Jewish Groups Unite to Undermine Israel
By: Stephen M. Flatow
Outlet: The Algemeiner
Date: July 3rd, 2019
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger
because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or
because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10
left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella
organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.
Last week, J Street and nine other Jewish left-wing groups
declared themselves part of the new “Progressive Jewish Network.” I’m
using the term “J Street and nine others,” without listing the other nine by
name, because the truth is that all 10 are essentially indistinguishable from
Oh, I’m sure the chairperson of Americans for Peace Now
will insist that there are significant differences between it and, say, Partners
for Progressive Israel. And no doubt the chairperson of Partners for Progressive
Israel will insist that there are very important reasons justifying that
organization’s separate existence.
But, come on, folks. Look at their platforms. For all
intents and purposes, they’re identical.
Now these 10 organizations — or, really, 10 factions of
the same ideological movement — are formally banding together as the
Progressive Jewish Network in the hope of increasing their power and, as they
put it, to “shape opinions, policy and discourse” in the Jewish community.
This “Gang of Ten” also intend to run together as a
joint list in the upcoming elections to the World Zionist Congress. Groups at
the other end of the spectrum should take note. The critics of Israel are able
to set aside their petty personal differences in order to be more effective; why
can’t the defenders of Israel do likewise?
The announcement of the new coalition presents eight
founding principles. Mostly, they’re just the usual vague sloganeering about
peace, justice, freedom, and equality. Apparently, the Progressive Networkers
believe that they are the only ones in the Jewish world who want those things.
They think the rest of us prefer war, injustice, slavery, and discrimination.
A few of the points in their founding declaration merit
One is their pledge to campaign for “an end to Israel’s
rule over Palestinians in the West Bank.” The only problem, of course, is that
Israel ended its rule over 98 percent of the Palestinian Arabs back in 1995. It
is the Palestinian Authority (PA) that rules them.
The gang knows that Israel doesn’t rule the area. In
fact, they know it in an up-close way that most American Jews don’t —
because the leaders of J Street and their comrades have repeatedly visited the
PA capital of Ramallah to meet with senior PA officials. As they have driven
through the city, they have seen for themselves that there is not a single
Israeli soldier or civilian in Ramallah or any of the other major Palestinian
So why do the Progressive Networkers persist in promoting
the fantasy that Israel “rules over” the Arabs? Because demonizing Israel as
“the occupier” galvanizes their followers. It gives them something to be
upset about, as well as a good topic on which to write op-eds and call in to
Also in the Network’s founding statement is a vow to
fight for “an end to [Israel’s] expansion of settlements.” This is a
clever bit of wordsmithing. Everybody knows that the Israeli government has not
established a single new Jewish community in Judea and Samaria since 1992.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin froze the construction of new
“settlements,” and subsequent prime ministers continued that policy.
So what are the Networkers talking about? By “expansion
of settlements,” they give the impression that new ones are being created;
however, they are actually referring to construction within the existing
The founding declaration emphasizes that the 10 groups are
“committed to democracy.” But the truth is that they’re not. In fact,
their whole purpose is to undermine Israeli democracy. They do not accept the
results of Israel’s democratic elections. They do not accept the right of
Israelis to choose their own leaders and determine their country’s fate. They
really believe that “progressives” sitting in New York and Beverly Hills
have a right to dictate Israel’s policies and borders.
Creating a Palestinian state is the core principle of the
Progressive Jewish Network. Yet in election after election after election, a
large majority of Israelis have chosen parties that oppose the establishment of
a Palestinian state. In the most recent national elections in April, the Jewish
parties calling for a Palestinian state won just 10 Knesset seats out of 120.
If the groups making up the Progressive Jewish Network
sincerely supported democracy, then they would respect the results of Israel’s
democratic elections. But they don’t. Instead, they are devoted to pressuring
the Israeli government to accept policies that Israel’s citizens have
consistently and overwhelmingly rejected. And that is truly a danger to Israeli
M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was
murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the
author of A
Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.