American Jewish leaders: Speak up now or be damned

October 22, 2015 by Isi Leibler
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It is now evident that, by and large, the Jewish establishment has adopted a policy of deafening silence in relation to condemning or protesting against the virulent one-sided political attacks and sins of omission by the Obama administration concerning our barbaric adversaries.It is only the outspoken Zionist Organization of America and minor fringe groups that have been directly speaking out against the Obama administration’s intensified anti-Israel rhetoric.

Isi Leibler

Isi Leibler

Until now, I had a nagging suspicion that the failure of American Jewish leaders to confront the biased Obama administration attacks on Israel was not merely a reasoned strategic approach. But aware of their devotion to Israel and having witnessed their former stalwart defense of Jewish interests, I was reluctant to conclude that fear was their primary consideration.

But the ongoing silence by the Jewish establishment in relation to the current disgraceful behavior of the Obama administration, its secretary of state, and State Department spokesmen, is incomprehensible.

Today Israeli Jews are confronted by frenzied psychotic young Arabs who have been brainwashed into believing that murdering innocent Jews will deliver them directly to paradise and transform them into glorious martyrs. This barbarism, inculcated by hideous indoctrination from kindergarten and subsequently nurtured in the mosques and throughout Palestinian social media, is creating monsters. It is publicly sanctified by Abbas, who has whipped up a frenzy on the insanely false allegation that Israel is bent on destroying Al-Aqsa mosque and building a Jewish temple on its ruins.

The demonic madness is fortified by the heroic profile the Palestinian Authority adopts in relation to the killing sprees and which Abbas refuses to condemn. The perpetrators are also aware that if they survive, the PA will pay them generous salaries in prison and provide pensions for their families.

Under such circumstances, one would surely expect leaders of the civilized world to condemn these Arab murders of innocents. But aside from lip service condemning “violence,” world leaders and global organizations have, at best, adopted a sickening morally relativist position in which Jewish victims are equated with their murderers.

Until now, the United States took pride in defending Israel and proclaiming its shared values and common democratic Judeo-Christian heritage. Even though there were occasional policy differences between the countries, Israel considered itself a true ally of the U.S., irrespective of whether a Democrat or Republican occupied the Oval Office.

Since Barack Obama was elected president, in his obsession to build bridges between the U.S. and Islam, he sought to demonstrate that there is daylight between Israel and America. His Third World outlook also led to his abandoning long-term U.S. allies and groveling to Islamic fundamentalist terrorist states like Iran, mistakenly believing that by appeasing them, they will become more moderate.

Over the past month we have witnessed the climax of the U.S. political abandonment of Israel. Obama, who repeatedly condemned Netanyahu for remarks made in the heat of an election even after he had clarified and withdrawn them, has emboldened the Palestinian extremists by failing to utter a single condemnation of Mahmoud Abbas for his vicious ongoing incitement and calls for Jewish blood.

Worse still was Secretary of State John Kerry, frequently referred to as an unguided missile, who made a series of inexcusable demented remarks. He refused to apportion the blame for the killings and even hinted that the Israelis had brought the violence upon themselves. He related to “violence on both sides.” Both sides?

He claimed that the Palestinian killings had been ignited by Palestinian “frustration” over the failure to negotiate a two-state solution and the “massive increase of settlements over the course of the last few years.” This bears no relevance to the facts as settlement building in the last few years has been dramatically reduced. The frenzied killers are unquestionably motivated by the incitement and lies being promoted insisting that Jews plan to destroy Al-Aqsa.

Kerry also demanded that the status quo at the Temple Mount be upheld “in word and deed” knowing fully well that this has constantly been the policy of the Netanyahu government. Such ambiguous statements gives credence to the Palestinian lies.

State Department spokesman John Kirby even accused Israel of violating the status quo on the Temple Mount – and thus effectively also fanning the inflammatory Al Aqsa frenzy and called on “both leaders” to combat the incitement which leads to a “cycle of violence.” He was subsequently forced to retract but the damage could not be undone. He also stated that the U.S. had “seen some reports of security activity that could indicate the potential excessive use of force” against the psychotic killers.

To top off these outrageous outbursts, Obama made a statement assiduously avoiding use of the term terrorist and patronizingly endorsed Israel’s right to “protect its citizens from knife attacks” from “random violence (sic).” He then spat in our faces by effectively blaming both Netanyahu and Abbas for the incitement.

For Israel’s one true ally to descend to such Orwellian depths as to place the Israelis in the same category as religious fanatics operating a killing spree is utterly contemptible, encourages the barbarians to accelerate their murderous activity and thus assumes a share of responsibility for the innocent Jews murdered in the days to come.

To compound matters, the White House critiques also serve as a green light for Europe to pressure Israel into making further unilateral concessions which would undermine its security.

Under diplomatic constraints, Netanyahu has instructed ministers not to respond to the shameful remarks by the administration and its spokesmen.

But such restraints do not apply to American Jewish leaders. In the face of such a reprehensible attitude by the Obama administration to Israel at a time when psychotic murderers have been programmed to kill Jews in the streets, one would have expected the American Jewish community’s leadership to condemn their government and launch public protests.

American Jews continuously stress that in the U.S. they can speak out as Jews without fear. Yet when it comes to criticizing Obama, despite the fact that the majority of the nation and both houses of Congress support Israel, a deafening silence envelops the Jewish leadership.

