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The Case of "The Missing 300"

The Conference of National Jewish Organizations (CONJO), an umbrella group of pro-Israel Jewish organizations, in conjunction with a number of other Jewish groups, has been trying to figure out the answer to the question: "Where is the LIST of the 'over 300 rabbis' reported to have signed onto a recent petition to divide Jerusalem?"

The Conference of National Jewish Organizations is seeking a complete list of all of the 'more than 300 rabbis' reported to have signed the petition. Efforts to obtain a complete list have as yet been unsuccessful. CONJO is also alarmed to learn that, according to the Forward, the study used to urge the 'over 300 rabbis' to sign on was funded with federal taxpayer dollars, in a grant in $35,000 granted to Jerome Segal of the so-called "Jewish Peace Lobby."

A lengthy and prominent article in the January 20, 2000 issue of The New York Times (Neil MacFarquhar" "300 Rabbis in U.S. Group Say Jerusalem in Shareable") reported that 300 rabbis signed a petition to President Clinton calling for the division of Jerusalem.

The Conference of National Jewish Organizations, American Academic Alliance for Israel, American Academics for Israel's Future, Americans for a Safe Israel, Coalition for Israel, Council of Sephardic Rabbis, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, Freeman Center for Strategic Studies, Interfaith Coalition for a Free Middle East, Jerusalem Reclamation Project, Jewish Action Alliance, Jewish Political Caucus, The Louis D. Brandeis Society for Zionist Lawyers, Zionist Organization of America and other organizations have united to repudiate the anti-Jerusalem petition.

The Conference of National Jewish Organizations has received signatures from rabbinical and Jewish community leaders from around the world on its own petition fighting the anti-Jerusalem petition of the "Jewish Peace Lobby."

Stated CONJO chairman Dr. Howard L. Adelson, "CONJO applauds the Rabbinical Assembly, representing 1,500 Conservative rabbis, and the Rabbinical Council of America, representing 1,500 Conservative rabbis, and the Rabbinical Council of America, representing 1,100 Orthodox rabbis, for uniting to call Jerusalem 'the united and indivisible capital solely of the State of Israel.' We hope very much that the Reform movement will also join in this call for a united Jerusalem."

CONJO leaders have contacted not only the "Jewish Peace Lobby' but also New York Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar and Times editors regarding the list, the latter of whom have yet to return telephone calls.

Beth Gilinsky, of the Jewish Action Alliance (member organization of CONJO), has asked Jerome Segal of the "Jewish Peace Lobby" for a complete list of the "over 300 rabbis," and reports that after four phone calls to his office she received a list of only 52 signatories. Others who have tried to obtain a complete list of the "over 300" have also been told that they cannot get a copy of the complete list.

Ms. Gilinsky, who has also been unable to obtain such a list from the reporter or editors of The New York Times states: "The reluctance of the 'Jewish Peace Lobby' to come up with such a list is quite puzzling. We are wondering what the problem is. Why is a complete list - of what the New York Times reported as being 'over 300 rabbis' - such a big mystery? We will continue to pursue this."

Rabbi David Algaze, head of the Council of Sephardic Rabbis (a member organization of CONJO) stated: "The most potent idea that has unified the Jewish People throughout the centuries has been its loyalty to the city of Jerusalem. The departure from this is tragic, anti-historic, and will ultimately prove to be false. No respectable Jewish leader will every surrender the ideal that has animated the Jewish spirit for thousand of years."

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