Love of Israel and politics came to Queens on Sunday with Israel’s minister of justice, Ayelet Shaked, and Ambassador John Bolton speaking to a packed audience at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates.
Known for her outspokenness, Shaked is a computer engineer by trade who has been a member of Knesset for the Jewish Home party since 2013. She was appointed justice minister in 2015 and was a driving force behind Israel’s 2016 NGO transparency law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half their funding from foreign governments to publicly acknowledge that in their official reports.
In her remarks on Sunday, Shaked evoked the memory of 9/11, noting that “A direct line connects the criminals who planned and perpetrated the September 11 attacks and the accursed terrorists who this year attacked innocents in Orlando and in Jerusalem, in Paris and in Tel Aviv, in Brussels and in Kiryat Arba.”
Shaked also declared that “There is only one Jerusalem, undivided and unified…the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” She was equally supportive of the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, stating: “The ranges of Judea and Samaria are not foreign territory but the land of our forefathers, the cradle of our Jewish culture, and a prime strategic asset whose renunciation is tantamount to a renunciation of the entire state of Israel.”
Shaked’s condemnation of BDS activists as “modern anti-Semites disguised as fighters for freedom and justice” was augmented by sharp words from Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2005-2006 under President George W. Bush and who has called his role in getting the UN to rescind the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution in 1991, when he worked in the George H.W. Bush administration, “the highlight of my career.”
“The only path to peace that Israel’s enemies can see,” he said, “is to act as if two wars of [Arab] aggression really never took place. Israel has been put on the defensive in the political arena in ways that it never really was on the defensive for very long in the military arena.”
Tracing earlier efforts at delegitimization to the Zionism is Racism resolution, Bolton stated that “BDS really is part of the argument against Israel itself.”
Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein also gave an impassioned speech against Israel’s detractors. “The success of the 1967 war,” he said, “in which Jews recaptured Judea and Samaria and unified Jerusalem, led to an Orwellian myth of occupation.” According to Klein, “the goal of Arab Muslim Jew haters is not a Palestinian state; it’s simply to destroy the Jewish state of Israel.”
Other speakers included Donald Trump’s Israel adviser David Friedman, general partner and co-founder of NGN Capital Ken Abramowitz, and owner and chairman of D.H. Blair Investment Banking Corp J. Morton Davis.
The event was sponsored by the National Council of Young Israel and organized by chairpersons Dr. Joseph and Karen Frager, co-chairpersons Dr. Paul and Drora Brody, and media coordinator Mrs. Odelya Jacobs.Sara Lehmann