Princeton is where I’ve lived since 1980 and is a prime example of what’s going on on the elite campuses. So far this year, they’ve had the PA negotiator in the United States at the Woodrow Wilson School; Mr. Falk, the paid anti-Semite of the UN; and then Jeremy Ben-Ami. However, no Israeli diplomat spoke at WWS.
When I was growing up, what good did I see out of being Jewish? Not much. My whole family was killed. I lived in an Irish Catholic neighborhood where once the children started first grade, they never spoke to me again. Talmud Torah does not do a good job of educating children about the wonderful gifts that Judaism gives us. We weren’t taught that Judaism is wonderful, enriching, that Jews gave the world moral values. It was all, “Don’t do this, don’t do that” We were not taught how much Israel means to our people. I got my love of Israel separately from my formal Jewish education. I love Israel because my parents loved Israel.
The other thing is that my family in particular, and the Hungarian Jews, paid the ultimate price for American foreign policy being anti-Semitic. As Tommy Lapid says much more eloquently than I do, the Hungarian Jews knew something was happening, but it was beyond their ability to imagine that the Jewish people were being exterminated. They had no history of that. In Hungary, under the Emperor Franz Josef, the Jews were treated very well. My parents ended up in Czechoslovakia – their town was occupied and annexed by seven countries in the 20th century, but somehow no one talks about that. Czechoslovakia was a democracy like the United States; a very close ally of the United States. And still today, the Czech Republic is the best ally Israel has. They thought that someone would save them. They could tell the Germans were retreating. And in fact, as Elie Wiesel pointed out: We couldn’t imagine. But you knew. The Jewish leadership in the United States knew. By the time the first Hungarian Jew was deported after Pesach – my parents were in the first transport – the allies had broken the German code. They knew before each roundup. And the American Jewish leadership knew exactly what was happening.
So I’ve spent my life examining this – how could this happen? Because anti-Semitism I understand; in every generation there are people that want to kill us. I get that. But how could we abandon our own people? I’m an American and I made a vow not to do that again. So that’s why I speak up. Because how can I look at myself and think that people are continually criticising Israel and holding Israel to an impossible standard.
Richard Kemp, the NATO commander in Afghanistan from England, said at the UN that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street said at Princeton Jewish Center – I was in the first row, so I left to avoid bodily harm (his body) – he said, you see the IDF is an immoral army.
. So I ask you, and I ask everyone here about J Street.George Soros is well known in the Jewish community as an anti-Semite who is against Israel. He claims that israel increases antisemitism. I knew he was starting this pro-Israel organization. “Oh, I have 20 billion dollars, and I woke up one day and decided I’m going to start a pro-Israel organization.” What chance is there that it’s really pro-Israel? I would like you all to ask yourselves – what good has J Street done for Israel? It has torn synagogues apart, it has confused our elected officials – people come lobby like I’m going to do tomorrow with Norpac and then the next week some people from J Street are like, “Don’t listen to Naomi, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
We’re Americans – we live here. And I can assure you that we need Israel for our defense and for our fight against terrorism more than Israel needs us. We are a family and we have to support each other and we must support Israel!