Any American Jew advising Israel to surrender Judea and Samaria [West Bank] is no friend of Israel;any Israeli who does likewise is simply suicidal.                                          – U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Irving Kett

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Retain the Israel Asset: One hundred retired U.S. generals and admirals agree that Israel must retain the Jordan River as its defensive border.

– Washington Times, Oct. 12, 1988

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The nightmare stories of the Likud are well known. After all, they promised Katyusha rockets from Gaza as well. For a year, Gaza has been largely under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. There has not been a single Katyusha rocket. Nor will there be any Katyushas.

– Yitzhak Rabin, radio interview, July 24, 1995

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The ultimate test of this agreement will be a test of blood. If it becomes clear that [the Palestinians] cannot overcome terror, this will be a temporary accord and … we will have no choice but to abrogate it. And if there is no choice, the IDF will return to the places it is about to leave in the upcoming months.

– Yossi Beilin, Ma’ariv, Nov. 26, 1993

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Quisling: one who betrays his country and his people in order to obtain political power.

***

A few weeks ago, representatives of an organization called Israel Policy Forum presented a program at a Conservative synagogue in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. The IPF is known as a very left- wing group of wealthy Jewish Americans who still believe that the only solution to “the conflict” is the “two-state solution.” One representative was a fellow named Rolly Gueron, Steering and Executive Committee member of Commanders for Israel’s Security, and a former Mossad Division Head. The second presenter was a fellow named Dr. Nimrod Novik, a former policy advisor to Shimon Peres z”l, and Steering and Executive Committee member of Commanders for Israel’s Security. Both with interesting credentials. The program, “Advancing Israeli Security & Preserving Two States,” was advertised as “an in-depth discussion on the latest regional developments and how Israel’s security can be bolstered in the absence of a peace process. Learn about new Israeli proposals for enhancing stability and preserving the viability of the two-state vision.”

The description was to encompass both the reality (“in the absence of a peace process”) and the delusional (“preserving the viability of the two-state vision”). Claiming to be backed by some 270 former Israeli generals under the influence of fairy dust, they also claimed that 65 percent of the Israeli public favor a “two-state vision.” In response, I confronted them with two recent surveys from Israeli news sources. An article titled, “Most Israelis Support Sovereignty Over Judea and Samaria” cited a January 2017 poll by the Maagor Mohot Research Institute that found that 75 percent of Israelis “would like to see Israeli sovereignty being applied over Judea and Samaria [so-called, by these gentlemen, the West Bank] while only seven percent of the public is interested in establishing a Palestinian state in these areas.” Apparently a follower of President Donald Trump (but sadly, not politically), Dr. Novik immediately pronounced the article “Fake news”!

I then questioned the source of his assertion that 65 percent of Israelis favor a two-state solution. He muttered that those were the numbers he “had heard.” Continuing I cited a more recent poll (May 2017) finding that 90 percent of Israeli Jews call themselves Zionists and believe there is no occupation. I asked Dr. Novik if an Israeli who calls himself a staunch Zionist, like himself, would be against a two-state solution. “Fake news!” he bristled. Another attendee questioned him about a recent statement by the newest leader of the Labor Party, a liberal named Avi Gabbay. who said,“Settlements are the beautiful face of Zionism,” lauding settlers as the “pioneers of our generation.” Following criticism by some in the party, “Gabbay doubled-down on his position and expressed support for the settlement movement…” (Arutz Sheva, Oct. 20, 2017). No daylight on that one!

Several questions later, I had the opportunity to again question Dr. Novik: “There are now close to 500,000 Jews living in Judea- Samaria and 300,000 Jews living in what has been called ‘East Jerusalem.’ Are they going to be relocated somewhere?” The doc responded, “There are only 600,000 Jews living in those areas, and no, they will not have to move. Most are in the settlement blocs.” “If you’re not going to move the Jews,” I continued, “and I assume you wouldn’t be willing to move the Arabs, you seem to be saying that part of Jerusalem can be considered a settlement bloc! My figures are more accurate, but 600,000 or 800,000 – that’s a lot of Jews. It’s now over 24 years since Oslo, and you yourself admit ‘the absence of a peace process.’ So Jews and Arabs will continue living together without peace. I’m confused about what you are proposing, especially since a whole lot of leftists in Israel have stated their belief that the ‘two-state solution’ is dead.” He then lashed out, “I don’t know where you get your information!”

Answering his implied question, “I get it from the Israeli paper of record, Ha’aretz – people like Amos Oz, Yossi Sarid, A. B. Yehoshua, Ari Shavit, and best of all – Do you know who Amos Schocken is?” “Of course I do,” he retorted. “Well, good old Amos, publisher and editor of Ha’aretz, did a full page titled, ‘Israel’s Settlers Have Won.’ I have a copy, if you’d like.”

