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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Helen Freedman’

JCPA: ‘We’re The Voice of American Jews,’ But Many Beg to Differ

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

As we conclude the somber observance of Tish B’Av, the time when so many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people are recalled, it is perhaps not irrelevant that U.S. secretary of state John Kerry has returned to the Middle East.

Official reports claim Kerry has no plans to visit Israel, but, as Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu reported in The Jewish Press, Kerry met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas while in Jordan.  It turns out he is also meeting with various Arab leaders who, according to al Jazeera, Kerry believes “are essential to his push to get Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks.”  That’s right.  Arab leaders to push – who? Who else, but Israel, to restart the “peace talks.”

Yes, although the entire Middle East is in turmoil, Egypt has just gone through a second revolution, nearly a100,000 have died in Syria’s ongoing civil war, one into which Lebanon is increasingly being drawn, Turkey is nearing the boiling point, Iraq continues to unravel and Iran is approaching nuclear weapons capability, leave it to a group of professional Jewish professionals to sashay into D.C. and tell the relevant congressional committees that now is the time for Kerry to kickstart the Arab-Israeli “peace talks.”  And that’s what happened, just before Kerry left for the Middle East.

The Jewish group making the possibly worst-timed suggestion ever is the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).

According to its website, the JCPA has a tripartite mission: first, “to safeguard the rights of Jews here and around the world”; second, “to dedicate ourselves to the safety and security of the state of Israel”; and third, “to protect, preserve and promote a just American society, one that is democratic and pluralistic, one that furthers harmonious interreligious, inter ethnic [sic] interracial and other intergroup relations.”

From their mission, you might think that the safety and security of Jews and the Jewish state would be the primary focus of JCPA’s activities.  But you might be wrong, as a quick look at their website makes clear.  The JCPA’s focus is on liberal domestic issues. Israel and Judaism play a minor role.

JCPA CLAIMS TO REPRESENT THE ORGANIZED JEWISH COMMUNITY

Nonetheless, the JCPA can prioritize as it wishes and make whatever suggestions it wants to members of congress.  But when the JCPA leaps over its goal to be something and starts proclaiming it is something, that is when people begin to bristle.

You see, on the JCPA Facebook page, and on its Twitter homepage, it states, with no qualifiers, that “the JCPA is the representative voice of the organized Jewish community.”

That’s news to a whole lot of American Jews who shared their response with The Jewish Press.

Because when the JCPA decided to meet with the House and the Senate foreign relations committees, asserting that the American Jewish community wants Kerry to focus on restarting the peace talks, that claim may have been heard as if it had far more weight than warranted.

Let’s put aside for the moment that when the JCPA went to congress to make its claims, it was double-dating with the American Task Force on Palestine.  That’s something they do a lot.  Again, whatever JCPA does is its own business.

But The Jewish Press asked a broad geographical cross-section of American Jews who are knowledgeable about the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, whether, as the JCPA asserts, it is the “representative voice of the organized Jewish community,” and if it spoke representing them when it went to congress urging the restart of the “peace talks” at this time.

In a word, no.

People in California, Chicago, Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York were asked to comment.  Rabbis, architects, businesspeople, financial wizards, intelligence analysts, and Jewish communal leaders were asked to comment.  They all said no, the JCPA does not represent them.

“They don’t represent me,” said Jeff Ballabon, the president of a New York consulting firm and the founder of the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem, a consortium of two dozen national pro-Israel groups.

“Israel has stated very clearly: there are to be no preconditions for starting the peace talks, so I have to wonder, why are these groups putting pressure on Israel?  I don’t see how any American Jew who cares about Israel’s safety and security would be pushing this now,” Ballabon said.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Marvelous Encounter

I am writing in response to Rebbetzin Jungreis’s beautiful June 8 column (“The Gift of Unity”) in which she wrote of our chassidic family’s tribute in a Connecticut hotel to our beloved grandmother, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The Rebbetzin focused on the hashgachah pratis that led to her meeting our extended family as we honored our grandmother in the same hotel where the Rebbetzin’s Hineni organization was holding an event of its own.

The pleasure was mutual, and our marvelous encounter with the Rebbetzin left us all with a feeling of fulfillment that will linger for a long time.

