.

“Would you not agree that Israel has demonstrated its readiness to sacrifice for peace time and again only to be met time and again by terrorism and incitement?” the letter asks.

Recommended from JTA