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Following the Ramat Shlomo incident, J Street provided the Obama administration the political cover needed to press Israel to make major unilateral concessions in the false hope of creating an environment conducive to peace negotiations with the Palestinians. (Needless to say, the painful ten-month freeze Israel had placed on all building construction in East Jerusalem failed to bring meaningful results from the Palestinians and collectively hurt only Jews.)
The cover provided by J Street also helped embolden the administration to cast an unprecedented vote calling on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
The world took notice of America’s diplomatic abandonment of Israel and on May 31, with Netanyahu on his way to Washington to discuss the NPT with Obama, Turkey permitted the now infamous flotilla to violate the lawful Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. As feared by Hoenlein and Wiesel, the incessant public pressure put on Israel by the Obama administration had indeed created daylight between the two allies. The international community quickly labeled Israel’s defensive move against the flotilla an act of “aggression” and Netanyahu was forced to cancel his critical meeting with Obama in order to return to Israel to address the incident and its fallout.
Now, fifteen months after that White House meeting with Jewish leaders and despite the best efforts of J Street, the American people have spoken and the political climate has changed dramatically. The president and his party have been greatly weakened and have little political capital to expend promoting counterproductive approaches to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Ten of the 54 signatories of the Gaza letter – nearly 20 percent – have either retracted their support or retired or been retired by their constituents at the ballot box. While there certainly were other major domestic factors at play in the midterm elections, elected officials – including the president – should take note that supporting the fringe views of J Street yielded a very poor return.
Now is the time to remind our representatives that January’s Gaza letter was unacceptable and represented neither the view of the American Jewish community nor, in fact, the view of the general American public. We must take advantage of the current political climate and insist that in exchange for our past and future support, our elected officials do more than publicly proclaim vague support for Israel. They must forcefully defend Israel’s right to exist and the actions it is forced to take in protecting itself and safeguarding its future.
Chaskel Bennett is a community activist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”
“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”
We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.
ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.
Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.
The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.
And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?
Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.
The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.
We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.
Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.
A watershed moment took place in Brooklyn last month on primary night. Those who care about private school education should sit up and take notice.
The recent shooting of four police officers in the normally tranquil Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn (bringing the total to eight cops shot so far this year) has confirmed a dangerous double standard that threatens the safety of police officers and all New Yorkers throughout New York. It must be confronted.
Another horrific terrorist attack is perpetrated in Israel and we knew what to expect. A statement of outrage and condemnation from the White House, regrets from the Palestinian Authority, and from the UN a call for all sides to exercise restraint and remain committed to the (non-existent) “peace process.”
In short, yet another exercise in futility if ever there was one.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally left the U.S. after a week of exhausting, and surprising, diplomatic highs and lows, a number of unsettling questions were left in his wake.
High praise and gratitude are due Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the NYPD’s intelligence Division for their extraordinary work in again uncovering and preventing a plot by Muslim fanatics to unleash terror against religious targets.
Last week’s historic “shellacking” suffered by the Democrats was a stark and humbling reminder to all elected officials of whatever party that they serve at the will of their constituents.
As millions of gallons of oil continue to leak into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the impatience and helplessness of Americans continue to grow. Never before has such a significant issue relating to our country’s environmental health been at the mercy of a faulty valve. This unprecedented experience has humbled engineers, scientists and bureaucrats alike.
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