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Advocating for Israel’s Survival: The 614th Commandment

November 10, 2019 @ 1:00 PM

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Sarah’s presentation will include a brief recap of Israel’s struggles to achieve statehood; her efforts towards a lasting peace, the different perceptions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict among Jewish people living in the United States and those living in Israel; the role of the media; and the reality of anti-Semitism in 2019 and why Israel’s survival should be more important to us now than ever before.

— Excerpt from Sarah’s speech —

Israel was resurrected as the homeland of the Jewish people in 1948 and restored a sense of pride and of dignity to the Jewish people.

Today in 2019, it is our mission to restore pride and dignity to the word Israel, and to the word Zionist.

  • I am proud Zionist because whenever I am in Israel, because my husband is a physician, we spend a great deal of time in hospitals. And I see the waiting rooms of hospitals filled with Muslim, Arab, Christian and Jewish patients which are all treated with equal love and compassion and dignity and given the same excellence of medical care.
  • I am a proud Zionist because in Israeli hospitals today, wounded Kurds are being treated in Israeli hospitals. Just as during the nine yearlong Syrian civil war, Israel conducted “Operation Good Neighbor”, which rescued wounded Syrians brought them to  Ziv Medical center in Sfat, Israel,  where they were patched up and healed, and returned to Syria, without asking any questions of whom they were fighting for or why.
  • I am a proud Zionist because there are 18 Arab members that sit in the Knesset and  today an Israeli Arab, George Karra sits on Israel’s Supreme Court, the highest court of the land.

Could you imagine an Arab nation that allows Jews to sit in their parliament or on their Supreme Court?

Israel — this little land that has struggled through the  enormous and constant pain of so many wars and so much terrorism, and still has brought so much light and goodness into the world through its revolutions of high tech, agriculture, irrigation and medicine — and every time there is an earthwork, or a tsunami – Israel is the first to arrive on the scene with their hard learned experiences from all of their battles, delivering medical assistance – this little nation, which has been trying to service and has managed to thrive. This is called an Apartheid state.

I know men and women who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, where whites were prohibited BY LAW from stopping their cars to help blacks if they were on a car accident in the road.

Calling Israel an Apartheid state is a bastardization of the very term “Apartheid”.

Of all the nations in the world, Israel, is the one nation that has been demonized more than any other nation on the planet.

Despite the fact that there are massive, horrific human rights abuses going on throughout the world, today, as we speak, to name just a few–

  • In Syria, where today hundreds of Kurds, Yazidis and Assyrian Christians are being massacred at the hands of the Turks, the Jihadists and the constellation of Bashir Assad, Russia and Iran. Where, as recently as 2017, the Bashir Assad has gassed his own people in the rebel held town of  Khan Shekhou and then bombed the hospital where they were being treated.
  • In Turkey, where thousands of opposition leaders, union workers, professors and journalists are routinely rounded up and questioned, sometimes tortured and detained for months without habeas corpus. My friend Aykan Erdemir who was with the Turkish opposition tells me that..
  • In Iran, which, by the way, was just lauded this past in the UN Human Rights Council by 95 of the 111 countries present, if a woman is raped, she is stoned to death. (A man can never be guilty of rape), where homosexuals are strung up on the town’s square, and where if you are a woman and fail to comply with the morality dress codes, she can be publicly flogged by the “morality police.” And today scores of female activists who courageously defied the laws and go out of the house without their chadors are routinely jailed, tortured and often raped in the notorious Evin prison, and dissidents and political minorities are summarily executed without habeas corpus, a right to a fair and speedy trial..

Yet—irony of irony—when most students go to college campuses there is one, and only one nation state where students feel the compulsion to rally against, having “mock die ins” and “mock apartheid walls”  that is the subject of a popular, rapidly growing  and international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign.

Why is this?

People say that it is because of the “Occupation,” and a lack of the two-State Solution.

Well, there is an old saying: It takes two to tango. In order to have two states, both parties have to be willing.

