American Jews who identify themselves as pro-Israel believe they are helping the Jewish state by advocating a two-state solution, but Member of Knesset Aryeh Eldad asserts that they are wrong.
Eldad, a physician who formed the Hatikva faction of the right-wing National Union Party, says that the creation of a Palestinian state within Israel’s borders will bring more turmoil to the Middle East.
At 8 p.m. on Sept. 14, Eldad will be at Teaneck’s Congregation Bnai Yeshurun to discuss what he says are the perils of the Palestinian Authority’s impending attempt to declare a state. His lecture is entitled “Black September: Will the Arab Spring Lead to a Jewish Fall: How Israel is Preparing for the Upcoming Vote on Palestinian Statehood in the United Nations General Assembly.”
The 66th session of the General Assembly convenes a day before Eldad’s Teaneck speech (Sept. 13), and is expected to take up the question of Palestinian statehood on or after Sept. 20.
Yigal Marcus, a Teaneck resident and Bnai Yeshurun member who helped organize the event along with the One Israel Fund, said it is important for American Jews to hear such voices as Eldad’s at this juncture in history.
“Israel is facing its most dangerous time since its establishment,” said Marcus. “The more we can learn about the situation Israel is facing, the more we can help. Eldad’s outlook is unique. He is an intellectual. He is close to many of the towns in Judea and Samaria. He has an insider’s knowledge. Many people in our community are close to and hold the communities of Judea and Samaria close to our hearts. We need to know what we can do to avoid a potentially disastrous situation.”
Often, non-Jewish congressmen and senators are quicker to grasp the dangers of a Palestinian state in Israel than many Jews, says Eldad, who spoke with The Jewish Standard by telephone Tuesday morning.
“I believe that if we will create a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel, then the next Palestinian election will bring a Hamas state that will bring death to Israel,” Eldad says. He said that the current trend across the globe is “for everything to become more Islamicized….The democratic dream of many naÃ¯ve people will not come to fruition.”
Eldad argues that the past two decades have demonstrated that the reason peace has eluded Israel is due to Arab violence and Arab refusal to recognize the state of Israel. The creation of a Palestinian state, Eldad says, is unlikely to change this tune. The “war being waged against Israel” by terrorists is not about occupied territories or settlements in Judea and Samaria, he says. “It is against the very existence of the State of Israel.”
While Israel has made concessions for peace, Eldad notes, the Arabs have responded by indoctrinating their children with hatred for Israel and have even named their parks and public buildings after terrorists.
Eldad, who has been called an extremist by some, particularly in the Israeli media, has spent much of his life as a healer. The father of five was professor and chairman of plastic surgery and burns unit at the Hadassah Medical Center Hospital in Jerusalem, where he treated Arabs as well as Jews. Eldad earned worldwide acclaim for his treatment of burns, including the prestigious Evans Award from the American Burns Treatment Association. He was also instrumental in creating the Israeli National Skin Bank, which stores skin for burn victims, as well as for wartime or casualty situations. Among his Arab patients, he says, were those who openly spoke to him about their desire to destroy Israel.
Previously, he was the chief medical officer and a senior commander of the Israel Defense Forces.
Eldad was first elected to Knesset in 2003. These days, he quips, he spends half his time fighting against the creation of a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza, and spends the rest of his time fighting corruption.
Bnai Yeshurun is located at 641 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck.