Micah Lakin Avni
Turning Trauma into Triumph: New Narratives for a New Israel

A Blind-Eyed Trinity: President Obama, the United Nations and the New York Times

On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, an Arab coalition launched a surprise attack against the State of Israel. Thousands of Israelis were killed during the course of this war aimed at destroying our young nation.

Fast-forward forty-three years. Today, President Obama is actively considering supporting a UN Security Council resolution that will reward Palestinians for their refusal to negotiate with or recognize a Jewish state.  The President is urged on by the New York Times editorial board, who in a piece published October 6, 2016, entitled At a Boiling Point with Israel, suggests that the aim of the Israeli government is to prevent peace.

Since moving to Israel from the United States 32 years ago, I have lost my father, one of my closest friends and my commander in the military. All three shared one simple dream — a dream shared by all Israelis and Americans alike — to live in peace.  All three were brutally murdered by radical Islamist terrorists who shared one horrific goal, to annihilate the Western way of life.

Forty-three years after the Yom Kippur war, nearly half a dozen states in our region have collapsed and Israel is surrounded by mass-murdering Islamist terrorist organizations — ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria and the Sinai, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. All of whom have stated repeatedly that they seek the destruction of Israel and the United States.

Hamas’ deputy speaker of the parliament, Ahmed Bahr, calls to murder Jews “down to the very last one.”  Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, said recently that if he could get his hands on a nuclear weapon, he would use it that very day over Israel.  Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, incites to terror on a regular basis.  There are countless examples, but the most disturbing to me personally is the fact that President Abbas invited the family of the terrorist who murdered my father, together with the families of ten other terrorists who stabbed, shot and murdered Israelis and Americans over the past year to a meeting in his office in Ramallah. In this meeting, he praised their actions, glorifying my father’s murderer, and calling him a holy martyr.

To state it clearly, the president of the Palestinian National Authority praised and glorified the horrific murder of a citizen of the United States of America. My father, Richard Lakin, a kind, gentle, retired elementary school principal who dedicated his life to education and civil rights.

As the leader of the PLO, President Abbas’s message to all Palestinians is clear: “Go out and murder innocent Americans and Israelis and you too will become martyrs and go to heaven.”  Tragically, Palestinian universities, schools, scout troops and summer camps echo this message to their children on a daily basis.

Over the years, Israel has made every attempt to achieve peace and has always been open to speaking with our enemies.  Just this past month Prime Minister Netanyahu twice offered President Abbas to meet — from the podium at the United Nations, and again at the funeral of Shimon Peres.  His offers were, once again, met with resounding silence.

The blind-eyed trinity of President Obama, the United Nations and the New York Times consistently ignore the grim reality that we Israelis want nothing more than to live in peace with our neighbors, while our neighbors want nothing more than to destroy us.  Our neighbors state this loud and clear in their local media almost every day.  You do not need a daily briefing from the NSA to figure this out, just visit the websites of Palestinian Media Watch or The Middle East Media Research Institute; they have aggregated thousands of examples.

In 1969, the year that I was born, Golda Meir was elected as the Prime Minister of Israel. She, like my family, moved to Israel from the United States; two countries bound together by shared values.  Prime Minister Meir famously observed that “Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”

Forty-seven years have passed. We have continued to teach our children to love, while our neighbors increasingly teach their children to hate, making more violence inevitable, and distancing us from the peace and coexistence for which all Americans and Israelis stand.

Rather than constantly berating Israel, and adding fuel to the fire, I would encourage President Obama, the United Nations and the New York Times editorial board to take advantage of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in order to revisit their inexplicable choice to turn a blind eye to the onslaught of Palestinian incitement.

Micah Lakin Avni

About the Author
Micah Lakin Avni founded Peninsula Group Ltd., a publicly-traded Israeli commercial finance institution and served as CEO for 18 years. He was ranked among the 100 most influential people in Israel by The Marker Magazine in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Prior to founding Peninsula, Micah served as a General Partner with Jerusalem Global Ventures, and Israeli venture capital firm. Before joining Jerusalem Global Ventures, Micah was a corporate attorney with Yigal Arnon & Co., one of Israel's premier law firms. Micah serves in a volunteer capacity as the chairman of "Voices of Israel”, a long-term partnership between the State of Israel and the global pro-Israel leadership to facilitate ongoing strategic cooperation, counter the global Israel delegitimization movement and improve Israel's positive image and standing in world public opinion. In 2015, Micah’s father Richard Lakin was murdered by Hamas terrorists on a Jerusalem bus. While mourning the loss, Micah dedicated himself to raising awareness of the dangers of allowing terrorists to roam free on social media, communicating, recruiting, and inciting. He wrote op-eds in international newspapers, gave interviews, helped produce movies, lectured at universities, filed lawsuits and lobbied for legislation. These efforts helped set in motion a campaign that yielded dramatic change: While there is still plenty of work to be done, social media titans built significant infrastructures to remove terror groups from their platforms. Micah holds an LLB in Law from the Hebrew University Law School and a joint MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Recanati School of Business Administration at Tel Aviv University. Micah lives in Tel Aviv, Israel with his wife and four children.
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