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November 15, 2015 2:26 pm

An Open Letter to Rabbi Richard Jacobs on His Comments About Israel

avatar by Joel Leyden

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Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaks at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly on Sunday. Photo: Robert A. Cumins for JFNA.

Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Richard Jacobs speaks at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly. Photo: Robert A. Cumins for JFNA.

“Diaspora Jews should not support the misguided policies of Israeli leaders …. Israel should look to North America for moral guidance” — Rabbi Richard Jacobs speaking at the URJ Reform Biennial.

Rabbi, if this is truly what you have stated, then you have helped place the security of Israel in jeopardy.

Remember, Netanyahu won re-election by an overwhelming landslide. So then, it is not just “Israeli leadership” but almost all Israelis who by your definition are “misguided.”

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We do not have a perfect government. And yes, the Ultra Orthodox may have too much power — but how dare you tell Jews in the US and in Europe not to support the Jews in Israel while they are being stabbed to death — not due to any occupation — but rather directly due to Islamic Jihad.

Do you know what jihad is?

It is an unforgiving Islamic holy war against both Jews and Christians.
I know. I watched the World Trade Center fall.
I served in the IDF for 18 years.
I have stepped over the warm bodies of Jewish victims of terror.

You want Israel to turn to America for “moral guidance.”
What do Americans know about our internal and external security concerns in Israel?
Why not go on IDF or border police patrol with me for a month in and around Jerusalem, or on the Lebanese or Gaza border and see for yourself what we are up against?

Rabbi, my son now serves proudly in the Israel Air Force.
Do you now want to tell him directly to his face what you have stated to thousands of Jews in the US?

I awoke last week to the sound of an alarm going off.
It was a real time rocket attack from Gaza targeting Jews in Israel.
Rabbi — why are they attacking Jews in Israel?
Is it that we are “occupying” Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, or is it Islamic Jihad?
Please do not lecture me and my fellow Jews who live in Israel on Tikkun Olam.
I have served, and risked my life as an IDF Humanitarian Officer at security checkpoints in Israel.
We treat Israeli Arabs with care, understanding, and respect.

Please do not tell me how you support Israel when you dismiss our biblical land — Judea and Samaria. This land was never occupied. This holy land was returned to Israel at the end of the 1967 war.

If you want to say this land is “occupied” then please show me a picture of Arafat and yourself kissing.

“Occupied land” in Israel was an Arafat invention supported by millions of petrodollars and a firm belief in jihad.

When you attack the Israeli government you attack each and every Israeli.
You want us to try harder for peace?
Perhaps you could travel to Ramallah and convince Abbas to meet with Netanyahu. The Palestinian Authority has rejected every peace offer made to it.
Yet you blame their negligence on Israel!

Two-state solution?
Sure, when the Arabs recognize the Jewish state and bury their quest for jihad.

And you say you support Israel?
You know and even state that our enemies will use any and all criticism publicly made against Israel. Yet you give them ammunition. And today our enemies are using your exact words!
Why?

Why do you support their incitement against our very lives?

No sweat for you and your family in your warm, manicured New York suburban home. Much sweat for my children and their friends as we live under constant rocket and daily stabbing terror attacks.

Please tell me how you plan to make peace with Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the PA and ISIS?
I’m waiting. So is my son who wears a uniform defending the Jewish nation.

I have had the good opportunity of attending a Reform synagogue for the past few years.  Your position on Israel does not reflect the Reform Jews who I have come to respect and embrace. Your blatant, destructive attack against Israel, advocating for Jews to attack our government is despicable.

You slander Israel.
You slander those of us who take enormous pride in all that is wonderful about Jewish values and Jewish life.

You want to affect change — come live in Israel.
Serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Join our government.

Learn the realities.
Then dance and talk.

Joel Leyden is the publisher of the Israel News Agency. He has lived in Israel for 25 years serving as an officer in the IDF, senior consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has taken part in Israeli humanitarian missions around the world.

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