OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

Progressive Jewish leadership is dead wrong on Israel

Conservative, Reform and progressive leaders are misleading their public, blaming the growing divide with Israel on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while it is they themselves who are creating it.

Jews praying in synagogue on Yom Kippur. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Jews praying in synagogue on Yom Kippur. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Avi Abelow (Facebook)
Avi Abelow
Avi Abelow is host of the Pulse of Israel Show and CEO of 12Tribe Films Foundation.

I write this article with deep sadness—so many Jews are being misled by their leaders. This is a wake-up call to those Jews truly interested in the truth and remaining connected to Israel and the Jewish people: You must stop listening to the lies and misinformation of your Conservative, Reform and progressive leaders, who are making you ashamed of Israel and your Jewish identity. They are hiding from you that we are the most blessed generation of Jews ever, able to have sovereignty in our own homeland and making a huge impact on all of humanity. There is so much to be proud of, yet they focus on their own ideological agenda that, simply put, ignores reality.

The two-state solution is dead but still dangerous. Many leaders of U.S. Conservative, Reform and progressive Jewry have turned the two-state solution into a religion, dismissing the concerns of the Israeli public. The Israeli people just voted for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a fifth term, and these U.S. Jewish leaders are dismissing the Israeli public with their protest.

They are misleading their public, blaming the growing divide with Israel on Netanyahu while it is they themselves who are creating it. They are doing tremendous damage to U.S. Jewry by ignoring the true danger decimating their communities: assimilation and intermarriage. In addition, their public pressure on Israel for the two-state solution is pushing even more Jews away from Israel. They are convincing their followers that Israel is to blame, leading their followers to be ashamed of Israel. Shame on them. Smart liberal Jews know their leaders are wrong because a true liberal supports Israel, knowing that Israel supports their liberal values.

These leaders preach to their followers that Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria goes against their liberal values. This even though the most blessed Arab Muslims, and minorities in the Middle East in general, are those who live in Israel. Only in Israel do all minorities have all freedoms and equality. Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas they don’t have the same freedoms as in Israel. Only in Israel do the Arab Muslims actually get to vote; P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas is in the 15th year of a four-year term.

Paradoxically, by supporting the creation of a state called “Palestine” these “liberal” leaders are condemning the Arab Muslims to live under persecution and oppression, either under the P.A. or Hamas. Under neither of these regimes have there been elections for more than a decade, and in both women and gays are persecuted, and anyone can be arrested and tortured for political reasons, without any protection under the law.

By supporting a two-state solution, these Jewish leaders expose themselves as fools willing to go against all the liberal values they preach.

Instead of allowing the State of Israel to come up with other solutions to move forward in dealing with an enemy that wants to destroy it, the leaders of U.S. Conservative, Reform and progressive Jewry are leading their followers astray by religiously continuing to push for a two-state solution. Who are they to ignore the concerns of the majority of the Israeli public, which continues to vote for center-right parties that no longer consider the two-state solution viable with regard to Israel’s security?

Nine Jewish groups, including five associated with the Reform and Conservative movements, wrote a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, released on April 12 to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in which they asked him to preserve the two-state solution in the face of a pledge by Netanyahu to apply sovereignty to Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. This is an absolute disgrace. These leaders still worship Obama, and despise Trump. Obama dismissed Israel’s concerns about the Iran deal; Trump canceled the deal. Obama promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem but did not do so for eight years. Trump fulfills that same promise, and yet these leaders are against it? Even worse, these leaders preached to their followers that Trump’s moving the embassy was a mistake. These are not leaders who care about Israel.

In their letter to the president they write, “We believe that it [application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria] will lead to greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and galvanize efforts such as the BDS movement that are intended to isolate and delegitimize Israel. It will create intense divisions in the United States and make unwavering support for Israel and its security far more difficult to maintain.”

Who cares what they think? Seriously. More than 80 percent of the Israeli public voted for parties that are against the two-state solution. Even their great hope, the Blue and White Party, did not campaign for implementing the two-state solution because the Israeli public wouldn’t have voted for them if they had.

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Mark Pocan also denounced newly re-elected Netanyahu’s vow to annex the West Bank as both immoral and a flagrant violation of international law.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s campaign threat to annex the West Bank signals an alarming and unprecedented violation of human rights and international law,” Jayapal and Pocan said in a statement. “This move to entrench Israeli control over disenfranchised Palestinians would be a moral catastrophe.”

“In the wake of his narrow reelection, we urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse course from his provocative campaign rhetoric,” the U.S. progressive leaders said. “Elected leaders should be advancing the cause of peace—not undermining it. We will make clear that Congress firmly rejects the unilateral annexation of West Bank territory.”

There’s only one problem: The move to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria does not go against international law and does not violate the human rights of the Arab Muslim residents there. The representatives also expose themselves as hypocrites since they are silent about the daily human-rights abuses those same Arabs experience under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Avi Abelow, CEO of 12Tribe Films, manages the Israel Video Network and IsraelUnwired.com. 

See full article at Israelunwired.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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