When the American President refuses to take a moral stance against antisemitism, The Prime Minister of Israel speaks for the American Jews to the “free world”
In 1950, while American Jews and Israeli Jews were contemplating their roles on the world stage and the Jewish relations between the two nations, David Ben-Gurion made it abundantly clear that “The Jews of the United States, as a community and as individuals, have only one political attachment and that is to the United States of America. They owe no political allegiance to Israel.”
This remains true to this day; I am an American, I vote in America, I live in America, I pray in America, and I love America. I have many different values, wants, needs, and aspirations than my Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel. This acknowledgement of difference should always be true in the Jewish world. I believe that as a community with such small numbers, it is a good thing the Diaspora has been so successful and it is a good thing that Judeo values and culture have an impact in great countries like the United States. Having said all this,it has become clear to me that all Jews share the same enemies, and they view Jews, whether in New York or Netanya as one and the same.
For me, I think I fully realized this truth when Naftali Fraenkel was kidnapped and killed along with Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar in the summer of 2014. Naftali was a dual citizen of America and Israel. The Hamas captors didn’t capture Naftali and think to themselves, “Oh…well he is part American, our grievance is only with the Israeli’s because of their policies and the ‘occupation’, so we will let him go”. Rather the terrorists thought something along the lines of “Oh, he’s an American! Even better! A Jew is a Jew!”. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks eloquently (as always) writes that there is a new form of antisemitism. This is a form that masquerades as being Anti-Israel but is really age old antisemitism. As Lord Sacks states “…the policies of the state of Israel are not made in kosher supermarkets in Paris or in Jewish cultural institutions in Brussels and Mumbai. The targets in these cities were not Israeli. They were Jewish.” I find it fantastic that Rabbi Lord Sacks has taken an active role in discussing this new form of antisemitism but Rabbi Sacks is not the leader of the free world.
The supposed “Leader of the Free World”, the American President Barack Obama refuses to speak up for American Jews. Obama’s Spokesperson Josh Earnest once said that “words matter”in regards to an incident involving Israel and the Jewish people .One would think (hope?) that this incident would be regarding the Iranian regime’s outrageous statements over the years regarding world Jewry and Israel. Nope, rather the “words matter” talking point was in reference to Netanyahu’s response to a question virtually everyone on both sides knew the answer to (whether or not there will be a Palestinian state if he is re-elected) when Abu Mazen established a unity government with Hamas in 2014.
If “words matter”, Netanyahu’s “deafening silence” should not only be heard in the UN in due to the silence of that body to Iranian threats but it should also be heard in the Oval Office in regards to President Obama’s silence on antisemitism. Whether it is domestic issues like the antisemitism that was spewed at the Occupy Wall Street rallies in 2011 or foreign affairs issues such as not acknowledging the religion of American-Jewish reporter Steven Sotloff at the hands of ISIS, President Obama does not want to identify antisemitism for what it is in much the same way he does not want to identify Islamic terrorism for what it is, a cancer of hatred rooted in a perversion of belief towards a group of people.
At a time like this, when our enemies group us together and the American President refuses to acknowledge and defend American Jews, one man whether we like it or not, is speaking out against the dangers faced by world Jewry, that man is Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.