The headline screamed: 50 Jewish Organizations Oppose Annexation!

Wow! 50 Jewish organizations.against applying sovereignty to Judea and Samaria? Let's take a closer look. Op-ed.

Stephen M. Flatow ,

Sovereignty Movement campaign
Sovereignty Movement campaign
Sovereignty Movement

Fifty Jewish organizations signed a statement against Israeli annexation (the better term is reunification - and it is really simply the application of Israeli law instead of the current IDF miitary law on the region) of any part of Judea-Samaria. Wow, that’s a lot of organizations. It sounded serious. Practically a revolt by Diaspora Jewry! I can understand why Israel’s leaders might have been concerned.

Until they looked a little closer at the list of signatories.

It turns out that the “fifty organizations” were nothing of the sort, and the “Jewish opposition to annexation” is a myth. A crumbling myth.

Let’s have a look at the “Big Fifty.” There’s the “Gruppo Martin Buber,” in Italy, and the “Cercle Martin Buber Geneva.” Hmm. So—three and a half Italian and Swiss fans of the late Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, who favored a binational Arab-Jewish state instead of a Jewish state of Israel, are opposed to annexation. Impressive!

Among the fifty are no less than seven chapters of the New Israel Fund, which used to pretend that it was a non-political charity but long ago openly aligned itself with the Jewish political far left. Since when do seven chapters of the same organization count as separate organizations? True, the former Soviet Union did it at the United Nations, but that’s not a precedent to admire.

The list also includes three chapters of “Ameinu,” presenting themselves as three separate organizations. For those who do not recognize the name, “Ameinu” is actually the socialist Labor Zionist movement in the Diaspora. Socialist Zionism had a certain appeal among American Jews about a hundred years ago. But the appeal wore off a long time ago.

The Labor Zionists’ level of support in the American Jewish community has dwindled so drastically that a few years ago, they decided to change their name. That p.r. tactic has not yet turned “Ameinu” into a powerhouse. Not that Labor Zionism has much appeal in Israel, either. The party currently has a grand total of three seats in the Knesset.

Who else is among the Big Fifty? Six chapters of “J Call,” a far-left European Jewish group that patterns itself on J Street. Again, six chapters of one organization claiming to be six organizations. Who do they think they’re kidding?

Let’s not forget Meretz. Another tiny, radical-left Israeli political party, with three seats in the Knesset—and, it turns, out, a few fans in Argentina, France, England, and Uruguay. They all signed on. That’s right, we’re supposed to believe that “Meretz Uruguay” is a significant Jewish organization, whose opposition to Israeli annexation commands our urgent attention.

“The world will be angry” is not a coherent argument. Everyone knows that “the world” condemned the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, and the reunification of Jerusalem.
Why do the opponents of reunification engage in this kind of deception?

Because they’re desperate. And they’re desperate because they are losing. They lost at the ballot box, earlier this year, when the overwhelming majority of Israelis voted for parties that favor permanent retention of the Jordan Valley, the ‘settlement blocs,’ the Golan Heights, and all of Jerusalem.

And they are losing on the battlefield of ideas. Their arguments against reunification are weak and unconvincing.

“The world will be angry” is not a coherent argument. Everyone knows that “the world” condemned the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, and the reunification of Jerusalem. No reasonable person believes Israel should make policy decisions based on fear of the world’s reaction.

“It’s against international law” is simply nonsense. Everyone knows that Israel captured Judea-Samaria in self-defense, and everyone knows that the Jewish right to settle there is enshrined in the Bible, 3,000 years of history, and international agreements such as the Balfour Declaration, the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, and the decision of the San Remo Conference.

As their arguments crumble, you can count on Jewish radicals to become even more desperate. They won’t be content just pretending that they have lots of organizations on their side. They will go much further. A hint of the horrors to come is contained in the statement that the “fifty organizations” signed. There they declare that any Israeli annexation will “dash any hopes the Palestinian people have of achieving self-determination through nonviolent means.”

Look carefully at that sentence, and shudder at its implications. It’s a blatant advance excuse for Palestinian terrorism. It’s a threat.

It’s not a valid expression of differences of opinion. It’s not a legitimate part of civil discourse. It is a morally despicable rationalization for Palestinians slaughtering Israeli women and children. The fifty organizations—or chapters posing as organizations— should be ashamed of themselves for signing on. And Israeli officials should toss their statement into the garbage.*

*along with the European parliamentarians who should solve their own problems first..

Stephen M. Flatow is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” is now available on Kindle. He is an oleh chadash.