Israeli Diplomat’s ‘Spanking’ of J Street Conference Removed from Organization History; Read Entire Speech in the Jewish Press
Latest update: March 31st, 2012
So, we need you to stand with us. It is as simple as that and someone ought to say it. Internal activism is a central part of democratic society, but Pressures on the elected government of Israel can present us with a problem, when we need you the most.
In this spirit of democracy and openness, I have to broach an issue with you, for J Street is not just an NGO that publishes a magazine and states an opinion in the free market if ideas. It is an organization that lobbies congress. You practice not only free speech but a legislative agenda. You don’t only publish op-eds, you bring members of Congress to the region. I respectfully submit that this relatively new role lays responsibilities before you which I am not certain have always been adequately considered. Thus, when you bring lawmakers to Israel, please make sure that they come out with a full picture.You may be critical of settlements, but if you choose to show the most extreme, it behooves you to present the greater mass of moderates as well. If you show them negative aspects of checkpoints, please show as well the catastrophe and grief of terror victims. If you show them Israel’s failings, show them also our triumphs such as the aliyah of the Jewish community of Ethiopia. I urge you to strive for balance, so that these lawmakers may become friends of Israel who might be critical, and not critics of Israel who are not friends
I welcome the evolution in J-Street’s position, which brought about the recognition of the ultimate need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. I hope that this will be followed by adopting President Obama’s policy that all the options, including a military effort, are on the table.
Likewise, I welcome your position against one-sided resolutions on settlements, and I hope that you will never go back to opposing a veto cast by the Obama administration, like you did in January of 2011.
I would like to express our appreciation of J Street’s active repudiation of BDS, and of your activity on campus to help stem this insidious ideology. Our shared view is that BDS is not a form of criticism, but a blatant, though veiled attack. I hope that the leaders of the BDS movement will not be welcomed at J Street, and that all calls for boycott will continue to be refuted. They use such appearances as a means of gaining legitimacy, and whatever actually happens in your fora, they report to their supports that they were greeted at J Street with enthusiasm and consent. Please don’t let yourselves be used. They aren’t honest players.
Regarding Iran, this radical, ideological regime represents an unparalleled danger to world peace and stability and a very serious threat to Israel, as its leaders continue calling for our annihilation. For this regime to have nuclear military capability is simply unacceptable. A nuclear Iran will never be contained.
Israel’s position is very clear. We support the initiative lead by the United States to take all possible measures in order to make sure that Iran gives up its nuclear military ambitions. We applaud President Obama’s clarification that all options are on the table, economic sanctions, diplomacy, and including the military effort.
Our region indeed harbors forces of radical ideology, unwilling to accept our very existence as a free nation in our own country, and while we pursue and seek peace, the Ayatollahs of Iran call loudly for our annihilation. They seek to develop nuclear weapons and support terror groups in Lebanon and in Gaza who attack us constantly and defy our right to exist.
Regarding our peace policy, a vision that Israel was established with. It is the vision of our prophets, from Isaiah to Herzl. Without peace our security will not be complete, but without security there will be no real peace.
The sands of the Arab Spring may go on shifting, but Israel remains committed to achieving peace with our Palestinian neighbors. We wish them well. Yet, our efforts to directly negotiate all issues are constantly thwarted by Palestinian rejection. We are willing to put all the contentious issues on the table, in order to bring an end to the conflict. But time after time we find out that the metaphoric table was removed, or cut, or blown up in the flames of Terror. We urge the Palestinian leadership to lead their people in the arduous path of peace, as true leaders do, and to forgo the game of the past, the game of hatred and virulent incitement. It is not a game of political Quidditch that we play here; it is a heavy-duty selection of choices that we must make. A Hamas government is not a harbinger of peace and neither is an Iranian-backed Hezbollah regime.Yori Yanover
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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