Former Jerusalem Post Editor: Don’t Lease Jewish JNF Land To Arabs
August 17, 2007

JP Editor: “Arabs goal
is Israel’s extinction”


New York — Amotz Asa-El, former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post and presently a lecturer at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, wrote “the Jewish National Fund (JNF)’s mission statement remains morally valid and strategically vital.” This mission statement essentially states that JNF private land purchased by contributions from Jews during the last hundred years will be leased to Jews.


Asa-El, who had been a strong left-wing supporter of the Oslo Accords and Yasser Arafat, and acknowledges that he “publicly called for a compromise even on Jerusalem,” has totally reversed himself and now says that the “Arabs’ real aim is Israel’s extinction.” (At a Zionist Organization of America [ZOA] Mission to Israel, Asa-El, during a panel discussion with Yossi Klein Halevi and Jonathan Rosenblum, acknowledged that ZOA was right in opposing Oslo.) He adds that “while we pro-Oslo Israelis were devising two states for two peoples, our Arab counterparts, on both sides of the Green Line, were contemplating two states for one people: the Palestinians…an increasing number of Israeli Arabs have participated in terror attacks including driving suicide bombers to their destinations and in some cases performing the bombings themselves, which at the same time, the Israel Arab communities’ elected leaders are attempting to hammer away at the idea of a Jewish State. They demand the abolition of the Law of Return, seek the alteration of the national anthem and hide behind a seemingly innocent agenda like the quest for a country of all its citizens.”


“The tactics deployed in this well-crafted assault are as simple as they are cunning: diversion and deceit. The diversion is in the systematic changing of the subject from the real aim, which is Israel’s extinction. The deceit is in that all this crusading energy disappears once one leaves Israel’s borders. They fail to demand rights and freedoms for those living under Arab rule throughout the Middle East.


“In other words, Israeli Arab leaders hail Western values only when it helps undermine the Jewish state, but otherwise do not believe in them.


“There was a time when Israelis like me honestly believed in the imminent emergence of a new Middle East, one where people, goods, capital and ideas would transcend borders as naturally as they do in North America and Western Europe. We have since been disillusioned — by Middle Eastern despotism, Palestinian violence and Israeli Arab deceit.


“The day when we Israeli Jews can roam the Middle East as freely as Italians roam Europe, and purchase real estate in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or Syria as freely as New Yorkers do in Ontario has yet to arrive. Worse, the effort to deprive us of what land we have has yet to abate.


“Now one can say, ‘but Israeli Arabs are Israeli citizens,’ and I so much want to say, ‘Gosh, that’s so true.’ But the truth is that Israeli Arab leaders are for now identifying with and actively assisting Israel’s enemies, and we Jews have yet to consolidate our grip on the country our parents have built, so that in the future no Jew will be landless.”


Asa-El added that we must understand “this context in which the attack on the JNF comes.”


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “More and more people and organizations are coming out in support of JNF and the Israeli Knesset position that private JNF land bought by Jews for Jews must remain in Jewish hands. That was the contract JNF had with the Jewish people for over one hundred years. That’s why we put our money in the famous blue and white JNF pushkes — to help enable and induce more Jews to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived and where Kings David and Solomon once ruled. Israeli Arabs can and do lease any Israeli public lands in Israel, despite our knowledge that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and other Arab countries are helping fund the purchase of Israeli lands in eastern Jerusalem, the Galilee and elsewhere. ZOA strongly praises Ronald Lauder, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Irwin Hochberg, past chairman of the UJC – Jewish Federation of New York and past national campaign chairman of Israel Bonds; the distinguished MidEast scholar and Director of the MidEast Forum, Dr. Daniel Pipes, Amotz Asa-El of the Shalem Center; National Council of Young Israel and others for supporting the Israeli Knesset vote.


“We urge Abe Foxman of the ADL and Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Reform movement, and the Labor Zionists (Ameinu) and Peace Now and the New Israel Fund and Leonard Fein to stop criticizing the Israeli Knesset which voted 64-16 to support JNF’s position. We urge ADL’s Foxman and Reform’s Yoffie and the others to reverse their position and support the right of Jews to hold onto private Jewish land in our holy Jewish country of Israel; just like the Catholic Church and the Muslim WAKF in Israel does what it wishes on their private land.


“It’s also perplexing that when Israel did discriminate against Jews by forcibly removing only Jews, not Arabs, and their families from their homes, schools and businesses in Gaza and Northern Samaria, Abe Foxman, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Ameinu, Peace Now and Leonard Fein openly supported that exercise in real discrimination and enormous human suffering placed on own brothers and sisters in Gaza who are still suffering today because of Israel’s broken promises to them. Almost no families are in permanent homes, one half are unemployed, there has been a dramatic increase in divorces and emotional problems among the children and adults since their forced transfer and eviction, many have still not received full compensation for their destroyed homes, farms and businesses. Why is there silence by the ADL, Reform movement, Peace Now, Ameinu, etc., about the injustice toward and horrific plight of these Jews, yet these same groups find their voices when it comes to Israeli Arabs, and other non-Jews?”


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