The new CEO of the Center for Jewish History (CJH), David N. Myers, is a leader of the New Israel Fund, and holds leadership positions at IfNotNow and J Street. Myers also has extreme viewpoints — including supporting "some forms" of boycotts against Israel.
CJH, which serves as the biggest repository of Jewish history in the United States, has made an unfit choice in Mr. Myers.
Myers' writings (which are available for perusal at Nakbaeducation.com) include claiming "that the deep wound of the Nakba must finally be exposed to the light of day."
He has also written of "...the essential step of acknowledging Israel's role in the dispossession of Palestinian Arabs," and quotes Uri Avinery's wartime memoir, which alleges "cruelty, indifference and violence by Israeli soldiers towards Palestinian Arabs."
IfNotNow — a group that Myers made an impassioned December 2016 fundraising appeal for — is an organization dedicated to "stopping the occupation," and "wants mainstream American Jewish organizations to publicly oppose Israel's occupation of the West Bank." According to Haaretz, the organization holds "...sit-ins in the lobbies of buildings housing Jewish groups" to protest them for not condemning Israel's West Bank "occupation." The group's members have been arrested while holding sit-ins at the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel International, AIPAC and the Jewish Federation — and they refuse to meet with the leaders of these organizations.
Myers — who was honored by Peace Now in 2014 — has regularly cowritten op-eds with the head of the New Israel Fund, where he calls for Arabs in the settlements to be made Israeli citizens (which would end the Jewish character of Israel). And while Myers writes of mostly opposing the "boycott of Israel," he also says that the BDS movement should not be "demonized."
In a May 2016 op-ed in The Forward, Myers observed that "...Israeli democracy is under threat. Incitement against human rights organizations proceeds with little trace of official censure; cabinet ministers aim to impose new ideological litmus tests in the realm of education and culture; government-sponsored bills place Jews on a higher plane than other citizens, and the State's Ashkenazi chief rabbi declares that 'Israel is first and foremost Jewish, and only then democratic.'"
Myers also recently described himself as a "fierce critic of Netanyahu and the immoral and destructive policies of his government."
Is a fierce critic of Israel's leader an appropriate choice to head such an institution as the CJH?
According to Campus Watch, Myers "employed all the usual clichés — 'cycle of violence," 'disproportionately harsh' — to single Israel out as 'the most responsible party' for the 'escalating violence' in a July 2006 Los Angeles Times op-ed. In a piece titled 'Rethinking the Jewish Nation,' which was published in the Winter 2011 edition of the Havruta Journal, Myers argued that 'Statist Zionism' should give way to a 'global Jewish collective.'"
Individuals who hold views such as Myers' should not hold positions of leadership in the Jewish community. David Myers must be terminated as CEO of the Center for Jewish History.
Hank Sheinkopf, CEO of Sheinkopf Communications, is a leading political strategist who has worked on campaigns in four continents. His clients have included former president Bill Clinton. Ronn Torossian is CEO of one of America's largest privately held public relations firms, and the award-winning author of "For Immediate Release." George Birnbaum is a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.