I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors of Auschwitz, taken to concentration camp on D Day, in full view of the US and its Allies. Exclude me and try to silence me at your own peril, because this looks like 1939 all over again. When the Jewish people are divided, we give comfort to the enemies and disaster strikes easily and painfully.
I was silenced at my former synagogue, at which I had been a member for thirty years. I was not allowed to present an on-line course about Jeremy Ben Ami came to this synagogue and invited the J-Street membership, including many Christians who have voted for divestment from Israel. He claimed that Israeli textbooks are as bad as Palestinian textbooks; that the IDF is an immoral army; and that Jews should not build “illegal” settlements. Of course, he did not mention illegal Palestinian settlements, or Palestinian hate education, incitement, or homicidal attacks on innocent civilians.
Why is there no peace between Israel and its neighbors? Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian leadership do not want peace. It doesn’t serve their purposes. They need Israel to blame for all of their economic problems. Arabs were offered a state in 1947. They rejected the offer and attacked and almost destroyed Israel. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Has Israel gotten peace?
Isn’t it interesting that the conditions of Palestinians under “occupation” is better than that of Arabs living in the rest of the Middle East? Isn’t it interesting that the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens do not want to leave to be part of a new Palestinian state? Isn’t it remarkable that health and life span under occupation has markedly improved?
Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East, as confirmed by Freedom House’s 2010 report. Israelis enjoy free press, and the Israelis who vote in and die for their country are entitled to make their own decisions.
Israel is a miracle. It is the only country in the world to which an ancient people has returned after thousands of years of exile, and the only county in the world in which an ancient language has been revived. One million Jews were expelled from Arab countries and Iran. Israel has re-settled refugees from all over the world. Most Israeli Jews are the children or grandchildren of refugees. In 62 years, Israel has given many gifts to the world. What have the Arab and Iranians given the world except oil?
Jews in the Diaspora should be praying for the survival of the Jewish state, smaller than New Jersey and surrounded by murderous enemies. Israel has not had one day of peace in 62 years, yet against all odds it is a vibrant democracy in a sea of dictatorships, has the best human rights record in the region, and is the only reliable ally the US has in the region. Where are you Jews of the Diaspora?
I’ll tell you where Jews of the Diaspora are-- they are fighting among themselves, as the world is campaigning for Israel’s destruction with boycotts and sanctions. And crazily, there are too many Jews in the Diaspora that side with the free world in accusing Israel by a double standard. How shameful!
The justification for J Street was to provide a place for Jews who are liberal and pro-peace to support Israel. It was to be an alternative to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. Can you really believe a group funded by Arab oil money and George Soros, a Jew who has never supported Israel, is pro-Israel? AIPAC has retained its influence because it is bi-partisan. J-Street tries to paint AIPAC as a conservative group. This is a simple and obvious lie. Now at many of our universities, including ivy league schools like Princeton University, the students do not have the opportunity to hear from Israeli diplomats or supporters of a close US/Israel relationship, essential for US security, but from supporters of terror who blame everything, including terrorism, on Israel. Apparently, there is no room at many campuses for groups like CAMERA, Stand With Us, AFPT, CUFI, AIPAC, JNF or AJC.
I am not afraid of honesty. I am afraid of lies. I am afraid of the traitors among us.
But there is yet some hope-- it is long overdue that fellow readers educate themselves about the true situation at hand in the Middle East. Don’t let the likes of Ben Ami and mainstream media lie to you. Educate yourself. Luckily, JerusalemU.com that offers a remarkable and comprehensive online course titled Israel Inside/Out taught by experts like Professor Bernard Lewis and Historian Sir Martin Gilbert. There are also educational initiatives from CAMERA, Stand With Us, AIPAC, AFPT, JNF, CUFI.
Jews, Christians and Muslims, do yourselves a favor and learn the facts. Go to JerusalemU.com and view original news reports, interviews, interactive maps and documentaries. After you study the truth behind the headlines, you will understand why you cannot exclude my voice. Israel is the canary in the coalmine. The Muslim militants want to get rid of Israel, the little Satan; then the US, the big Satan. We are in a struggle for our lives. We must stick together and stick to truth.
Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog
The liberal deconstruction of Zionism begins with the Jews as the victims and ends with the Jews as oppressors. To understand their mindset it is enough to see a protest banner of the Star of David transformed into a Swastika paralleling the journey from concentration camp victim to concentration camp guard.
There is a certain amount of historical revisionism in play here, and not just the obvious kind. The left had been calling Zionists, Fascists and later Nazis, before there was a modern State of Israel and before the left was hard at work pretending that it cared about Muslim militias and clans who would later be rebranded as the Palestinian people. A meaningless name up there with the South American people.
The reason why the left damned the Zionists as fascists had nothing to do with oppression and everything to do with the left's rejection of a unique national identity for the Jewish people. Even the left leaning Zionist movements still linked nationalism and ethnic identity in a way that the left found reactionary, at least as applied to the Jews. Had there been no Arabs in Israel, the left would still have denounced Zionism for daring to assert a national right for the Jewish people.
Peter Beinart's splashy new book, The Crisis of Zionism, follows this same tired old path, attacking Jews for acting like concentration camp victims when they really ought to own up to being concentration camp guards. Beinart and his defenders pretend that they are cutting edge provocateurs, when they are really advancing tiresome arguments that depend entirely on the postmodern left's construct of victims and oppressors.
If the world could indeed be divided into the oppressors and oppressed, a tidy line in which countries can be assigned to one category or another based on their GDP and firepower, then the worldview of the left might make sense. But oppressor is not the opposite of oppressed and power is not the opposite of weakness. And even if they were, power relationships are not so simplistic that they can reduced to an on and off switch.
In the leftsphere, the powerful have to contemplate the ethical uses of power and the powerless have to uplift themselves through resistance to the status quo. According to Beinart, Israel having become powerful can no longer act as if its concern should be the safety of its people, but must now focus on resolving the plight of the Muslim armed militias and their fictitious claims to nationhood, which they have not been able to resolve despite billions in aid and control of their own towns and cities.
This polarity of power creates a safe space for self-righteousness, but is detached from the complexity of real power relationships. Israel's strength is often a weakness, as attacks like Beinart's demonstrate while the Palestinian Arab weakness is actually a strength because it allows them freedom from responsibility and consequences. This paradox of power is one that the left's polar view of power makes possible.
A rational view of power measures it against responsibility and obstacles to upholding that responsibility. Israel's power does not exist in a vacuum of privilege, it is measured in proportion to the responsibility that it has and the threats that it faces. As the custodians of the rights and lives of a people that has repeatedly faced genocide, its power must be proportional to the ability to resist another genocide.
These concerns are not victimhood, they are the proper sphere of its responsibility to the power granted to it by its own citizens. The majority of Jews did not move to Israel out of some idealistic model of liberal Zionism. Most came as refugees.
What Beinart does not seem to grasp is that Israel is not a nation of socialist experimenters. Had Communism, Nazism and Islam never existed, maybe that would have been the case. Instead the bulk of its population fled Europe, Russia or the rest of the Middle East. It is a nation of refugees. Beinart and Roger Cohen may sneer at them for exploiting their victimization, but the bottom line is that they moved from nations where they had no rights, not to their property, their persons or their lives, to a nation where they did.
This is not ancient history, even by the standards of those who view the Holocaust as ancient history. Syrian and Iranian Jews continue to flee. The last Yemeni Jews have just now left Yemen. And a new wave of migration is taking place in Europe under the pressure of the Islamic colonization of countries like Sweden and France.
Israel isn't just a nation of refugees from two generations ago. It is a nation of refugees right now. The failure to understand this simple fact reduces all the sanctimonious rhetoric of the left to hot air. Listing the number of hypothetical missiles that Israel might have, its industries, its cities and its army does not change that simple fact.
This is not a statement of victimhood, but of responsibility. A nation's responsibilities derive from its citizenry. While there is a small percentage of the descendants of a comfortably ensconced socialist elite that would like Israel to focus on treating the Muslim militias like an oppressed minority, the majority of the country wants safety and security. That is why the Israeli left has imploded and the center-right has been in power for quite a while now.
