Sunday, July 17, 2016

The reformation of a Reform Jew
by Andrew D. Lappin  Jewish Journal of Los Angeles   7-13-16

In an open letter to Donald Trump, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, derided the Trump campaign for questioning the wisdom of a two-state solution, arguing that “a two-state solution is our best hope for securing a Jewish and democratic future for the State of Israel."
Fortunately, outside of the URJ and the European Union, the rush of the previous decade to a hastily jury-rigged two-state solution has all but fully imploded. Most notably, the nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait have quietly moved their once prominent “Palestinian agenda” off to the side. They have done so not because of any newly found love for Israel or for the Jewish people. Rather, since the Arab Spring began in 2010, these nations have witnessed not liberation and regeneration of a long oppressed Arab citizenry, but rather a barbaric displacement of these victims under the banner of radical Islam. The reality that more Muslims have been massacred under the dictates of radical Islam than by any other race, religion, or creed, coupled with the fear of a nuclear Iranian hegemony, has jolted these once ardent foes of Israel into a discreetly coalesced cooperative. In the last 12 months, all of these nations have been meeting with Israel, unrelated to the Palestinian issue.
For Israel’s part, its withdrawal from Gaza led not to a budding Palestinian fresh start but rather a totalitarian terrorist state.  “Gazastan” now directly threatens the stability of Egypt and serves as a regional export depot for terror attack materials. Earmarked for infrastructure to improve the quality of life for average Palestinians, billions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid has instead ended up in Palestinian leaders’ private Swiss bank accounts.
As a result of incitement by PA president Mahmoud Abbas and the indoctrination of Palestinians from early childhood, the vast majority of Palestinians support murdering Jewish men, women and children – en masse via suicide bomber, or individually, whether on the street or asleep in their bed.  The irony is that compared to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Israel takes better care of the Palestinians than either of them.
 As for that Jewish-Israel versus democratic-Israel thing, the burgeoning Jewish population of Judea and Samaria is living proof that the “demographic time bomb” is nothing but a myth.
So with almost everybody else agreeing that a Palestinian state would benefit absolutely no one (least of all, the Palestinians themselves because they could have had a state several times over by now if that’s really what they wanted), what is it that Rabbi Jacobs and his band of Reform movement cheerleaders fail to comprehend?  All of the above, apparently.
As a Reform Jew who has devoted a great deal of time and financial resources to the goal of enhancing Jewish continuity, I now affirm these truths: Diaspora Jews need Israel (whether they realize it or not); Israel’s Arab neighbors need Israel (whether they admit it or not); enhancing Jewish continuity means ensuring Israel’s survival from strength to strength—and that means never relinquishing Judea, Samaria, or any part of Israel’s eternal and undivided capital, Jerusalem.   I am reformed!

Andrew Lappin is a Chicago-based redeveloper and contributor to the Haym Salomon Center, a news and public policy group. Lappin serves on the board of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.