Stalwart New York-area pro-Israel Jews gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate in New York City midday Tuesday, July 30 to express their grave disappointment in Israeli leadership which they believe has caved in to wrong-headed and wrongly-directed demands by the U.S. government to commence foolhardy “peace” talks.
And as an inducement for the Arab Palestinians to deign to sit down and speak with representatives of the Jewish State, the Israeli government violated solemn promises made to scores of Israelis: that imprisoned terrorists with Israeli blood on their hands will never be released from prison.
As dozens held signs and chanted, several speakers representing nearly two dozen pro-Israel organizations shared their outrage over the decisions.
Buddy Macy is an Israel activist from New Jersey. He has written dozens of letters to Israeli Knesset members over the years, beseeching them to be strong and not fall for the threats of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations or any of the other global entities which constantly demand of Israel concessions that they never make of another sovereign nation.
Macy honed in on the idea that Israel keeps making concessions, the concessions keep leading to more violence, and yet, in the name of what everyone calls the “peace process,” Israel continues to submit to making still more concessions.
Macy asked whether it was time for Israel to learn from the Arab Palestinians, who at least have the strength of their convictions, even if Macy and others believe those convictions are based on falsehoods.
“From a practical standpoint, also, isn’t it time that we stopped agreeing to and implementing the least harmful concessions, and, rather, stood up for what we believe,” Macy asked.
“Releasing Arab murderers of Jewish men, women and children in another one of Israel’s ‘goodwill gestures” is foolish, said Tamar Adelstein, coordinator of Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel, which organized Tuesday’s event. “Every gesture for peace the State of Israel signs onto endangers the lives of every Jewish citizen who lives in Israel. Every land for peace deal that Israeli and Jewish leaders have agreed to has brought war, terrorism, devastating property damage and loss, and has left traumatized vast numbers of our precious Jewish children.”
Helen Freedman, the executive director of the New York-based Americans for a Safe Israel, reminded the Israeli prime minister how he had ridiculed former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for considering releasing prisoners with Israeli blood on their hands.
“When Netanyahu was in the Opposition and Sharon talked about releasing prisoners, Netanyahu said it was disgraceful for [former Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon to consider releasing terrorists, and that is because releasing terrorists encourages Israel’s enemies,” Freedman said at the press conference on Tuesday.
“Netanyahu was so forceful in saying that if Likud was in power they would make sure this would never happen. And Gideon Saar was at his side, agreeing,” Freedman reminded the crowd. “But on Sunday, Saar and Bogie Ya’alon and others disappointed us all and voted to release these murderers.”
An undercurrent at the gathering was speculation about what Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet were threatened with that induced them to vote 13 – 7 in favor of the prisoner release.
Most agreed it probably had to do either with refusing to help – or actively hindering – Israel’s efforts to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons or refusing to veto anti-Israel actions at the United Nations.
Israel’s agreement to release prisoners with blood on their hands in exchange for absolutely nothing other than sitting at the table with them was particularly irksome.
“This demand clearly proves that there is absolutely no intention of any peace on the side of the PA and we should call their bluff and accept the reality that the ‘peace’ process is a sham,” Robin Ticker, a blogger and pro-Israel activist told The Jewish Press after the rally.
Organizations including the Los Angeles-based Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, B’nai Brith of Toronto, Rachel’s Children Reclamation Center, the International Committee for the Land of Israel, and a Victims of Terror group supported Tuesday’s press conference.
In an email to The Jewish Press on Tuesday evening, Macy explained that he had sent a copy of his speech to every member of the Israeli government, and concluded it with a plea for true American Jewish leadership regarding Israel:
We, in America, are also desperately seeking true leadership from one of our own who sits in a position of esteemed leadership. I am positive that at least one of you agrees with me that the release of 104 Arab “Palestinian” convicted murderers is an obscenity that reduces the worth of every Jew in the world. I am also certain that at least one of you thinks that the idea of a two-state ‘solution’ – at least at this time – is pure fantasy. Please, I beg of you, speak out publicly before all of Israel’s sovereignty has disappeared, and before all of us have been placed in grave danger.
Knesset member Nachman Shai (Labor) is the only Israeli who answered Macy’s emails. Shai wrote: “Do not send more emails.”Lori Lowenthal Marcus