It’s Time for the Jews to Stand Up for Themselves Instead of the Left or the Right

I have been politically active for over 60 years and have never seen Jews so detached from their own reality. Donald Trump becomes president and one of his first acts is to reach out to Benjamin Netanyahu and call the Jewish State “a beacon of hope,” taking Israel out of the woodshed where Barack Obama has put it for the last 8 years. And the reaction of many Jews is to denounce (and defame) his chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, who obviously played a role in this gesture as an “anti-Semite.” The evidence? A remark he allegedly made a decade ago about “whiny” Jewish schoolchildren, provided by an angry ex-wife in a divorce proceeding! How shameful to smear a man on that basis. Meanwhile his Democratic accusers are considering making a former member of the Jew-hating Nation of Islam, Keith Ellison, DNC chair. This disconnect from reality is not good for the Jews.

I myself have been the target of the same political myopia because of a campaign I have been conducting to inform college communities that they are hosting a very large pro-terrorist presence, whose goal is the destruction of the Jewish state. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is an organization created by supporters of the suicide bombing intifadas against Israeli citizens. Its political agenda promotes Hamas’s genocidal propaganda campaigns, including the tell-tale lies that the entire state of Israel is occupied Palestine, that Israel was created on land the Jews stole from the Arabs and that the security fence that has save thousands of Israelis from being killed by Palestinian terrorists is really an “apartheid wall” who purpose is ethnic cleansing.

SJP distributes and promotes a four-panel map which purports to show that a Palestinian state existed in 1947 –- there was no such state -– that was steadily occupied by “colonialist settler” Jews. In fact, Israel was created on land that belonged to the Turks, who are neither Arabs nor Palestinians, for 400 years previously. Native Americans have a greater claim on the United States than Arabs do on the State of Israel, or any of the land around the Jordan, including the West Bank and Gaza. Moreover, Israel is the most tolerant state in the Middle East. Its Arab Israeli citizens more rights than they would have in any Arab state including the West Bank and Gaza. There are many legitimate criticisms that may be made against the Israeli government (as with any other government). But SJP does not make criticisms of Israel with an intent to reform the system: as their website states, their aim is “ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.

Students for Justice in Palestine not only carries out Hamas-inspired hate campaigns against the Jews, it takes money from these terrorists through an organization called American Muslims for Palestine, whose leaders were indicted in the Holy Land Foundation prosecution some years ago for managing the largest Muslim charity in America and directing its funds to Hamas.

Students for Justice in Palestine has chapters on over 200 college campuses and is the chief campus sponsor of the Hamas-inspired and Hamas-funded Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, which liberals like Alan Dershowitz and Hillary Clinton have denounced as anti-Semitic. SJP has organized the political left on campus among Blacks, Hispanics and Asians to support its anti-Jewish/anti-Israel agendas. Every time Israel responds to thousands of unanswered rocket attacks on the schoolyards of Sderot and other civilian targets, SJP and the campus left hold demonstrations accusing Israel of “massacring” Palestinians in Gaza. Not surprisingly there has been an explosion of verbal and physical attacks on Jewish students across the country.

Our poster campaign to expose SJP as an Israel-hating, Jew-bashing campus front for Hamas terrorists is described on our website. We have conducted the campaign on 12 campuses this fall and more than a dozen last spring. Our campaign has been smeared as “Islamophobic” and denounced from one end of the country to the other by pro-Islamic terrorist groups on the left, but also by several Hillels, the ADL, and other Jewish groups who have joined hands with them. The attacks were described and given credence by Daniel J. Solomon in the Forward in an article titled, “Inflammatory Pro-Israel Posters Pop Up On Campuses – Are they Islamophobic?” The author of the article cites two websites – Electronic Intifada and the Southern Poverty Law Center — who characterize my pro-Israel campaign as “anti-Muslim.” I have written over a million published words on the Islamic jihad, including a book, Islamo-fascism and the War Against Jews. Among those million words, not one sentence can reasonably be called anti-Muslim. Nor do Electronic Intifada or the SPLC cite one statement of mine to back up its malicious slander. I have stood up for Muslim women and gay Muslims abused by the Islamic faith. I have repeatedly said that most Muslims are law-abiding and peaceful.

It’s time for Jews to be clear about who their enemies are and who their compatriots and friends. We may disagree as liberals and conservatives. But we need to keep a perspective on our differences and be wary of rhetorical extremists on both sides who want to discredit those who disagree with them. Whenever I label an opponent, I try to provide evidence that would support the label so others can judge whether my characterization is just or extreme. I hope my political adversaries will do the same. More importantly I hope that people reading this will contact the ADL and Hillel and ask them not to join the enemies of the Jews in attacking Israel’s defenders like me.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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It’s Time for the Jews to Stand Up for Themselves Instead of the Left or the Right

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