I just attended an informative lecture on the state of current affairs among the Untied States, Israel, and the Palestinian people. A representative from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Bruce Barrett, took the time to come and share his insight with a dismally small group of American, mainly secular Jews. The presentation of information was excellent. The outcome was disastrous. The liberal Jewish audience attempted to pick apart the AIPAC. Mr. Barrett was able to dodge the barbs and semantic traps set for him, but I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
This lecture took place in an affluent vacation and resort area of the United States. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is one of the most exclusive areas of the US. The sample slice of attendees were from all over the country- and all quite wealthy. One would have to infer that this was a representative sample of highest echelon of American Jews.
Never mind the fact a billion Arabs would like to see the destruction of Israel (and Jews everywhere), the greatest force working against Israel is liberal secular Jews who wish to follow the Clintonesque path of Arab-appeasement that led to the current sad state of affairs. The majority of the group was mainly concerned with the fact that Israel has been exasperating the situation by the expansion and occupation of settlements in the West Bank. The attendees subscribed to the short sighted vision that a lasting peace could be attained if Israel withdrew from the occupied territories. Even if the rest of those in attendance disagreed with the ones raising objections to Israeli policy, silence is agreement.
Even more alarming was the vigor with which these Jews, again I state, overwhelmingly upper middle class, attacked the conservative stance that was fronted by AIPAC. How could this happen? Mr. Barrett clearly spoke of the resurgence of Anti-Semitism in Europe and even on university campuses in the United States, but the group sat unmoved as they questioned what they saw as antagonistic Israeli policies. Who would have thought that American Jews would hold such a strong voice of Anti-Zionism? Participants sat stone faced as AIPAC’s representative provided vast amounts of information showing that Yassir Arafat has never bargaining for peace; displaying information that would lead the average person to conclude that Arabs have one goal- pushing Israel into the sea was met with scoffing, even hostility. Some Jews debated the fact there was an anti-Israel slant in the media, something even CNN has admitted to and deftly repurchased allegiance with an executive’s quick trip to Israel.
As far as the media is concerned, we all know the overwhelming percentage of Americans get their news from the mainstream sources. How is it that American Christians are able to see the bias against Israel and act somewhat in a unified manner, while American Jews uphold the criticisms of Israel fronted by Media, Inc.? With only a few exceptions have Jews stood up and cited outright bias in favor of the Islamists. It is this division that gives the Arabs a foothold in the emerging trend of, in the tradition of Neville Chamberlain, appeasement.
The united Jewish voice that was once a plumb line for American policy in the Middle East is now a fractioned shadow of what it was just ten years ago. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is this group representative of Jews across America?” I sadly concluded that the balance of American Jewry has so distanced themselves from the struggles of World War II and the ensuing trials associated with the commencing of the state of Israel that they are no longer concerned with, or at least even view Jews in Israel as brothers and sisters. For thousands of years, struggles for the faith have been an essential part of Judaism; persecution has been so much more prominent than times of (relative) freedom that a few decades of religious tolerance have left the American Jewish psyche in a vacuum that has fostered a materialistic, self-centered view.
It is a sad day when after centuries of struggling for a homeland, Jews on the front lines are abandoned by those living comfortably in safety thousands of miles away. The propaganda machine of Anti-Semitism, now rampant in the media, has spun its web of deception even among American Jews, upon whom- second only to G-d is what Israel desperately needs the most. As Israel stands alone on the world stage, it looks like American Christians will be the ones to stand up- along with a minority of Jews.
Stephen A. McDonald Bigtreenews.com
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