New York – Over 600 people packed the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York, for a solidarity rally for Israel organized by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) with the special assistance of Rubin Margules, president of the ZOAs Brooklyn chapter. The rally was co-sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, the Bensonhurst Business Club, the American Association of Jews from the Former USSR, the Sephardic Jewish Center, the Young Israel National Council and the Orthodox Union. ZOA National President Morton A. Klein was scheduled to address the gathering but at the last minute was invited to appear on the Paula Zahn Show on CNN, so the Director of the ZOA Center for Middle East Policy, Dr. Daniel Mandel, spoke in his stead. The other speakers to address the gathering were Israeli Deputy Consul-General, Benjamin Krasna, New York State Assemblyman, Dov Hikind, New York City Council Member, the Honorable David Weprin, American Association of Jews from the Former USSR representative, Yosef Iloyev, and Rubin Margules.
In his remarks, Dr. Mandel pointed to the totalitarian goal of Islamist terrorists that make them heir to Hitlers doctrines and deadly enemies of both Israel and the United States, because both stand for Judea-Christian values. He stressed that the message that congressmen, senators and the President must take from this rally is –give Israel the time to finish the job, before noting how Israels critics were attempting to stymie Israeli success by alleging that Israel was excessive and disproportionate in its use of force. In international law, proportionality refers to the amount of force adequate to achieve a military objective, not a mathematical equality of the use of firepower by both sides … Was America required to sink no more than a dozen ships or kill no more than 2,500 Japanese in responding to the unprovoked aggression at Pearl Harbor?
New York Councilman David Weprin spoke of the importance of Jewish support for Israel being heard by our representatives in Washington, DC, at this time. He also spoke of the importance of Jews and other supporters of Israel making it clear to the Bush Administration that we strongly support Israels current offensive against Hezbollah, noting that to leave the task unfinished would ensure more tragedy down the road. New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind stressed the importance of Jews identifying with Israelis in their current plight and the importance of not yielding now and in the future to terrorists. To do so, he said, would only invite further danger and harm for Israelis. Deputy Consul-General Benjamin Krasna brought greetings from the Israeli government and assured the audience that Israel was determined not to desist in its military campaign until Hezbollah had been rendered unable to harm Israel again and until Lebanon asserted control over its territory to prevent Hezbollah regrouping.
As concluding speaker, Rubin Margules urged Israel to continue its offensive until achieving its objectives and stressed the importance of it not being satisfied with half-measures. He said this was a rare opportunity for Israel to re-establish its deterrent posture. The main issue was Israels right to survival and to defend itself, before which all other issues were secondary. He noted that Palestinians and many other Arabs had not accepted Israels right to exist and had turned down the Peel partition plan in 1938, the UN partition plan in 1947 and the Clinton plan in 2000. Peace, he reminded the audience, begins with children, as Gandhi once said, but Palestinians had inculcated violence and suicide terrorism into their next generation, pushing off peace prospects, so Israel must remain strong.