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April 16, 2010: Holding On

August 3, 2010

Good when there is the possibility of sharing some potentially positive information.  And it is this that I will focus on today.
 
Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress has made public a letter to President Obama that calls for an improvement in the US-Israel relations and a more serious focus on Iran.
 
You can see it here:  http://www.worldjewishcongress.org:80/en/main/showNews/id/9264
 
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http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2010/8/3/april-16-2010-holding-on.html

 
I know full well that Lauder was an Obama supporter and has taken stands that might be seen as detrimental to Israel in the past.  I know there is a letter to Lauder in this regard floating around.
 
But right now I do not care.  He has made a transition and set a new tone.
 
What must happen next is that other major American Jewish organizations must send the same sort of message that Lauder now has.
 
I URGE you, if you are member of such an organization, to contact leadership — both locally and nationally — and push this.  Suggest that your membership in this organization, and your financial support for it, might be affected by the readiness of leadership to stand for Israel, finally.
 
Most of the major American Jewish organizations are members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.  Here you have a link to the Conference members.  This will help you to secure contact information.
 
http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/content.asp?id=55
 
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In a couple of recent statements by Obama, as well as at least one by Clinton, it now appears likely that the US will not be advancing its own “peace plan” after all.  At least not now.  A solution, he has begun saying, cannot be imposed from the outside if the parties don’t want it.
 
There is, I would guess, fear of looking foolish when it fails completely.  Let us hope that this is where it sits.  There is no certainty as to what tomorrow will bring.
 
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Following similar action by the House, the Senate has now sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging a resolution of differences with Israel and reaffirmation of the strong ties that the US and Israel share.  More than three-quarters of the Senate (76 Senators) signed on.
 
You can see the letter and those who signed it here:
 
http://www.aipac.org/130.asp#34890
 
If your Senators are on the list, please, thank them.
 
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Minister Bennie Begin (Likud), speaking in Efrat in Gush Etzion (Judea) yesterday, said — regarding the 10-month freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria and concern about a demand by Obama that the time be extended — “I don’t see any situation in which building won’t resume.”
 
Let us hope he knows whereof he speaks.
 
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Meanwhile, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon (Likud) has made a statement to the JPost saying that there is no need ever to remove “settlements.”
 
“If we are talking about coexistence and peace, why the [Palestinian Arab] insistence that the territory they receive be ethnically cleansed of Jews?  Why do these areas have to be Judenrein? Don’t Arabs live here, in the Negev and the Galilee [where there are Arab villages]?  Why isn’t that part of our public discussion?  Why doesn’t that scream to the heavens?”
 
Very good questions, indeed.  Apartheid by Arabs is accepted.
 
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I rather like this (yea, I count it as good news):  The infamous Richard Goldstone, according to a South African paper, will not be attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah next month, because of strong negative feelings toward him from members of the Johannesburg shul where the bar mitzvah will take place and the South African Zionist Organization. This was worked out with the family.
 
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You might like to see an analysis by Herb Keinon in the JPost today. 
 
Keinon points out that Netanyahu has skirted Obama demands following the meeting in Washington by simply doing nothing, thus, he says, has Netanyahu “succeeded in taking the sting out of the president’s bite.”
 
“If there is another blowup when the US doesn’t like the responses coming from Jerusalem, then it might as well come as close to the US midterm elections as possible to deter, possibly, an overly sharp administration response.”
 
http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=173269
 
And, indeed, there is the thought (not a certainty) that the very fact that Netanyahu hasn’t respond means that he’s not caving to Obama.
 
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For the second time, this past week, I picked up news about construction in Jerusalem being “on the agenda.”  Now, putting it on the agenda is not the same as sending out the bulldozers, but there is a suggestion that there indeed will be construction in Jerusalem, over the Green Line (i.e., there is no de facto freeze).
 
Building projects that were supposed to be on the agenda of Jerusalem’s Local Planning and Building Committee  included a school and a synagogue in the Gilo neighborhood, and an extension to a synagogue in Pisgat Ze’ev.
 
We’ll see. 
 
It’s also possible that these projects might be “discussed” now, with no bulldozers sent out until the time during which Obama has demanded a freeze is over.

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Notice: Next Sunday, April 25, at 1:00 PM, there will be a show of solidarity for Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate in New York City, 2nd Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.
 
If you are in the area, go out and show your support and encourage others to do the same. Additionally, using that Conference of American Presidents list, encourage organizations to which you belong to support this and bring out people.
 
For more information or perhaps if an organization wishes to be listed as a co-sponsor, contact:
Lori Lowenthal Marcus, lorilowenthalmarcus@zstreet.org
 
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OK, enough good news for one day…
 
The disturbing news will in the main have to wait until after Shabbat (which is just as well).
 
Uppermost on the agenda — absolutely critical! — is the question of a nuclear Iran. A great deal to consider in this regard.
 
Then there is continuing violence from Gaza.  And the fact that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with Scuds.
 
And some ugly scandals going on here (which I choose not to focus on unduly).
 
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I receive links to so many videos about Islam.  But this one is particularly powerful: Raising the issue of the enemy we face and our absolute reluctance to deal with the facts.  It’s succinct and to the point, and very clear. Also very frightening and non-politically correct.  I urge you to see this and share it:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=314uem7jMU8
 
(Thanks Gil Z.)
 
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