I make these remarks in my capacity as a former Diaspora Jewish leader rather than an Israeli. I was head of the Australian Jewish community and Chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress and have personally experienced the enormous pressures which can be exerted against a leader to be politically correct and avoid confronting his government when it adopts positions which lack moral compass and harm the interests of the Jewish people.

But there is a time when leaders must speak out or be damned. The U.S. refuses to pressure Abbas to cease calling for the murder of Jews and instead engages in moral equivalency, holding victims and perpetrators equally responsible for the violence. No American administration has ever behaved in such an appalling manner toward Israel.

Yet the sole response of the Jewish establishment, as manifested by the major Jewish religious movements in conjunction with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is to observe a “Sabbath of Jewish Solidarity.” This reflects the solidarity of American Jews with Israel during these difficult times but it is certainly is not an acceptable response to the administration’s lies and distortions.

Unless American leaders speak up now, they will be justly accused of following in the footsteps of the American Jewish leader the late Rabbi Stephen Wise, who in 1944, under pressure from Roosevelt, remained silent when Jews were being murdered by the Nazis.

It would be outrageous if a response is being withheld out of a desperate desire to maintain consensus at the lowest common denominator. Likewise, if the motivation is not to distress deluded Jewish liberal contributors or a concern about coveted access to the White House, these factors are simply irrelevant under the current circumstances.

Principled Jewish supporters of Israel must speak out and protest now, even if this means dividing the community.

If Jews remain silent in the face of the libels directed against the Jewish state by the administration, aside from failing to provide an example for their children, they will be betraying their responsibility as Jewish leaders.

Isi Leibler lives in Jerusalem. He is a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.



4 Responses to “American Jewish leaders: Speak up now or be damned”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    I join those who praise Gil’s analysis and comments.

    Sadly Isi was lost in (in)action when Barack Hussein was elected. He and others were with the lotus eaters when Barack Hussein was re-elected after he was caught promising Putin that they will see the real BHO after his re-election.

    Jews following our tradition are for the underdog. The problem is that in seeing BHO as the realisation of advancing an underdog they elected an anti-Western Islamophilic mongrel. BHO got where he is on the basis of affirmative action pushed by Jews who succeeded on their merits.

    Isi will never bet US Jews to oppose Barack Hussein because they idealise him, they identify with the US left which puts the “Palestinians” on the pedestal of guiltlessness, in affluent security they smugly think that they are superior and know what is best for Israel (like BHO and Kerry do) and they will do anything to escape the Israel firster smear.

    To get anything done, Isi should seek to organise a group to impeach BHO for his flouting of the constitution he has sworn to uphold and for using governmental agencies to advance his anti-American jihad supporting policies. If BHO can be rattled or gotten rid of the West will benefit and that would be to Israel’s advantage. (I won’t hold my breath however).

  2. Michael Burd says:

    I agree Gil i feel you are spot on, I worry our own Jewish community is starting to follow the weak Uk Jewish communal leadership , their frenzied attack on Feiglin a fellow Jew is just one such example of the leftist infiltration of our communal leadership I have never seen any such attack on the conga line of Israeli Leftist Israel Bashers guests of the pathetic progressives here.
    I have been warning for years the American Jewish community have fallen out of love with Israel for various reasons, Intermarriage a big factor , apathy and their obsessive love of the democrats no matter what>
    I fear Israel is out on it’s own.

  3. Gil Solomon says:


    You say: “Until now, the United States took pride in defending Israel and proclaiming its shared values” etc. The moment B. Hussein Obama took office approx. 8 years ago all that rhetoric about ties, shared values etc. went out the window but many people including countless Jews still continued to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. I have been consistently saying for years that Obama was a clear and present danger to Israel but Jews the world over, including in Israel continued to give this usurper to the Presidency the benefit of the doubt.

    You also stated: “Yet when it comes to criticizing Obama, despite the fact that the majority of the nation and both houses of Congress support Israel, a deafening silence envelops the Jewish leadership”. BOTH houses of Congress support Israel! – you have to be joking. Only the Republican leadership supports Israel and personally, I regard the Democratic Party as an enemy of Israel.

    To your main point of American Jewry.
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for any support from that sector.
    Again I have been saying for years that American Jewry are in the majority the morons of the Diaspora. An uninformed, brain dead lot who by definition are, above all else, leftist in outlook, a group that has lost their heritage, have scant understanding of the perils facing Israel and by and large couldn’t really care less.

    The majority of these same fools are now flocking to Hillary Clinton’s side, are pouring millions to boost her campaign funding for President and have little regard for the fact that she is a clone of Obama. This woman showed her stupidity when in the recent war in Gaza, this woman came out with the gem that: Hamas stores its weapons in civilian population centres because “Gaza is a small place and there’s not much place to put them anywhere else”.

    So Isi, in a nutshell, Netanyahu better do a 180 degree turnaround on virtual every issue he’s facing, be it his weak (I say pathetic) response to terror or his relinquishing of sovereignty in the form of making the Temple Mount Judenfrei in order to uphold some useless comment of “maintaining the status quo” or willingness to sit down with that arch terrorist Abbas “with no preconditions”!!!!! Israel is on it’s own on every issue and can expect no help from Diaspora leadership be it USA, Australia or elsewhere. Diaspora leadership is weak, leftist and accommodating and forever will tow a politically correct leftist line.

    In a nutshell, reducing all the above into a few lines, forget all about US Jewish leadership standing up and being counted. American Jews in the majority are a lost cause.

    • Suzanne aladjem says:

      I need to be honest and sad that you are one hundred per cent right there is no country out there willing to help the Jews- nothing new

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