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Alan Newman

Frogs in hot water

The photo artwork by Arthur Schreibman

It’s a good bet you’ve heard the parable about a frog’s lifesaving leap from boiling water – and – by contrast, the demise of another frog who slowly cooked in a heating pot of water.

Are the majority of Jews who vote Democratic cleverly seduced by an administration who uses Jewish functionaries to undermine support for Israel and to weaken legislation that battles antisemitism? The incremental harm from the trickle of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish programs regrettably reminds us of the misfortune of the slowly cooking frog.

Consider the confounding effort of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nides, who is Jewish, to support a grant of almost $1 million to anti-Israel NGOs to demonize, delegitimize and stigmatize Israel. As reported in the  Washington Free Beacon, in 2022 Nides approved this project. This new reporting mechanism is intended to provide “accountability” for “atrocities” by Israelis in “… Israel and West Bank and Gaza.”

Consider President Biden’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism, the highly credentialed, celebrated Deborah Lipstadt. Sadly, she has not acted with a strong voice against several crucial threats. Recently, she has supported the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism although it is worrisome that:

–it does not call out Islamist antisemitism, Black supremist antisemitism or Progressive antisemitism.

–it forsakes the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance)antisemitism definition.

–it accepts an IHRA diluted version that ignores “disproportionate focus on Israel and treating Israel differently than other countries cannot necessarily be considered antisemitic.”

–it does not criticize Israel-wounding BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activities.

–its impact is undermined by universalizing the National Strategy.  The initiative mind-bogglingly reaches out to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), a self-declared Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. Often, CAIR is suspected of supporting Islamist movements, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider the rumored effort by the current Administration and driven by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, also Jewish, to restore some version of the Iranian JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) agreement. The Iranians have mastered this game of nuclear “chicken” and now, after decades of subterfuge, have purified uranium to a weapons grade concentrate of over 85% (the Hiroshima bomb used only 80% grade uranium). President Biden, and surely former President Obama, are willing to dump even more money into the Iranian coffers to secure a face saving, but ineffective, delay and earn the illusion of statesmanship. More funds for Iran will only enhance their malign destabilization, terror and missile development programs. Israel will ultimately face the agonizing choice of how to neutralize a nuclear Iran.

Consider how America’s recent losses in the geopolitical power struggle affects the Middle East and Israel. The consequences of Biden’s mismanaged Afghanistan bug-out ripples across time and has disturbed the strategic expansion of the Abraham Accords that might have included Saudi Arabia and built an allied bulwark against Iran. Now Russia and China, sensing a power vacuum, set back the Israel-Arab normalization that was underway.

The haze of hyper partisanship, media bias, asymmetric judicial proceedings and academia’s indoctrination, all work to distract us and mask the deteriorating support for Israel. If Joe Biden and the Democrats win in 2024, will Israel and Jews be subjected to even harsher treatment? Will the social justice, “woke” and intersectional movement be further weaponized against Israel? Most dangerously, will American military support commitments for Israel become conditioned with demands such as pro-Palestinian accommodations or even Israel’s sovereign governance?   Let’s pray the answers are NO.

To quote Joachim Fess in his memoir Not I about the Jew’s faulty thinking in pre-WWII Germany, “They lost their instinct for danger.” He saw these German Jews as too complacent, too accepting, too self-satisfied. Today’s American Jews need to sharpen their sensitivity to the damaging and dangerous slow boil of politically motivated assault.

About the Author
Alan Newman is a life-long supporter of the Jewish community and Israel. His commitment is evident with his hands-on approach and leadership positions at AIPAC, StandWithUs, Ben-Gurion University, Ethiopian National Project and Federation’s JCRC. He has traveled to Israel almost two dozen times and is an enthusiastic supporter of pro-Israel Christians including critical organizations like CUFI, ICEJ, USIEA and Genesis 123 Foundation. Alan’s compelling novel, GOOD HEART, published by Gefen Publishing House, is a multi-generational story about a Christian and Jewish family. He was a senior executive at Citigroup and holds two US Patents. He lives with his wife in West Palm Beach and enjoys time with his two sons and their families.
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