At that point, the rabbi of the synagogue stepped in and thanked everyone for coming – all 37 of them. It is sad and disingenuous when far-left organizations and liberal, non-Orthodox rabbis present programs billed as discussion, with no chance for real debate on the facts or the presenters’ obvious bias. In place of truth, Dr. Novik came armed with disinformation to foist on an unknowledgeable, impressionable, (and thankfully small) group of Jews. Extolling the virtues of debate, liberals too often bring in a far-leftist to debate a leftist who spews propaganda and personal bias in the guise of fact.

Afterward, in conversation with the presenters, I asked where they lived in Israel. Both said they lived in Herzliya. Living in Herzliya, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is like living in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, not on the cheap – but on a retired Mossad agent’s salary? I’m happy for them, but the week left me with a wonderful feeling about what is really going on in Israel.

The first encouragement came in the form of an article reporting that the Israeli government’s newest budget has set aside 800 million shekels for infrastructure in Judea and Samaria – infrastructure that will facilitate continued development and building in our Biblical homeland.

But it was a second article, from the Jerusalem Post, that really made my week. It was written by a Tel Aviv University professor – the chair of its Department of Public Policy, no less – Alon Tal. And what did he write that had me smiling for days? This “tree-hugger” predicted that Israel’s population is set to expand by five million people over the next 23 years, the vast majority of whom will be Jews. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics had just reported that Israel’s Jewish population is now growing significantly faster than the Arab Israeli population – Arab birthrates having dropped due to acculturation and assimilation into Israeli society.

Prof. Tal’s article is long and cumbersome; but in essence, he was not a happy camper. Can you imagine a Jew lamenting the fact that the Jewish population in Israel is growing too much! The apocalyptic title of the article was “Racing Toward Disaster: Israel’s Unsustainable Population Bomb”! Of course, he puts some of the “blame” on the Haredim, but to his credit, he also recognized that families of the Religious Zionists, as well as many secular families in the Silicon Valley of Israel, due to their rising standard of living, are having more Jewish babies.

I got my first inkling of what was really happening in Israel from a January 30, 2014 article in Ha’aretz. Written by Ofer Aderet, the headline read, “Average Israeli family has 3.72 members…” But in the article, he noted, “The highest average family size among Jewish families is in Judea and Samaria, 4.6 persons per family, which is nearly 1.5 times the size of the average Tel Aviv family.” In the Torah, Jews are commanded to “be fruitful and multiply,” and the Jews of Judea/Samaria are eagerly complying. Americanized Jews sadly not so much. When the bible of the Left – Ha’aretz – publishes information like this, it can hardly be called fake news. Every once in a while, a bit of the truth slips out and another miracle of Israel – the Am Segulah – shines bright for all the world and a few left- wing Jews to see.

But back to the Israel Policy Forum and all their “thick-walleted” donors. I’ve often asked myself what they hope to accomplish by supporting these types of programs spreading their disinformation and propaganda? What do wealthy Americanized Jews gain by supporting these outright fabrications? Do they even know they’re supporting fake news – or do they really care? They say it’s about security; but the reality is described by an honest liberal and former Ha’aretz star Ari Shavit in his book, My Promised Land:

The peace story is also my story. For upper-middle-class secular Ashkenazi Israelis like me, peace…defined our identity. Peace was our religion. … But only when I turned thirty and began listening seriously to what Palestinians were actually saying did I realize that the promise of peace was unfounded, … bogged down by a systematic denial of the brutal reality we live in. … [T]he Left endorsed the unsound and irrational belief that ending occupation would bring peace. … The Left adopted the peace illusion. (My Promised Land, pages 252-54)

The late General Thomas Kelly, former director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, told the Jerusalem Post:

“The argument that Israel does not need the West Bank for security purposes is militarily unsophisticated. … Discussions with top IDF officials make it obvious that the area west of the Jordan is key to Israel’s security.” (Doc Novik must have been talking to 270 unsophisticated generals.) Kelly took issue with those who claim that retaining the territory was no longer militarily significant. “I don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said. “ I’ve been practicing to fight wars for almost 40 years. Weapons can only do certain things, but land is still needed to protect the population from those who threaten them.”

Remember: Any American Jew advising Israel to surrender Judea and Samaria is no friend of Israel, and any Israeli who does likewise is simply suicidal. Smile! What a miraculous Hanukkah present! Israel is going to be overrun with Jewish babies!! I thought the mantra of the Left has been “the demographic Arab time bomb,” and it turned out it was only “Fake news.”

Shabbat Shalom, 12/01/2017                     Jack “Yehoshua” Berger *

* Back issues archived at Times of Israel.com