Liberal American Jews map on their own preoccupations with majority power onto Israel, but they fail to realize that their preoccupations are a luxury. They have grown up in a way of life buffered from the realities that Israelis deal with on a day to day basis. They have the privilege of weakness, they can play around with power relationships to see what it feels like. Sometimes they get killed doing it, but in the absence of an organized genocide the threat to them is personal, not collective. When a show weakness doesn't just get you killed, it gets everyone killed, then suddenly weakness becomes a luxury that no one can afford.
Jewish leftists who mock what they call a preoccupation with the Holocaust are demonstrating their own privilege and their ignorance of that privilege, of the buffers that keep them from living the way that their ancestors did. Or of living the way that Jews in Malmo or other parts of Europe do now.
The Jewish left has misunderstood the Holocaust in the same way that they misunderstood September 11, viewing them as individual events, rather than the unexpected intrusion of an ongoing reality into the lives of ordinary people. That reality is still ongoing. It has not gone away because the court jesters of the left sneer at it. The ridicule only makes its return that much more unexpected for those who accept the sneering into their worldview.
Israel has never embraced power for its own sake, nor has it ever had a great deal of it. Its leaders have hardly been universally wise and good men, they have often been as bad as the leaders of any other country. But on a national level, they did not have enough power to spare except to use it except as an immune system against something much worse.
Israel does not maintain checkpoints because it likes humiliating Beinart's Muslim friends. It maintains them because the alternative is dead children on burnt out buses and a resumption of the same Israeli raids on terrorists that would make Beinart and his friends even angrier. The separation barrier is there for the same reason. As is virtually every other security measure. These are not abuses of power, they are forms of restraint that prevent the necessity for the use of greater power.
Like so much of the middle class, Israel has achieved enough power to be free of the privileges of weakness, but not enough to achieve meaningful security. Its in between position always leaves it in danger of slipping and that means it does not have the luxury of extensive ethical debates about its use of power though it engages in them anyway, far more so than Beinart's model of Obama.
Beinart plays the old game of blaming Netanyahu, but if Netanyahu is to blame, then what do we make of a continued failure of the peace process under every single Israeli Prime Minister from the right, the left and the center? Has the situation dramatically changed for the better that Netanyahu is to be berated for it? Beinart's indictment of Netanyahu is that he does not appear to want peace enough to satisfy the perception of critics like him which is a circular absurdity. The proofs for it could have been leveled at every single prime minister from Rabin on.
Beinart positions Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf of Chicago, who never saw an anti-Israel petition he wouldn't sign, as Obama's role model of liberal Zionism. But if Wolf and Obama represent liberal Zionism, then it is a Zionism that is completely indistinguishable from Anti-Zionism.
These absurdities show that there is nothing new about The Crisis of Zionism, it is a restatement of all the old dusted off nonsense with very little thought put into it. Beinart claims that there is a crisis of Zionism, using his selective definitions of what Zionism is. And using those selective definitions, a Zionist Israel is completely unworkable. The only type of Zionist state that Peter Beinart would accept is one that could not exist. To implement Beinart's version of Zionism, Israel would have to destroy itself. This nicely summarizes everything wrong with the left.
Joining together with J Street, Beinart repeats the usual claim that he is speaking on behalf of a new generation of American Jews that is far more critical of Israel and must be heard. Assuming that this is the case, then why does J Street remain so marginal? Surely an organization that could command the allegiance of a million Jews shouldn't depend on funding from George Soros and some mysterious lady from Hong Kong?
J Street doesn't command those numbers. It's a construct group to allow the left to pass off its hostility to the Jewish State as constructive criticism. Like Beinart's book, it's a tedious exercise in the left's antipathy not to power or even to Jewish power, but to Jewish power used on behalf of Jews. The real crisis is not in Zionism, it is in a Jewish left which has chosen its politics for all the wrong reasons.
No doubt there was raucous laughter in the Washington DC headquarters of J Street when one of their graphic designers shouted "I`ve got it!", while sipping from his "Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace" coffee mug, "we`re going to do a Beyonce meme". How the J Street lobbyists must have fallen about laughing as they gathered round CEO Jeremy Ben-Ami`s Apple Mac. And here is the result.
It plays, of course, on Beyoncé ‘s “Single Ladies” song, casting Bibi as the lead with two Palestinian ladies as back-up singers. It uses the chorus: “Put a Ring On It” and changes it to “Put A Border On It”. That is J Street’s way of calling for a Palestinian state, now, regardless of the facts on the ground.
