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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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A Long Memory


The question begs, if the Jewish community in the U.S. remains silent in the face of such obvious mistreatment, how then can we complain when Israel will be forced to agree to the impossible security concessions we know are heading its way? Our voice must be raised now as the administration places the eternal Jewish capital in play.

“If I forget thee O Jerusalem” is an integral foundation of our Jewish identity. Obama and the Democrats must know we will hold them wholly accountable for the forced division and repartitioning of Jerusalem.

It should be evident that the administration and the powers in Washington are on the wrong side of this issue when the self-loathing defeatist organization J Street praises and encourages the Obama administration’s condemnation of Israel and makes it clear that it – J Street – places the failure of peace talks at Israel’s feet. This position fans the flames against Israel and serves to enable those who condemn Israeli leaders for stubbornly struggling to maintain the safety of their citizens and the stability of their nation.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Obama sees yet another window of opportunity for political success closing on him and is seizing this moment to force a Middle East solution, regardless of whether it is beneficial for Israel. What is abundantly clear is that the battle for Jerusalem is again upon us and Diaspora Jewry will once again be called upon to defend Jerusalem – not from actual Arab enemies but from an uncompromising and shortsighted American administration that has lost its moral compass.

The time is now to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and make our position absolutely clear. We must also let Netanyahu know we have his back – unequivocally – and that any attempt to force Israel into a defensive posture will be overwhelmingly refuted at the ballot box. Midterm elections are coming quickly and Democrats are already feeling the heat for the administration’s many ill-advised domestic policies.

The president talks a good game about defending and protecting America’s national security. As a native New Yorker and first responder to the 9/11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center, I can only hope he knows what he’s doing. I’m not convinced. What I do know is that for the past sixty years, protecting and defending Israel has been at the forefront of America’s national security interests. Congress knows it. A recent Gallup poll confirms that the American public knows it too.

It is frightening that as Iranian rhetoric ratchets up to unprecedented levels the president and his State Department focus their ire not on madmen or their centrifuges but on Israeli apartments. Joe Biden is quoted as telling the Israelis, “What you are doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and regional peace.”

Who knew a few apartment buildings in Jerusalem contributed so heavily to the prospects for world war or regional peace?

I will remember today. Will you?

About the Author: Chaskel Bennett is a writer, respected activist and member of the Board of Trustees of Agudath Israel of America. He can be contacted at chaskelbennett@gmail.com.


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