Thursday, April 15, 2010

World Jewish Congress Open Letter to President Obama


This letter will appear in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post today.  I don't think they are happy. 


Dear President Obama:



I write today as a proud American and a proud Jew.


Jews around the world are concerned today. We are concerned about the nuclear ambitions of an Iranian regime that brags about its genocidal intentions against Israel. We are concerned that the Jewish state is being isolated and delegitimized.


Mr. President, we are concerned about the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.


The Israeli housing bureaucracy made a poorly timed announcement and your Administration branded it an “insult.” This diplomatic faux pas was over the fourth stage of a seven stage planning permission process – a plan to build homes years from now in a Jewish area of Jerusalem that under any peace agreement would remain an integral part of Israel.


Our concern grows to alarm as we consider some disturbing questions. Why does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks? After all, it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.


Israel has made unprecedented concessions. It has enacted the most far reaching West Bank settlement moratorium in Israeli history.


Israel has publicly declared support for a two-state solution. Conversely, many Palestinians continue their refusal to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.


The conflict’s root cause has always been the Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Every American President who has tried to broker a peace agreement has collided with that Palestinian intransigence, sooner or later. Recall President Clinton’s anguish when his peace proposals were bluntly rejected by the Palestinians in 2000. Settlements were not the key issue then. They are not the key issue now.


Another important question is this: what is the Administration’s position on Israel’s borders in any final status agreement? Ambiguity on this matter has provoked a wave of rumors and anxiety. Can it be true that America is no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible borders for Israel? Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?


There are significant moves from the Palestinian side to use those indefensible borders as the basis for a future unilateral declaration of independence. How would the United States respond to such a reckless course of action?


And what are America’s strategic ambitions in the broader Middle East? The Administration’s desire to improve relations with the Muslim world is well known. But is friction with Israel part of this new strategy? Is it assumed worsening relations with Israel can improve relations with Muslims? History is clear on the matter: appeasement does not work. It can achieve the opposite of what is intended.


And what about the most dangerous player in the region? Shouldn’t the United States remain focused on the single biggest threat that confronts the world today? That threat is a nuclear armed Iran. Israel is not only America’s closest ally in the Middle East, it is the one most committed to this Administration’s declared aim of ensuring Iran does not get nuclear weapons.


Mr. President, we embrace your sincerity in your quest to seek a lasting peace. But we urge you to take into consideration the concerns expressed above. Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of freedom and democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people. In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.


Yours sincerely,


Ronald S. Lauder


President


World Jewish Congress

3 comments:

bluecottonmemory said...

The administrations stand on Israel concerns me, too. I believe that those who stand with Israel have God's protection and those who do not have His wrath. I was praying the other day, "Dear God, Our president might not be standing with Israel, but I am and my neighbors are!"

I am so glad you posted this:)

http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/a-dangerous-game-of-groupthink-when-national-defense-implements-public-school-bullying-policy/

Anonymous said...

I ask myself, why do people feel Israel deserve more attention than any other country in the world. We are all God's children so I don't buy any propaganda from a group of people that tries to corner God for themselves only. God does not discriminate between his people. He does not wake up and say "Aha the Jewish are my only people"...there are other people that are in God's nest...Christians, Moslems, Hundus, Budhists etc...no one should be singled out for special treatment and I don't think God would deliberately want to cause friction among his children.

Im sure people reading this have children, now how will you feel if you go around telling folks that your first child is the most important child..How do you expect your other children to feel

I love all people and I feel all these divide and conquer methods is destroying the world. These feeling of we are the chosen ones, we are the better ones etc, is hogwash...I believe if you are chosen by virtue of your deeds not by virtue of an association with a religion or creed

PEACE

Just a conservative girl said...

Anoy"
Well, it is a real shame that the people of the middle east don't feel that way about the Israeli's. If they did, we wouldn't have to worry about these things. The proof is in the pudding; Israel signed a peace agreement with both Jordan and Egypt and they have had no problems with them since then. If you leave the Israeli's alone they will leave you alone. They want to live their lives. When the President of Iran talks about wiping them off the map, they mean it. They would do it in a heartbeat if they could.

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