The Rebbetzin wrote of the beautiful kingdom (close to 400 descendents) of a modest and faithful queen, our grandmother, and the impact we made on Hineni members. But the Rebbetzin made her own strong and lasting impact on us.

All through Shabbos, wherever the Rebbetzin was walking, you would spot little groups from our family gathered around her, drinking in her words of Torah, emunah and chizuk. She helped raise a special occasion to an even higher level. And what a sight it was when the Rebbetzin joined our grandmother hand in hand behind the beautifully adorned Torah amid the lively singing and dancing.

Thank you, Rebbetzin.

Miriam Biederman
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Settlements

Re: “Once Again, Settlements” (editorial, June 15):

If President Obama is really serious about peace talks in the Middle East, he need only apply real pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. I realize that Mahmoud Abbas wants to get Israel to make concessions on settlements as a precondition for any resumption of talks. Why wouldn’t he? Didn’t Obama initiate that position before abandoning, at least for now?

What part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for negotiations without preconditions doesn’t Obama get? It is incumbent on him to persuade the Palestinian leader that the U.S. will never go back to pressuring Israel to suspend construction, even in a second Obama administration. Unless, of course, Obama has every intention of restarting that pressure if he wins another term.

David Bruce
(Via E-Mail)

Double Standard

I wonder whether supporters of Charles Barron (“The Importance of Voting,” editorial, June 15) would view support for someone like David Duke as racism. I also wonder why the relatively low support for President Obama among white voters is viscerally attacked as racism while the almost universal adulation he enjoys in the black community is viewed as something else.

Shlomo Bartel
(Via E-Mail)

Practical Suggestion

Kudos to Drs. Eliezer Jones and David Pelcovitz for their informative and articulate May 25 op-ed, “Teaching Children to Act as Their Own Internet Filters.” I would like to suggest a practical way to address the greatest challenge described in the piece – that of making sure our children completely separate at times from the Internet.

I suggest we take a page from the shmiras halashon campaigns that encourage individuals to set aside short periods of time of their own choosing during which to be extra vigilant in that area of their lives.

By setting aside specific periods each day to refrain from Internet and electronic device usage, we will become more accustomed to spending time away from these distractions and begin to develop appreciation for activities more beneficial to our psyche and spiritual fiber.

Ruchie Akerman
Brooklyn, NY

Jewish Holy Sites

Michael Freund’s June 15 column, “Take Back the Holy Sites,” touched a deep chord in me, since my AFSI Chizuk mission was in the ancient synagogue in Naaran in April of this year. We had stopped in the Jordan Valley, close to the area where Joshua crossed into Jericho, and then drove into a beautiful nature preserve. We walked through bountiful banana fields in order to reach the beautiful synagogue. We were overwhelmed by the setting, the mosaic floor, parts of which were still intact, the beautiful pillars, and the spirituality of the holy place. We were escorted there by a group of soldiers, many of whom joined in the Minchah prayers that were said at the site.

You can imagine our distress when we read about the desecration of the synagogue.

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Message Of The Asifa (I)

How ironic that the asifa at Citi Field (“Haredi Event on Internet Dangers Draws Thousands of Participants,” front page news story, May 25), which was advertised as a gathering for all of Klal Yisrael and a show of achdut – unity – ended up being a platform for the main speaker, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, to write other Jews out of the world to come if they do not heed to the dictates established at the event.

Those who utilize the Internet know it is simply a communications medium that can be used for either good or bad purposes. Many Jewish organizations (Chabad.org, Aish.com, NJOP.org, HebrewBooks.org, YUTorah.org, and others) have successfully harnessed the incredible power of the Internet to promote positive Torah values and attract thousands of people to their sites.

Instead of railing about the evils of the Internet and trying to censor its use, the organizers of this event could have utilized their time, effort, and dollars to promote their important messages about family, Torah study, and service to Hashem and bring more Jews closer to Yiddishkeit through the very medium of which they are so frightened.

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT

Message Of The Asifa (II)

No modern piece of technology – whether a cell phone, a computer, a television, a radio, or even a car – is inherently good or evil. Everything depends on what is done with it and how it is used.

