Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



Where Is American Jewry?
By Elyakim Haetzni, The Jewish Press  
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

         Complaints we have in Israel against American Jews are not directed at the various George Soroses or Noam Chomskys, or at those Jews uninterested in the fate of the Jews in the Jewish state. We address our cries to those for whom Eretz Yisrael still holds a place in their hearts – and to their organizations and institutions. We ask them the following: Where are you in our hour of need? Don’t you know that if we sink, the ground beneath your own feet will quake? Have you not yet learned that the very fact that the Jews have their own country has buttressed your status in the Diaspora?
 
         Until this very day you regret your silence during the Holocaust, which derived from your great admiration for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and from the fear of being accused of dual loyalties. Today when you weigh those fears against the annihilation of the millions, you see matters in their proper proportions. Yet today your conscience is called upon once more to make a similar decision – albeit one much simpler, for today’s America is not like the anti-Semitic America of that time.
 
         Don’t you understand the danger looming over Israel? The entire world, led by the United States, is hunting Israel down to wrest from it Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, the Land of the Bible – its entire raison d’etre as a Jewish state.
 
         Don’t you see how the entire Negev and the country’s south are being shelled or are under threat of shelling from rockets and missiles as a result of the Gaza withdrawal, the destruction of dozens of settlements and the transformation of 10,000 Jews to refugee status? Did their outcry touch your heart? Do you hear today’s cries coming from Sderot and Ashkelon?
 
         Don’t you know that while the rockets are falling in the south, Syria and Hizbullah in Lebanon are preparing an attack from the north, and that at this moment tens of thousands of their missiles are aimed at the heart of our country?
 
         Take note that only the center of the country still enjoys calm. The only reason for that is that the army controls Judea and Samaria, and that is because there are hundreds of Jewish towns there (“the settlements,” in the language of our enemies). And now, the United States is pressuring your Jewish brethren in Israel to dispense with even that defense. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have sworn to establish a Palestinian terror state right next to Tel Aviv, Netanya, Hadera and Haifa before year’s end – and toward that end, expel 300,000 of our Jewish brothers and sisters.
 
         And faced with all this, you remain silent? Worse, most of your organizations support this anti-Jewish, pro-Arab policy! Today, missiles are flying from the ruins of Gush Katif and landing in the Negev. On the day that missiles are being launched from the ruins of the Jewish towns in Samaria, please don’t say, “We didn’t see. We didn’t hear. We didn’t know.”
 
         You knew very well! The Annapolis Conference, in which a blind, stumbling, defeatist Israeli government open to American pressure knowingly consented to commit national suicide, occurred in your country. Rice, whose total identification with Palestinian interests is patently obvious, is applauded by your audiences. And you call President Bush, the man with the “vision” of a Palestinian state that will endanger every city and village in Israel, “the greatest friend Israel ever had in the White House.” You say this when in reality (and history will be the judge) he is the first president openly and explicitly raising the demand and exerting heavy pressure to establish in our midst a devil, a dragon, a dybbuk – in the form of an Islamic, Arabic, radical terrorist state called by the false name of “Palestine.” That state would transform every day in the life of the Jewish state to Hell. And all this for the sake of a fictitious people and a fictitious land that never existed throughout history.
 
         Other voices in the Republican camp, namely Vice President Dick Cheney, senators and congressmen, have not enjoyed support from most of American Jewry, and have subsequently become silent. Quite the opposite, countless Jewish organizations have been supporting the Palestinian agenda.
 
         Many Jews in America have good reason to be embarrassed that the only organized American community supporting the rights of the Jewish people to its historic homeland in Judea and Samaria and its eternal capital, Jerusalem, consists of non-Jews. They are the Evangelical Christians. For Jews faithful to their patrimony, some Christian churches are more open today than many Jewish temples. Their organizations and media are more open to nationalistic Jews than are the mainstream Jewish establishment. They visit Hebron, Shiloh and Beit El – places that many Jewish leaders stay away from.
 
         Everyone talks about the political power of American Jewry, but from here we see only the weakness and lockstep obedience to every presiding administration. We ask ourselves, “Why do Christian pastors have no inhibitions about criticizing their president regarding his policy toward Israel, while Jewish rabbis wouldn’t dare?”
 
         Today, money is not the critical factor. It is political pressure capable of meeting the enormous Arab pressure. Regarding your historic omission during the Holocaust, when you failed to exercise your power as Queen Esther did in her time (ignoring the risk to her own life), you have tried to atone with money. Yet all the money in the world cannot bring back to life a single Jewish child. Even today, it is not money that can save us, but rather the political power that you are afraid to exercise. It looks like today, when the American Jewish community is flourishing as never before and enjoying the height of acceptance by the public at large, you do not feel secure enough; hence you are doing the only safe thing – swimming with the flow and cheering on the regime, even at the expense of your besieged brethren in the Holy Land.
 
         I conclude with two requests: First, that those Jews who support the Palestinian line should at least not emphasize their Jewishness, and add the weight of their “Jewish witnessing” to the brunt of pressure being applied on us. Second, that the not insignificant number of Jews who, like Mordechai in the Scroll of Esther, do not bow down before the president of the United States when he sets out to replace the vision of the prophets with the “vision” of Palestine, should organize themselves and establish an organization paralleling the Jewish protest organizations that in Israel face off with the government and block with their bodies the slippery slide down the Palestinian slope.
Today, like the air we breathe, we need an organized Jewish political force in the United States that, together with our non-Jewish friends in America and the Jewish nationalist camp in Israel, can breach the siege that is closing us off.