They may be trying to look cool but this is a campaign that distorts facts and trivializes serious issues and the danger that Israelis like me face. It also begs some worrying questions about J Street’s vision –:
Why does J Street parrot the view that Israel is the only party responsible for peace?
J Street would like Israel to put a border on it. But peace takes two.
Actually, there are many parties involved: the fractured Palestinian leadership which has Fatah and Hamas in lockstep and at loggerheads at the same time, as well as the different warring parties across the Middle East today. One thing is clear: peace is not dependent on Israel alone.
J Street has the right to believe that the creation of a Palestinian State immediately will lead to peace, even though this view is hotly disputed by many in Israel and around the world. But in the interests of fairness, shouldn’t they launch a campaign to urge concessions from Palestinian and Arab leaders too?
To conclude, of course J-Street’s raison d’etre is to lobby the American administration and lawmakers to pressure Israel. No doubt many Israelis will see that as anti-democratic. After all, here in Israel, we vote and choose our future. It is the height of arrogance for J Street to think they know better than Israelis who live here. But beyond their overarching goal, this latest campaign is silly and misleading.
So here’s my request to those behind the “Put a Border On It” campaign. As an Israeli, I and my fellow citizens would like nothing more to live in borders that we could be confident are safe. In case you have forgotten, we sat, hunkered down this summer in bomb shelters for weeks on end, with our nerves on edge at every boom overhead. Don’t be so arrogant as to lecture us on who wants peace, J Street. Israelis – of all shades and stripes – desperately want peace.
But here’s the rub – we also want to live. With Hamas continuing their efforts to attack us, with Hizbollah exercising more and more control in Lebanon, with Iran striding towards a Nuke and with ISIS at the gates – we are rightly worried about our borders, on all sides. Glibly stating that peace is in Israel’s gift to give, alone, is wrongheaded and dangerous because it misrepresents the facts, places pressure only on Israel and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
So, while you are busying yourself with Beyoncé memes, spare a thought for us and the very real danger we face in Israel trying to build a secure, free, future for ourselves. After all, you say you are “pro-Israel” don’t you? So if are, and you like it, put a lid on it.
A new J Street campaign is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make commitments to Israel's borders, using a play-on-words from the line from the popular Beyonce song Single Ladies "if you like it then you should have put a ring on it."
Replacing the words ring to the word borders, the campaign urges Netanyahu to take a firmer stance on settlements and declare definitive borders for the Jewish state.
The campaign has been using the Twitter hashtag #BorderOnIt and using the Twitter handle @BorderOnIt to gain retweets from politicians, journalists and activists who believe the best solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is to have a state with defined borders.
We are facing a crisis in organized Judaism which gained momentum after J Street was started and as Conservative and Reform Jews become more secular and uneducated along with their Rabbis. The NY Times never misses an opportunity to criticize Israel. However, to save Jews during the Shoah, the NY Times missed many opportunities.
J Street is funded by George Soros in 1978 as a pro-peace pro-Israel Jewish lobbying organization. It is actually pro-PA and is not a Zionist organization at all. The film: "The J Street Challenge" exposes this organization's true mission and funding. For non-Jews we are a difficult people to understand; we are not merely a religious group: we are a people with a land and a religion. We were able to return to our ancient homeland after thousands of years of persecution in the diaspora. Against all odds, we survived numerous attacks by neighbors who call for Israel's destruction. Marching down Nassau Street and on Princeton University in August were 500 people who were not supporting a "2 state solution" of Israel with 2 million Arabs and Palestine/Gaza with no Jews; but "from the river to the sea Palestine will be free.".
As Jews are again under attack all over the world and as Islamists seek to destroy western civilization, as Jews we must stand with Israel and for a close US/Israel relationship.