The asifa at Citi Field portrayed the Internet as a grave threat to Jews and to Judaism. Speaker after speaker spoke about the evils of the World Wide Web, about the Internet causing bitul Torah, about how the Internet should be banned in Jewish homes and about how children who come from homes with the Internet should not be permitted in yeshiva.

I am wondering if any of the rabbonim or other participants at the asifa are familiar with the many wonderful Torah websites that exist.

A person can log in and learn daf yomi. Need a d’var Torah for a simcha? Log on to Aish.org or Torah.com. Want to check out the kashrus of a certain establishment? Go to OU.org. Need a kosher recipe? Check out kosherrecipes.com. Want to verify the date of a yahrzeit? Check out hebcal.com. Many good Jewish charities even have websites to facilitate the mitzvah of giving tzedakah online.

Yes, the Internet can lead to bitul Torah, but, if used properly, it can be a terrific tool to spread Torah and Judaism.

Barry J. Koppel
Kew Gardens Hills, NY

Prenups And Jewish Marriage (I)

While I agree with Rabbi Michael Broyde that prenuptial agreements would ameliorate at least some of the problems facing many young women who are tragically relegated to the status of an agunah, I have a couple of problems with his article (“Three Cheers for IRF’s Mandating Prenuptial Agreements,” op-ed, May 25).

For one thing, I think he was a little extravagant in his touting of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Before reading the article I had never heard of the group, and a quick Internet search yielded scant information as to its membership. I wonder, then, why any of us should be impressed by any of the group’s pronouncements on a matter of such halachic import.

For another thing, the RCA prenuptial agreement touted by Rabbi Broyde is far from universally accepted and is therefore potentially divisive, raising as it does the frightening prospect of Orthodox Jews being unable to freely marry other Orthodox Jews.

Menashe Greenbaum
(Via E-Mail)

Prenups And Jewish Marriage (II)

If we Jews resolved that no marriage could take place without a prenuptial agreement regarding a Get, much suffering would be avoided, and a stain on our public image would be eliminated.

How can we be seen as a light unto the nations when we consign many of our young women to a life of deprivation and hardship by the application of a Divine rule that was never meant to empower the venally recalcitrant?

Zundel Weissman
(Via E-Mail)

Rabbinic Marriage Annulment

I was taken aback by the May 25 news story (“Rabbinic Court Annuls 20-Year Marriage: Witnesses Weren’t Shabbat Observers”) about a woman, identified as “M,” whose husband refused to give her a Get and so the chief judge of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, freed her “from her agunah status and annulled her marriage because the witnesses who had signed the ketubah were not Shabbat observers.”

Backlash Against Inclusion of BDS in Israel Day Parade

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

A major backlash against a UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) decision to permit groups encouraging Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to march in the upcoming Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City has led to a campaign to oust the groups from the event.

“A coalition of community Jewish organizations urgently calls on all friends of Israel to make their voices heard,” an e-mail from an organization called JCC Watch reads. “We urge everyone to raise your voices and call the UJA-Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).  Urge them to stop these groups from marching in the Israel Day Parade and hijacking a pro-Israel event for their anti-Israel purposes.”

Those who participate in the campaign will be responding to news that the New Israel Fund (NIF) will be participating in this year’s parade, despite funding projects that many see as aiming to delegitimize and weaken Israel, both socio-politically and economically.

NIF is a funder of various organizations which have urged divestment from Israel, including Mossawa, Adalaha, Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Social TV, and Women Against Violence.

The NIF marched in last year’s parade, along with Israel Apartheid Week supporter B’Tselem , Rabbis for Human Rights, and  Partners for Progressive Israel, which has called for a boycott of all products produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria.

JCC Watch founder and member of the newly established Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade Richard Allen stated that “it is not surprising that the UJA-Federation is pushing these bash Israel groups to march in the June 3, 2012 Israel Parade.”  He accused several senior members of the UJA of being involved in anti-Israel work, including one officer he says worked with Noam Chomsky on an anti-Israel project and another he says gave $1 million in UJA funds to the “George Soros-funded political group”  Jewish Funds for Justice.

Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) Executive Director Helen Freedman decried the participation of the BDS groups, noting that when her organization wanted to march in the parade with signs promoting Jewish sovereignty over all the land assigned to the Jewish people in biblical texts, her group was denied. “We were turned down because we were too “extremist” and our banners in support of a whole Israel – yisrael shlayma -were not welcome,” Freedman said, according to a letter from her posted on the website of activist Batya Meidad.

