Friday, January 8, 2016

AJC, how about Standing with Israel instead of Breaking the Silence? - Ronn Torossian

by Ronn Torossian

The AJC should Stand With Israel – not with Breaking the Silence and The New Israel Fund.

For some liberal American Jewish leaders, democracy matters everywhere – except the State of Israel. 

The American Jewish Committee issued a press release today opposing the Knesset’s proposed transparency legislation which would require Israeli NGOs to report if they receive money from foreign governments.  While the majority of Israel’s democratically elected leaders view this bill as necessary in order to help combat Israel’s enemies and opponents, the AJC, the self-proclaimed foreign affairs arm of the Jewish community,opposes it. 

Rather than support Israel during this time of need – or stay silent - the AJC, which has never criticized the nefarious activities of Breaking the Silence, or that of other anti-Israel grantees of the New Israel Fund claimed that Israel’s Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s proposed NGO law poses a "risk to Israel's reputation." The risk lies with those foreign governments seeking to undermine Israel. 

The AJC – which has positioned itself as the “State Department of the Jewish people”  - is hardly critical of groups funded by the New Israel Fund that actively pursue boycotts of the Jewish State.  However, it feels that being open about foreign governments that fund campaigns to usurp Israeli democracy is a danger to Israel. This is simply absurd.

The law is simply a way of knowing whether an NGO in Israel is beholden to foreign governments.

The AJC’s press release did not mention that it consistently opposes the ideology of Shaked’s political party, the Jewish Home, nor that AJC director David Harris aggressively supports a peace process and a two-state solution with entities who consistently inflict terror in Israel and who refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist. 

The American Jewish Committee opposes cutting off funds for academic institutions that support BDS, has criticized Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett for supporting the rights of Jews to settle throughout Israel, and is an outspoken proponent of a Palestinian Arab State.

Lest one forget, in 2004, the leadership of the AJC met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's national security adviser, Jibril Rajoub, and Harris publicly urged Israel to use the “road map” to get to “peace.” At that time he said, "If the line were closer to the Clinton-Barak lines, the U.S. would have less concerns and the fence could be politically defensible." (Those parameters would have placed nearly 97 percent of Judea and Samaria in Palestinian hands.)

During that meeting, Rajoub said, "Terror attacks against Israeli civilians within the Green Line were a tragic mistake for the Palestinian people.”  The clear implication was that killing innocent Jews elsewhere is alright.

Last year, Harris published an article in the Huffington Post entitled “Give The Peace Process A Chance.”

In 1928, Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky said, “Peace with the Arabs is, of course, to be desired. There is no need for a discussion on this matter among the Jews. All of us, one hundred percent of us, want peace.”  That remains true today.  

The AJC – with $100 million in assets – would be best served standing with Israel, and not with foreign governments who seek to undermine democracy in Israel.

Ronn Torossian


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