Foxman: American Jews should shut up about Israeli policy and fall into line

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Abe Foxman in the Jerusalem Post. By the way, the one position he mentions the American Jewish community shutting up about is Jerusalem, which is the “supreme” issue, the “heart and soul” of the Jewish people. Even though he doesn’t even live there, and could. Let’s not forget that Partition, which Strawson says was based in international law of its time, stated that Jerusalem and Bethlehem would not be controlled by either side. Herzl made the same promise. So law and equity go out the window. And so does the peace.

Here is Foxman describing how the Israel lobby works:

the two main arguments for this position [American Jews lining up behind the Israeli position] remain as potent as ever. First was respect for the people of Israel who every day face life and death decisions because of the threats that are ever present. I consider myself as staunch a Zionist as anyone, but I always understood the difference between my living comfortably in America and the Israeli people who were on the frontlines of the struggle. Respect for that reality and faith in the democratic process of Israel generated a profound sense of reserve about telling Israelis what they had to do.

Second was the impact on the American domestic scene. The ability of the community to have influence with Congress and the administration, not to mention the public at large, at any given time was deemed to be related to the perception of how strongly the community was supporting Israel. A divided community, one where there was a free-forall with everyone telling Israel what to do and many criticizing its policies, was seen as weakening the community’s impact on American policymakers.

Politicians had less of a need to pay attention if they were hearing a cacophony of voices.


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