Supporters of the campaign to oust BDS groups from the annual New York City parade are being encouraged to call or e-mail Board members of the UJA Federation of New York.

Members of the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade include Allen of JCCWatch, Rabbi Steven Axelman of Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Beth Gilinsky of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Eli E. Hertz of “Myths and Facts”, Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek, and Rabbi Eli Kowalsky.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Ultimate Intervention

I was fascinated by your front-page photo last week of prayers being said at the Ponovezh Yeshiva for the gravely ill Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

The image of Ponovezh bachurim in heartfelt prayer for Rav Elyashiv captures the authentic Jewish approach to the trials and tribulations of life. As the widely recognized posek hador, one can safely assume he has been receiving the best medical care available. Yet for these talmidim (and many others), the ultimate intervention must come from a different place.

I would hope that such commitment and emunah will survive their passage into adulthood.

Phillip Belmin

(Via E-Mail)

 

Prayer For Troops (I)

Milton Markowitz (“A Decade of Prayer for the U.S. Military,” op-ed, Feb. 10) got it exactly right: As Americans we should always show our appreciation for those who find themselves in harm’s way as they protect our way of life as Jewish Americans. As a people we always face special risks because of our faith, and we should always recognize our obligation to express gratitude.

Shoshana Goldman

(Via E-Mail)

 

Prayer For Troops (II)

While I certainly agree with Milton Markowitz’s calling attention to the appropriateness of praying for the well-being of members of the United States military, I wonder why there is some reluctance in some quarters of the Orthodox Jewish community to express the same support for members of the Israel Defense Forces.

U.S. soldiers and Israeli solders are worthy of honor and respect for what they do to protect us and our fellow Jews, both here and in Israel.

Mordechai Cutler

New York, NY

 

Post-Zionist Academics

I share Adina Kutnicki’s concern for the impact post-and anti-Zionist sentiment in schools, the media and various other institutions, which will inform the next generation of Israeli leaders (“Post-Zionist Academics Further Israel’s Delegitimization,” op-ed, Feb. 10). However, I’m not sure what she proposes is the solution. Government intervention with a view to eliminating these points of view seems impossible in a democracy, and indeed Ms. Kutnicki seems to point to organized efforts at rebuttal.

Unfortunately, it is not at all likely that such ad hoc efforts can adequately confront an entrenched pseudo-intelligentsia.

Tzvi Berman

Jerusalem

 

No Surprise

I wonder why everyone is so surprised about President Obama’s efforts to force even the Catholic Church, which vociferously opposes abortion and birth control, to provide insurance covering such procedures to its employees in affiliated hospitals and charitable organizations (“Obamacare and That Religious Exemption,” editorial, Feb. 10).

This is a man who ran for office vowing to change the world as we know it. Obviously there was no reason to think he would be a fan of America’s religious traditions. All he has now done is prove it.

Scott McAndrew

(Via E-Mail)

 

Dismayed By Rabbi Wein

I was dismayed by Rabbi Berel Wein’s call for our religious leaders to urge that only superior students be given the opportunity to learn in the yeshivas of higher education while the rest “do national service stints” (“Why Haredim Have an Image Problem with Most Israelis,” op-ed, Feb. 10).

While Rabbi Wein is of course correct that many in Israeli society resent privileges enjoyed by Talmudic students, I thought issues of such magnitude are properly addressed by our gedolim. Yet Rabbi Wein takes it upon himself to rebuke “rabbinic and chassidic leaders of the haredi community [who] refuse to endorse the practical notion that these young men do national service stints.”

Binyomin Strauss

New York, NY

 

Recognizing The Threat

The Jewish Press is to be commended for the clear and needed analysis in “The Police Commissioner and ‘The Third Jihad’ ” (editorial, Feb. 3).

The New York Times should be chastised for taking the side of Muslims who are so “outraged” by the “discriminatory and biased” actions of the NYPD in showing the film to a group of officers. The efforts of media outlets like the Times, and the screaming liberals who support those efforts, must be identified and exposed for what they are. America is at war with radical Islam at the moment. The Middle East is exploding.