From Cantor Yossi Malovany, Cantor of 5th Ave Synagogue, NYC:
"J street are completely confused. They do not really know what they want. This is a vicious group of troubled people who needs to be done away with politically. They cannot call themselves Jewish, as there is nothing Jewish about them. Any Jew who condemns another Jew in front of non-Jews is a traitor. There is no way to include a group like them in the Jewish community. I am sure that they do not celebrate the high holidays in a fairly traditional way. They are a people with a cold attitude towards other Jews. They may perhaps even hate another Jew, particulary if they do not agree with their so-called views. They also do not begin to understand the 4th Geneva Convention. Nor do they remember that it was the government of the labor party in Israel who ordered going in to Yehuda and Shomron as the result of King Hussain's attack on Israel. J Street are a bunch of dishonest people and I would prove it to them at any debate I may have with them in the future. It will not be "music" to their ears in spite of the fact that music is my calling. I also am of the opinion that they do not have hearts and they lack the capacity to get involved emotionally in anything that is Jewish and that goes back thousands of years. I have the feelings that given the opportunity they would perhaps serves as KAPOS, as some Jews did during the Shoah. So, J Street guys do come and challenge me."
"Any pretense that J Street is a pro-Israel organization has been destroyed by that organization’s refusal to participate in a solidarity rally for Israel during the recent crisis in Gaza." Read the article.
I appreciate the sacrifices that Israelis continue to make to ensure the safety of the Jewish people of the Diaspora and Israel. I appreciate the freedom I have had growing up as a Jew in the US. I love my family, the Jewish people and Israel. Israel is amazing! A tiny young country with refugees from all over the world that has given the world so much. When people talk about Israel's "mistakes", I think of the US and the very large mistakes we made in the 1930's and 1940's.
70 years ago, on the day after Passover ended, my family went from freedom to slavery. My father entered Auschwitz and was tattooed on D-Day. Why weren't the people warned? Why weren't the trains, tracks and crematoria bombed? The Jewish leadership of the US, our state department, President Roosevelt, and the government of England knew. Approximately 550,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered between May 1944 and the end of the war. When you look at me, think of my brother murdered with his mother when he was five years old.
I am a Jewish refugee. My family lost their lives, health, wealth, businesses, homes, language, culture, and in many cases their faith in God and in humanity. The history of Czechoslovakia is something that no Jew can forget. When the mountainous border of Sudetenland was given to Germany; the war was over for Czechoslovakia. Judea and Samaria are the mountainous border of Israel, the only democracy and stable ally of the US in the Middle East.
When I hear People say that the US must force Israel to give up land for peace, I think of my family. They waited in vain for the free world to save them. The allies forced Czechoslovakia to give up land and got World War 2. I say to people who demand Israeli Jews live within Auschwitz borders, as described by Golda Meir, Have we ever done well in ghettos? We are a small people, a family. If there were AIPAC in 1939, 6 million Jews may still be alive. If England had not closed the doors of Palestine to Jewish refugees to appease the Arabs, my parents may have gotten visas to Israel instead of Auschwitz.
I will end with the remarks of the late Tommy Lapid, a Hungarian Jew. (Memories after my Death by Yair Lapid)
I am a Holocaust survivor. I remember my Bar Mitzvah in the Budapest Ghetto. These memories follow me all my life. I would like to address US & European responsibility for what happened then and what is happening now. When Hitler’s Nazi program started it did not begin in Auschwitz or Buchenwald. It began with Kristallnacht, with the persecution of German Jews. By the time Europe and the US understood that this was actually not simply an 'internal German question' it was too late, World War II had already begun. If we missed the opportunity to understand what Hitler was promising, then we should believe what the Iranian President is saying now. This is not only a question of Israel being annihilated. The entire Judeo-Christian tradition is in a battle for survival against Radical Islam. We must join together to face our common enemy. Those who perished in the Holocaust are speaking to us, telling us “We thought this couldn’t happen, we trusted in peoples’ good will. When we woke from our illusions it was too late, don’t follow in our footsteps.”
Israel will not allow another Yad Vashem to be created in the name of Jews today.
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!
According to J Street, Jewish mothers are not willing to make sacrifices for peace:
Translation: Muslim mothers are willing to sacrifice their children in order to kill Israeli children.
Golda Meir spoke about these same issues in 1973 in a clear voice (FROM THE LEFT), just like Tommy Lapid (from the LEFT), said we will not build another Yad Vashem for the 6 million Jews in Israel that the Iranians and Arabs want to kill in order to complete their plan to throw the Jews off all of the land in the Middle East.