  • The Arabs have rejected every single offer of two states living side by side in peace and democracy, Ever since the Peel Commission of 1937. They similarly rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan, after Israel’s defensive war of 1967, in Khartoum they rejected Israel’s offers of “lamed for peace” with the famous 3 no’s, “no peace with Israel, in recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.”
  • In July of 2000 I was at the Washington Institute the Day that the famous Clinton-Barak-Arafat Camp David II summit broke up. Elyakim Rubinstein, who had been the Attorney General of the state of Israel at the time-came to speak to the group, and told us how there were people in limousines on the way to Dulles Airport crying, because they had felt that if they had just made Arafat an offer that he couldn’t refuse—he wouldn’t. The Israeli Prime Minister offered the Palestinians control of 100 percent of Gaza, 97 percent of the West Bank and 3 percent of Israeli territory adjacent to Gaza —and independence. Barak even offered Palestinians control over East Jerusalem, including most of the Old City and religious sovereignty over the Temple Mount. All Israel asked in return was that Arafat declares the “end of conflict” and agree that no future claims on Israel would be made.
  • Arafat did not say yes, he didn’t say “no.” He simply walked away from the table. His response came on September 28th, 2000, when he launched Arafat launched a new and deadly wave of violence–the Al Aqsa intifada
  • In 2008, Ehud Olmert offered an even further reaching negotiation to Abu Mazen, which included giving Palestinian control of all but 6.3 percent of the West bank, and giving Palestinians  the neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and ceding control over Jerusalem,  making it an international city.
  • The response to each one of these offers was never a “Yes”—but with a renewed waive of deadly violence.….

In order to make peace, you have to have a willing partner.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen—I was in Israel in 2005, when the Israeli government decided to make the internally gut wrenching decision to withdraw from Gaza—This pit Jew against Jew. Young IDF soldiers were taught not to feel, but to perform as robots as they were forced to expel Jews from their homes. Young boys said, “This is not what I had signed up for”.
  • Rabbis argued that we should leave the synagogues for the Palestinians. Jewish multi-millionaires bought the greenhouse—so that the new, nascent Palestinian state could have some economic infrastructure.
  • Yet, as soon as the blue and white flag of the state of Israel was lowered, and the last IDF soldier closed the gate, those greenhouses and synagogues and every remaining remnant of a Jewish presence in the land was destroyed in a hate-infested atmosphere of nihilism and chaos.
  • By now thousands of missiles have been launched from Gaza, as well as incendiary devices attached to balloon bouquets and kites destroying thousands of acres of agricultural land.
  • When the Seva Adom, Red Alarm alert rings, the people living in Sderot and the towns bordering Gaza have no more than 15 seconds to run and find shelter. There are many children, and some adults who suffer from constant nightmares,  bedwetting and agoraphobia. This is not post traumatic syndrome. This is concurrent traumatic syndrome.
  • There have now been well over a thousand “Korbanot shel Shalom”—Victims of the Peace Process.
  • People like 13 year old Koby Mandel.
  • People like 15 year old Malki Roth,

When Nachshon Wachsman was kidnapped, shortly after the Oslo Accords were signed, everyone knew his name—Now, one of the greatest tragedies of Oslo is these names have disappeared into mere statistics.

So—Can one possibly blame the Israelis if they are reluctant to make further land withdrawals?

I have often found it to be the ultimate of arrogance for us, living here between what I like to call, our two liquid assets, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, in the comfort of our homes, to tell the Israelis what to do.

And now—with Iran on the march, and  with their announcement on Thursday that the Iranians increasing their production of enriched  uranium in Fordrow well beyond the limits of the JCPOA, with 150,000  Hezbollah missiles aimed at Israel from Syria and Lebanon, with Turkey’s  Erdogan in Syria, wth his own hegemonic ambitions who is no lover of Zion and called for “a million Muslim march on Jerusalem” in Syria; With the land bridge that the Iranian mullahs have erected stretching from Tehran through Damascus through Beirut to the borders of the Mediterranean onthenorth and Yemen and Gaza in the South.

Now, is precisely the wrong time to tell the Israelis what to do and to pressure them for further withdrawals.

It is only logical that a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines, which are actually indefensible from a strategic point of view would actually increase the likelihood of war, as Israel’s defenses would be eroded. Israel, then, would make a very tempting target.

So—I ask you to join my fight. For the sake of all of those Jews, like my Aunt Sarah, that perished as defenseless Jews for the crime of being Jewish before the birth of Israel, for the sake of those plucky Jews that came before us and had the vision to resurrect our ancient Jewish homeland on a plot of barren desert, for the sake of those thousands of Jews who have died in terrorist attacks for  the crime of being Jewish, lie Koby Mandel and Malki Roth– for the sake of the 23,741 young IDF soldiers who have lost their lives in Israel’s seemingly endless wars and terrorist attacks, for the sake of the people of Sderot, and the kibbutzim bordering Gaza who will not leave their land, despite the countless rockets and missiles.

Because you know that anti-Zionism is simply the modern form of that same old virus of anti-Semitism that mutates with every generation.

I ask you to join me, in our fight for the  EMET—for the TRUTH—come join with me and tell it as far and as wide as you can, about the moral clarity of the Jewish nation and the state of Israel. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and everything in the world to be proud of.

Thank you very much.

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November 10, 2019
1:00 PM


Congregation Beth Emeth
12523 Lawyers Road
Herndon, VA 20171 United States
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