Iran is threatening Israel, America and the world with its nuclear bombs, which are being developed and may already be ready for delivery. If we fail to recognize the threat of radical Islam within our midst, we are doing a great disservice to our country.

Complicity with the enemy is traitorous. Those who pick up the Muslim “outrage,” thereby silencing criticism and exposure, are wittingly or unwittingly aiding the enemy. The public must become aware of this and do everything in its power to see that truth prevails.

Helen Freedman

Executive Director

Americans For a Safe Israel

Obama’s Rhetoric

As you have stated repeatedly in your editorials, Israel and its supporters in the U.S. should have real concerns about a second term for President Obama. His statements early in his first term showed a marked anti-Israel and pro-Arab bias.

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Agrees With Feiglin

Moshe Feiglin’s Jan. 20 column (“The Real Coercion In Israel”) was right on the money. He argued that “No coercion is good – religious or secular” but also that “Today, Israel suffers more from secular coercion than from religious coercion.” As examples he noted the problems facing soldiers who want to adhere to halacha, the demonization of the settler movement, the provocateur-inspired gender discrimination controversy, and “the continuing offensive against anything that smacks of Jewish identity….”

His conclusion is well worth pondering by those who are being carried away by the excesses of a relatively few mindless zealots: “Those who discriminate against women or harass them must be punished according the law. But none of that has anything to do with the murky wave of incitement that has lately been washing over our heads.” Avraham Weinstein Jerusalem

 

Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (I)

I think reader Martin Fried missed the point last week when he suggested that criticism of President Obama is somewhat irrational (“There seems to be something about this man that drives all too many frum Jews absolutely crazy.”)

I wonder whether Obama’s abrupt and dramatic about-face on the issues of settlements and the 1967 lines just as the presidential election season began heating up mean nothing to Mr. Fried. Am I off the wall if I believe this indicates the change in tone is driven by politics and that Obama will unload on Israel if he is reelected? Ross Eilberg (Via E-Mail)

 

Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (II)

Notwithstanding reader Martin Fried’s take on American political history, I think any American president who treated Israel and its prime minister the way Obama did should not expect applause from the Jewish community.

The calculus is simple. He wants to change the American posture toward the Muslim world. Israel has heretofore enjoyed a special relationship with the U.S. Even if we don’t attribute sinister motives to the president, how does this shift occur without Israel paying the price? Think about it, Mr. Fried. Rivkah Levine Los Angeles, CA

 

Obama’s ‘Chicanery’

The abrupt cancellation of the proposed joint military maneuvers of Israeli and U.S. forces (editorial, Jan. 20) is only a new example of the chicanery of the Obama administration.

From the time of his inauguration, and even before, Obama has voiced his support in words for Israel but not in action. From attempting to negotiate with Iran and then proposing only limited sanctions on that nation as well as his apologies to Muslims worldwide and his less than friendly relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, he has shown a dislike for Israel while attempting to line up Jewish domestic support for his anti-Israel stance.

Hopefully the charade is over and Jewish contributors to his campaign coffers and Jewish voters who opted for him in 2008 will be finally disenchanted and act accordingly. Nelson Marans Silver Spring, MD

 

WJC’s Naïve Approach (I) Re: “What Were They Thinking?” (editorial, Jan. 20): I have long wondered about the dynamics of Jewish organizational life. When our self-proclaimed leaders take a public position or engage in some action, do they first check with the members of their organizations?

Moreover, if they blunder as Lauder and Terpins of the World Jewish Congress did in giving Mahmoud Abbas legitimacy as someone truly interested in resolving the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, is there any accountability?

At the very least, they should be required to respond to the devastating indictment of the Palestinian president you delivered last week. The WJC leaders did not move the cause of peace along by positing the harebrained notion that the problem stems from the Palestinians not understanding each other. David Ginzberg (Via E-Mail)

 

WJC’s Naïve Approach (II)

The anger that comes through your editorial “What Were They Thinking?” is righteous anger, thoroughly justified. It is incredibly disheartening to hear our leaders repeat what they know are lies and deceptions just to be politically correct and keep the pretense going for some inexplicable reason.

As you pointed out, the fact that Ronald Lauder and Jack Terpins met with Mahmoud Abbas in London and spoke words of “better cooperation between Jewish and Palestinian communities around the world…” bringing about a “peaceful future” is such a betrayal of truth and decency.

