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April 5, 2013 1:23 pm

Letter to Netanyahu from U.S. Jewish Activists Challenged

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Benjamin Netanyahu presents his new government. Photo: Knesset Channel

The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) has sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to disregard advice in a Wednesday letter by American Jewish leaders that he take “confidence-building steps” for peace with the Palestinians.

The Wednesday letter was signed by 100 Jewish activists and leaders, primarily involved with left-wing organizations in the U.S. Their letter called on Netanyahu “to respond to President [Barack] Obama’s call for peace by taking concrete confidence-building steps designed to demonstrate Israel’s commitment to a ‘two-states for two peoples’ solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict” which “would challenge Palestinian leaders to take similarly constructive steps, including, most importantly, a prompt return to the negotiating table.”

The Israel Policy Forum sponsored that letter. Other signatories included former senior U.S. Defense Department official Dov Zakheim, former AIPAC executive director Tom Dine, Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and others. The activists also urged Netanyahu to work closely with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

ECI, which was found by conservative commentator and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, responded in its own letter stating that the activists’ request was a veiled attempt to get Netanyahu’s government to make “painful territorial sacrifices.” ECI said the “one thing we never presume to do is instruct our friends in Israel on the level of danger to which they should expose themselves… Those issuing the demand will not experience the pain, or be compelled to sacrifice anything, should their advice prove foolish—as it has so many times in the past… From the safety of America, in the past they have recommended trusting Yasser Arafat, dividing Jerusalem, surrendering the Golan Heights to Syria, and withdrawing from territory that today is controlled by Iranian-backed terrorist groups.”
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  • richard sherman

    These same left wing groups would have trusted Hitler

  • Please Mr. Prime Ministe stand firm and do not give away any more Israeli land. Do not listen to people far away from Israel and living in safety. Israel is the land that G-d gave the Jews and do not let anyone take it from us.
    G-d bless you and give you the strength you need to stand firm.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Better if they stop writing and thinking!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Living in Skokie, Illinois, is not exactly on the front lines in Israel. Nonetheless, as an Israeli citizen who actively and openly speaks out on Israeli policies, I would ask Mr. Netanyahu to do whatever is necessary to protect the security and rights of Israeli citizens living in Israel. US Jewish leaders have chutzpah to make any suggestion as to what the Israeli people should do in any possible negotiations with their Palestinian counterparts. At this juncture, the Palestinian leadership is not represented by any elected official; therefore, it does not represent any Palestinian polity. In fact, the unilateral demonstration that Abbas made at the UNGA speaks volumes about the attitude of the PA. Moreover, Hamas is still in charge of the regime in Gaza. Palestinian children are still taught to hate Israel, Israelis, and Jews. Rockets are still being launched at a million Israeli citizens from Gaza. Come on you so-called Jewish AMERICAN leaders with your JDs and DDs, be humble, be introspective. Let Israel’s democratically duly elected officials speak for Israelis. And Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama: YOU DO THE SAME! Mr. Kristol, you are SPOT ON!