WELL, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
In an unprecedented move, the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion. The US, whose previous vetoes of such resolutions prevented these actions from going through, turned its back on its ally, and abstained from the vote.
Surprising? Perhaps. But even more so is the reaction from numerous American Jewish organizations about the adoption of this resolution:
The Zionist Organization of America expressed “shock and devastation”.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called the resolution, “shameful”.
The American Jewish Committee said the action is, “profoundly disturbing”.
The Jewish Federations of North America labeled it, “tragic”.
The anti-Defamation League said it was “outraged”, and finally,
AIPAC, The American Israel Public Action Committee, said in a statement that it was, “deeply disturbed by the failure of the Obama Administration to exercise its veto to prevent a destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution”
To be sure, each of these organizations is correct, and anyone who supports the State of Israel and knows the flawed history of the UN and its anti-Israeli bias, would be hard-pressed to disagree.
But all of this begs the following question to these very same organizations: Well, what did you expect?
Surely all these folks know that for nearly the last decade, our Administration’s policies toward our closest middle-east ally, have been cool at best and isolationist at worst. Never in modern times has an administration so greatly pressured Israel to do everything from dismantle its existing West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, to retreat to its indefensible pre-1967 borders. And when Israel responds by stating (and factually, I might add), that the land those settlements are on belongs to Israel, (and even if it didn’t, that land for peace never works – anyone remember Gaza 2005?), the world, including the US, ignorantly responds by holding Israel in utter contempt and censuring Israel for doing the same thing that every single one of the 15 members nations of the UN security Council would or at least should have done if they were in the exact same position.
And yet, with our administration having taken the lead by abstaining from this latest resolution, shall we simply ignore the fact that prior to this latest Presidential election, an overwhelming percentage of my people—more than 70% of the American Jewish community – put their support behind candidates who repeatedly berated Israel and put her in the uncomfortable and ridiculously unfortunate position she is in now?
Why, my fellow American Jews, do you continuously and passionately get behind politicians who not only couldn’t care if Iran has nuclear weapons and threatens to blow Israel into extinction within 25 years, yet when the opportunity to send your kids on the Birth-right trip comes, you enthusiastically send them on the first available El-AL flight, telling your sons and daughters that they need to go, in order that they will, “Understand and appreciate their Jewish heritage and develop a love for the Holy Land from which it springs”?
Where is your love for the Holy Land??? Why is your 70% + support continually pledged toward those who openly show they have no love for Israel at all?
To the point, last March, AIPAC gave repeated standing ovations to the Presidential candidate who openly declared (almost gleefully so), that they would continue pressuring Israel to dismantle its settlements and return to pre-1967, while at the same time, even before the opposing candidate (who repeatedly professed their respect and support for Israel) took the stage, there were threats of protest , boos and walkout by AIPAC members, at the mere suggestion that that candidate might actually have something both constructive and heartfelt to say about the Jewish State.
Just last week, this same AIPAC said in a statement, “(AIPAC) expresses its appreciation to President-elect Trump and the many Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who urged a veto of this resolution”.
Now that’s nice to hear. But again, where were all of you 8 years ago? When Netanyahu was continually rebuffed, when every other day, our administration was pressuring Israel to evict its own people from its own land – be it Ma’ale Adumim to Modi’in Illit, and when our administration further pressured Israel to “return” the Golan Heights to Syria (a move tantamount to the suicide of the Jewish state), where were your cries of outrage, shock and devastation then?
Last week, I was in conversation with a pastor in Canada who blames Israel for the middle-East conflict. In one of our exchanges he expressed his disdain for what he called, “walls being built by Israel to prevent the movement of Palestinians”.
Perhaps he doesn’t know, or maybe he simply conveniently forgets, that if Israel were truly committed to preventing the movement of Palestinians, the Israeli Government would not have issued more than 50,000 work permits that allow that number of Palestinians to enter Israel on a daily basis. I guess he seems to have a problem prohibiting the type of Palestinians the wall keeps out – like those who murder innocent Israeli children while they sleep in their beds or wipe out an entire Israeli family driving home in their car.
I’ll close with this: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the greatest friend Israel has, is the Evangelical Christian. I’m hoping that one day, in the not too distant future, Netanyahu will add a second group to that list – the America Jew.
Happy New Year, and please pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Senior Rabbi Jack Zimmerman