Lauder and Terpins know better, as their quoted words in other contexts make clear. They should be saying that there is no chance for peace with people who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and who promise on a daily basis to exterminate the Jews of Israel.

What purpose can possibly be served by the continuation of the lie of Oslo? It is time for our leadership to announce that the possibility of peace with the present Hamas/Fatah alliance is non-existent. The “two-state solution” is dead.

It is time for Messrs. Lauder and Terpins to go back to the drawing board and examine other formulas. One definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Helen Freedman Executive Director Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI

Experiencing Evangelical Love For Israel

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Five thousand evangelical Christian supporters of Israel from throughout the U.S. and Canada filled the halls of the Washington, D.C. Convention Center July 18-20 for the sixth annual Washington Summit of Christians United for Israel.

Their purpose in coming was to proclaim their love for the Land of Israel and their belief that it is the eternal homeland of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, had gathered about one hundred Jews to be the “Kosher Klub” in the midst of a sea of Christians. Cheryl Lewin, AFSI’s chairperson in Chicago; Ann Stacy, AFSI Chizuk participant from Dallas; and I, representing AFSI’s national office in NY, were on hand for what was a truly memorable experience.

A delegation from Israel – including David Wilder from Hebron; David HaIvri, Oshri David, and Ron Jager from the Shomron Regional Council; and Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz from “Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem” – was also present.

It was our great joy to interact with the CUFI attendees who extended such a warm welcome, showering us with a great outpouring of love.

The extraordinary roster of speakers for the event included Ambassador John Bolton; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy; Pastor John Hagee, founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel; and Glenn Beck, radio and TV personality, all of whom declared their solidarity with Israel.

Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and talk show host/columnist Dennis Prager opened the plenary to roars of appreciation.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, warned about the work of ICESCO, an Islamic organization determined to assert Islamic ownership of Jewish holy sites.

Gary Bauer, president of American Values, talked about the July 19 poll taken by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, according to which 92 percent of Palestinian Arabs surveyed insist on having all of Jerusalem as the capital of a PA state.

CUFI Executive Director David Brog prepared the delegates for their visits to Congress on July 20 where the talking points included opposition to a UN declaration of PA statehood, support for security aid to Israel, and support for sanctions against Iran.

The Israeli speakers received huge ovations. The Middle East Briefing featured political and military analyst Elliot Chodoff, who declared, “We are at war, but the enemy is yet to be named.” He detailed the lists of bombings to which Israel has been subjected and warned about the dangers from Iran, which openly declares its desire to destroy Israel.

Col. (res.) Ben Tzion Gruber gave a detailed report on the extraordinary measures to which Israel goes to prevent collateral damage to civilians during warfare.

Ambassador Oren delivered official greetings from Israel at Tuesday’s Night to Honor Israel.

An amazing Holocaust exhibit, prepared by the World of Faith Fellowship led by Pastors Jane and Sam Whaley of Spindale, North Carolina, filled the exhibition hall at the Convention Center. Three hundred members of the fellowship were in attendance at the conference in order to deliver the work of the students who had executed the touching works that made up the exhibit.

When Glenn Beck was escorted through the exhibit, he cried while viewing painful scenes from the Holocaust.

When Beck spoke at the Night to Honor Israel, he said the Auschwitz railway tracks should have been blown up. Declaring “enough is enough,” he asserted that the Jews are home and that Israel has every right to exist as a Jewish state. He concluded with the ringing statement, “We are not the Christians of the Crusades. We are Christians for Israel.” The crowd erupted in wild applause.

Our day on the Hill on Wednesday was filled, for me, with efforts to extend invitations to the many senators and representatives we met to visit the areas of the Shomron as well as Hebron on their visits to Israel.

Our Israeli contingent stressed this point because we believe that once people see the truth for themselves, the myth of the two-state solution and the travesty of even considering the division of Jerusalem will be obvious.

The feeling of ebullience and good fellowship that permeated the CUFI Washington Summit will remain with me for quite a while. It was heartwarming to find so many people who understand and appreciate the importance of Israel. May this knowledge spread to both our leaders and doubters so that they will join us in declaring Am Yisrael Chai – the Nation of Israel Lives.

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