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Jerusalem of Politics


Schick-091412

Unfortunately, while political hacks focus on their party’s interest, the Jewish establishment tends to be timid and equivocal, settling for meaningless public relations releases that don’t even attempt to impact policy.

If we don’t want Israel to be Czechoslovakia, and the Old City to be the Sudetenland, we’re going to have to do a lot more than quibble over election season platforms.

A majority of the American people are receptive and supportive. Let’s state Israel’s moral and historical rights to Jerusalem, without apologetics and without resort to cheap politics.

About the Author: Joseph Schick is producer of “Jerusalem ’67” (www.jerusalem67.com), a narrative feature film currently in development. He can be reached at jschick@jerusalem67.com.


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Schick-091412

It’s election season, so Republicans can’t be blamed for expressing outrage when the political platform at last week’s Democratic National Convention removed support for Jerusalem being the capital of Israel.

Elie Wiesel and Ronald Lauder recently criticized the Obama administration in separately placed newspaper advertisements. Instead of listening to Wiesel and Lauder’s concerns, Haaretz reported, administration officials expressed “harsh criticism” over their ads.

President Obama’s nastiness toward Prime Minister Netanyahu would be alarming even it were merely a matter of style to impress the Muslim world. But Obama’s motivation is much more substantive. He seeks to impose a solution – whether it leads to peace or it doesn’t – that will return Israel essentially to the 1949-1967 armistice lines, including a loss of Jewish sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.

It’s not easy to counter images of Arab families purportedly being evicted from their homes – such as the pictures of residents of the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah that were published last week in The New York Times and elsewhere. But Israel must at least try.

In January 2001, as President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak begged Yasir Arafat to take a break from killing Jews to accept the Old City of Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of Israelis rallied in Jerusalem to oppose the city’s division. Simultaneously, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun hosted an event in solidarity.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin, longtime spiritual leader of Chicago’s Modern Orthodox Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, comments about his famous congregant, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; Jewish rights to settle in Israel; plans to build in the Negev; Orthodoxy and pluralism; and political talk from the pulpit.

On Sunday night, many observant Jews will be among the hundreds of millions of people watching the Jets fan’s nightmare as the Giants play the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

During a recent trip to Israel, I couldn’t help but notice the dearth of fellow visitors and think of the many religiously observant American Jews who stridently demand that Israel never cede any land.

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