It is amazing that so-called American Jewish leaders condemn Israeli political leaders for stating a viewpoint which the majority of American Jews would agree with. The Israeli leaders get more votes and support than the American Jewish leaders – but the Americans court the press.
The latest to get them upset is Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party who said “The idea that a Palestinian state will be formed in the land of Israel has come to a dead end. Everyone who wanders around Judea and Samaria knows that what they say in the corridors of Annapolis and Oslo is detached from reality. Today there are 400,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria and another 250,000 in eastern Jerusalem.”
When understanding the chutzpah of American Jewish leaders to condemn the words of this Israeli government official, realize that Bennett’s political party had 345,985 Jews vote for them. 23,645 elected Naftali Bennett as the head of the Jewish home party. Are there 23,645 Jews in America who can name a leader of any National Jewish organization, let alone would vote for them?
A member of the rabbinic cabinet of an extremist organization, J Street as well as the far-left organization New Israel Fund, Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism was quoted explaining that Bennett’s statements weren’t representative of the Israeli government. Perhaps it’s a good Public Relations strategy, but in reality Bennett doesn’t need Jacobs to be told what is representative of the government.
American Jewish Committee director David Harris said “Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks, rejecting outright the vision of two states for two peoples, are stunningly shortsighted.” Harris must believe the majority of American Jews surveyed by AJC are also shortsighted. AJC polls show that for two years less than half of U.S. Jews support a Palestinian state, 38% and 43%, respectively. Is that relevant?
American Jews are overwhelmingly Orthodox and traditional as the liberal left increasingly assimilates and intermarries. Perhaps AJC and the Reform leaders should focus on issues like education and Judaism which can keep American Jews Jewish – rather than opposing more popular leaders than them in Israel – who have the Jewish people’s best interest at heart.
And by the way, there were elections in Israel. Bennett won and Meretz didn’t. Seems liberals like Harris and Jacobs love democracy – except when they lose.