This past Friday I sent an email to Malcolm Hoenlein (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Howard Rieger (email@example.com), inviting them to debate Dr. Arieh Eldad and Dr. Eugene Narrett. (Please see the email that follows this note.) This past Monday I followed up with a phone call to Malcolm and Howard to confirm that they had received the debate invitation email. I spoke with their assistants and explained the reason for my call. I still have not heard from either of them.
In these perilous times, it is essential for Israel , for the American Jewish community and for America that a full public debate and discussion of Israel’s situation take place. Yet, Diaspora Jewry’s most powerful and established “leaders” have ignored the calls for such an event. By refusing to discuss the issues of extreme importance to American Jews, and by not even acknowledging Knesset Member Eldad’s readiness for such a debate, Hoenlein and Rieger have once again demonstrated that they are unfit for their positions of Jewish leadership.
My email to Malcolm Hoenlein and Howard Rieger, sent Friday, May 30, 2008 :
Subject::Invitation to a Debate with Prof. Arieh Eldad, MD, MK & Dr. Eugene Narrett
The political discussion in America is at a critical stage. In a short time, Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates from the nation's two main political parties will contend before a national audience, debating every critical issue, foreign and domestic.
A ll three of the current contenders for the Presidency endorse turning Judea and Samaria , the heartland of historic Israel , into a " Palestinian State ." This will involve ethnic cleansing of Jews and increased terror, threatening Israel ’s survival and making war inevitable. The fact that this process will be managed by a minority government immersed in scandals makes this all the more disturbing in light of the policy’s current and long-term impacts on all the Jewish people.
The failure of official Jewish leadership to publicly criticize and impede the partitioning of Israel emerged at the 2008 State of the Union address when ALL members of Congress applauded plans to carve a state for the "Palestinians" out of the center of Israel , depriving Jews of ready access to all of our holiest sites. Israel 's position on these vital matters has eroded almost completely. With renewed talk of ceding the Golan Heights the situation worsens further for the continuity and flourishing of Jewish Israel.
Mr. Hoenlein and Mr. Rieger: The Jewish People need to hear its leaders address these matters prominently and to debate them so a full range of views may be heard on the issues of Jewish and Israel ’s survival. We need a public discussion of the way that corrupt Governments in Israel - pressed by successive American Administrations - arm, feed, fuel and otherwise countenance the jihadist war of attrition against the Jewish People in Israel; how land, bought by scores of thousands of Jews is alienated and given over to settlement by Arabs; how Jews are discriminated against by Israeli courts; how they are barred from visiting and praying freely at all of their holiest sites. Few Americans hear about these matters; elaborating them is part of the responsibility of leadership.
Please join General Dr. Arieh Eldad MK to discuss whether you are for or against the Israeli Government’s behavior in the above-referenced matters. The Jewish community and all Americans need to hear your views regarding the Sharon-Olmert governments’ ethnic cleansing of Jews and abandonment of Jews (for example in Sderot, the neighboring villages and even Ashkelon ) which encourage anti-Jewish violence world wide. We must discuss and analyze the posture of weakness that supports the enemy’s baseless claims to Judea and Samaria (contrary to the Geneva Convention of 1949), a surrender which increases contempt for and hatred of Jews. We need a public discussion which challenges media-created factoids that lead Europeans to say that “ Israel is the greatest threat to world peace.” Can we not join in saying that aldquo;Palestinian” State in Judea and Samaria is a terrible threat to good people everywhere? That the very name “ Palestine ” is an imperial fraud which pre-judges and prejudices discussion and thought?
There is great diversity of opinion within the American Jewish community but this range is not being heard in the media and thus, in the nation. From a perusal of the most prominent U.S. media outlets one could gather that the Jews in America favor a two-state "solution" and are in support of the Olmert-Livni-Barak government in Israel . WE BELIEVE THIS IS NOT TRUE AND INVITE YOU TO DISCUSS OR DEBATE THIS VITAL TOPIC WITH US. There is growing sentiment among Jews in America that the two-state “solution” would devastate Israel . As for the Olmert-Livni-Barak government, it is EXTREMELY UNPOPULAR in Israel (for almost two years its “approval ratings” have made this plain) and throughout the Diaspora. We must at least discuss whether its corruption and partition agenda makes it unrepresentative of the Jewish People as well as dangerouto our continuity.
A public debate in the United States can define and analyze the two main streams of Jewish thought in regard to Israel – the idea that peace will arrive only if the Jewish State surrenders more land and expels more Jews, versus the concept that it has never been about 'land for peace'…that the 60-year old battle has always been about the destruction of Israel. The abundant evidence for the latter view deserves an airing.
So we ask the Honorable Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and professional leader of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Mr. Howard Rieger, President and CEO of United Jewish Communities, to join us before American Jewry and explain their views regarding Israel and why their views are in the best interest of the Jewish State and Jews around the world.
The Structure of the Debate, and Invitation:
We propose that a two-hour debate, similar in format to one of the Presidential debates, take place on or about June 25th. You or your appointees would speak for the official American Jewish organizations. Debating you would be retired Brigadier General Dr. Arieh Eldad, MK, head of the HaTikva Party in Israel, and Eugene Narrett, PH.D., Columbia University, a professor of Humanities and writer on geo-politics and the Middle East. Both Dr. Eldad and Dr. Narrett have agreed to participate in this proposed event. The moderator will be agreed upon by both parties. My intent is to have the debate televised nationally on either a commercial or public television network -- to bring this vital discussion to a wide audience.
We ask that you please respond to this invitation by Wednesday, June 4, 2008 . The Jewish People must have an opportunity to make an informed decision on what is best for its future, which includes the survival, flourishing and growth of a Jewish Israel. History shows what the exile did to us…and not only in the 20th century. We can't let it happen again. So we look forward to your response and to a fruitful discussion.
Most sincerely and respectfully,
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