There is an approach being presented to Congress and the executive branch that is dangerous to the Jewish state and the Jewish people. The anti-Israel lobby, awash in the influence of OPEC oil money, is blaming Israel for the conflict with the Palestinians. They claim that the continuing conflict is the reason for worldwide Islamic terrorism, the reason for Iranian nuclear proliferation, and even the reason for civil war in Pakistan. We know this is a terrible lie, but our leaders in Congress, the arbiters of American policy, need to hear from us. We need to speak about the heroism and the value of the Jewish homeland. We must remind our national representatives how Prime Ministers Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon, and Netanyahu all extended good will in giving the Palestinians land and autonomy. The Palestinian response was broken promises, terrorism, and war. Congress is Israel’s most consistent ally in the world. NORPAC is asking you to join our May 20 mission to Washington tell our side of the story.
During World War II, the American Jewish community had no political access and was therefore helpless to help our brethren in Europe. During that war, President Roosevelt denied sanctuary to European Jews, rendering them homeless and defenseless at the hands of the Nazis. We must never find ourselves in that predicament again. Several wars of extermination have been fought against Israel since its rebirth 61 years ago, and the struggle is ongoing. After 2,000 years of persecution, of slaughter, of pogroms, and of the lack of a sanctuary, we have our homeland back and some ability to defend ourselves. As American Jews we need to develop, solidify, and maintain friends in the Senate and the House of Representatives who are vital to the survival of Israel. The Jewish homeland, a sliver of a country, depends on American monetary and military support to defend herself against her many enemies that deny her right to exist. NORPAC has been establishing and maintaining ties with members of Congress for the last 17 years. NORPAC is a single-issue political action committee, and that issue, Israel, is not only important to us, it is important to America.
Last December I was met by an unpleasant surprise at the AIPAC dinner in New York. As I approached the hotel in Times Square there was a large group of protesters blocking the entrance. It was difficult to enter the hotel past the loud, aggressive group, even as the police worked hard to contain them. The protesters were accusing Israel of improperly committing war against Hamas in Gaza. Our adversaries are well-funded and determined. The threat is real. It was at that dinner I reaffirmed my personal commitment to continue my Jewish political advocacy.
The last presidential election demonstrates an amazing American story. Through education and enforcement of government policy, in a single generation our nation has transitioned from one steeped in Jim Crow laws of segregation, to a society with an elected black president. Enforcement of laws against discrimination, discouragement of racism in the media, and school curricula promoting tolerance made this possible.
This is one of NORPAC’s messages to Washington: that peace can come to the Middle East. Education is the key. When the Palestinian leadership removes genocide from its charter, when it acts and speaks publicly and consistently of the value of peaceful co-existence, when it teaches in its schools tolerance and respect for other religions, the entire paradigm on the ground will change. A good education with terrible values has only given the world smart terrorists. It is time for America to desist from funding racism and hatred and to insist on the values our own nation holds dear.
NORPAC will be also be asking Congress to support sanctions to deter Iranian nuclear proliferation and for America to continue the foreign aid package to Israel.
Congress has many new members who have never had a meaningful conversation with a committed Jew. This May 20, you have a chance to play that part in history. Each year we say it is more important to participate, and this is still true. The threats to the Jewish people and Israel have been escalating. Members of Congress prefer to meet with citizens rather than paid professionals. Your effort to meet with them is inspiring to them. The time you spend in congressional offices may be the most important educational session about Israel those legislators ever receive.
NORPAC’s Mission to Washington coincides, this year, with the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Our coming out in strength, making the time to see and speak to the national leadership, is our best chance for a good outcome to this relationship.
Israeli mothers and fathers send their 18-year-old sons and daughters to the front lines of battle to combat terrorism. The leadership of Israel and its people are well aware of the costs of war and the rewards that could be gotten with a true peace. We in the diaspora are fortunate to be spared from sending our children to war. We can however, be engaged in Israel’s struggle by coming to Washington and fulfilling our role as American Jews. Join NORPAC for a day you and your children will always remember. Our personal involvement, our personal solicitation of support, our personal appearance makes all the difference. One visit to Washington is like 10,000 phone calls. One NORPAC event can make a lifetime impact on a member of Congress.
Please register for the mission at norpac.net or call (201) 788 5133.