Federation outraged by violence, apathy

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is incensed by the escalating wave of terrorism in Israel. In four separate terrorist assaults on Tuesday, three people were killed and dozens wounded. This continued wave of violence by terrorists and incitement by Palestinian officials and leaders must end. The violence and terrorism across Israel is deeply disturbing, and the lack of response from the international community to this rising campaign of terror being waged against innocent Israelis is unacceptable.

On Tuesday, two men were killed and 16 wounded in a combined shooting and stabbing spree by two terrorists on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv section of Jerusalem; one man was killed and several wounded in a car-ramming attack on Malchei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem; one person was badly wounded and two slightly wounded in a stabbing in Raanana, and one person was slightly wounded in a second Raanana stabbing. We mourn for those who were killed and pray for the recovery of the injured and for the solace of their loved ones and their community. We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased.

We support the government of Israel’s efforts to provide the necessary security for its citizens. It is deplorable that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues to support and even incite terrorism by calling for the killing of Israelis and Jews and his lack of actions to quell the violence.

We appreciate the statement from the U.S. Department of State condemning the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians in the strongest terms. We urge President Barack Obama to support the Israeli government’s security efforts without reservation and ask him to call on the Palestinian Authority to use all possible measures to end this violence now.

It is clear that one side is provoking violence against innocent people. Too often, we have seen other nations — and in particular the media — issue even-handed, balanced statements calling on both sides to work for calm, as if both sides were contributing to the violence This is a case where there is indisputably not a shred of contribution of violence on the part of the people of Israel, except to save more lives from being taken. There is no moral equivalency in this case. Any such statements, from any government or media outlet, must be considered shameful, repugnant, and morally unacceptable.

Jayne Petak, President
Jason Shames, CEO
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Request from Westchester

Greenburgh Town Hall in Westchester County is hosting an anti-Semitic event on October 19, sponsored by groups working for the destruction of Israel. The administration of Paul Feiner, the town supervisor, refuses to cancel it on the basis of First Amendment concerns. It is on the wrong side of the moral compass, and in doing so, Mr. Feiner has put a permanent stain on his decades-long administration.

The sponsors of the event promote the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. BDS proponents hope to replace Israel with a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.” They describe their hatefest as an event focused on human rights, innocuous enough to draw attendees before inculcating them with anti-Israel venom and lies. The New York State Assembly passed a resolution condemning BDS and several states and the federal government have passed legislation outlawing BDS — but Greenburgh begs to differ.

In Greenburgh the hate speech is welcome.

According to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, the event’s featured speaker Gideon Levy, “is known in Israel as an acrimonious, anti-Israel ideologue and activist, recently arrested for spitting and cursing at IDF soldiers, who often invents his own facts to support his radical agenda. His fan base consists primarily of fellow Israel haters and activists, while mainstream Israelis and journalists dismiss him as a dishonest propagandist.”

The ADL lists one of the event’s sponsors, Jewish Voice for Peace, as one of the most anti-Israel groups in America. “Like other Jewish anti-Zionist groups, JVP uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide a greater degree of credibility to the anti-Israel movement,” it writes. The other sponsors are all anti-Israel extremist groups that support BDS.

These organizations are evil, and they promote hate speech and violence. And especially given the outbreak of Palestinian terrorism in Israel, the last thing that Greenburgh should be hosting is an anti-Israel hatefest sponsored by promoters of terrorism and the people committing it, who are the foot soldiers in a war to destroy Israel.

The Jewish Rapid Response Coalition has organized a rally in front of the Greenburgh Town Hall, at 177 Hillside Avenue, this Sunday, October 19 at 5:30p.m. We want to make our voices heard and let our neighbors know that anti-Semitic hate speech is not welcome here. I urge everyone in the tristate area to attend.

As Rabbi Hillel said, “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am not for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?”

Lauri B. Regan
Irvington, New York

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