Speaking Out on Israel’s Behalf in The Washington Post

On July 17, 2014 the Religious Zionists of America had the lead Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-human-cost-in-israel-and-gaza/2014/07/17/5f6b1e88-0daf-11e4-9c90-0c289b74e142_story.html

Were the international community to persuade Hamas to accept a cease-fire, as the July 16 editorial “Hamas’s misfire” proposed, it would solve nothing. It simply would give Hamas time to develop and stockpile more sophisticated rockets to use against Israel — guaranteeing another, more devastating, flare-up in the not-too-distant future. The only way to ensure peace between Gaza and Israel is for the United States and its allies to insist on the complete disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza.

Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn, New York
The writers are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.

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BREAKING NEWS: Congressional Naftali Fraenkel Reward Bill

CONGRESSMEN INTRODUCE BILL FOR
REWARD TO CAPTURE HAMAS KIDNAPPERS

NEW YORK-  Responding to a proposal made by the Religious Zionists of America, leading Members of Congress have introduced a bipartisan bill requiring the U.S. government to offer a $5-million reward for information leading to the capture of the Palestinian terrorists who kidnapped and murdered a 16 year-old American citizen, and two other teenagers, in Israel last month.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Representatives Brad Sherman (D-California) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) introduced the Naftali Fraenkel Reward Bill on July 9, following repeated calls by the Religious Zionists of America for such a reward.

“It is gratifying to see Congress presenting legislation that would give a significant reward for information leading to the capture of Naftali Fraenkel’s killer,” said Martin Oliner, chairman of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA). “Senator Cruz and Representatives Sherman and Lamborn deserve the heartfelt gratitude of the American Jewish community, and of all Americans, for taking this important step for justice.”

In three op-eds published widely in the American Jewish press in late June and early July, RZA national board members Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn urged the Obama administration to offer a reward through its Rewards for Justice program (www.rewardsforjustice.net), which advertises multimillion dollar rewards for information leading to the capture of terrorists who harm American citizens abroad.

Phillips and Korn wrote:

“Now that the Israeli government has publicly identified the kidnappers by name, how can the administration justify refusing to offer a reward?…There is simply no excuse in the world for the Obama administration not to offer a reward in the Hamas kidnapping, just as the U.S. offered rewards in [other, similar cases]…Reporters at the daily White House and State Department press briefings should be asking why no reward has been offered. American Jewish leaders should be calling the White House to demand that rewards be offered. Anyone who cares about justice should be calling or writing their Members of Congress to ask the same thing.”

Phillips and Korn also pointed out that although more than 100 Americans have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the 1970s, “not one of the more than 100 murdered Americans is even mentioned by name on the U.S. government’s Rewards for Justice” web site…None of the killers are mentioned by name either–even though many of them have been publicly identified by the Israeli government…” and only one of the many attacks in which Americans have been harmed by Palestinian terrorists is even mentioned on the website.

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Speaking Out For Israel in The Washington Post

 

washington post

Published in the March 22, 2014 issue of The Washington Post. (see
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/israels-position-in-the-middle-east/2014/03/21/f11a09b2-af80-11e3-b8b3-44b1d1cd4c1f_story.html)

To the Editor:

The Israeli government’s insistence that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state [“Obama tells Palestinian leader that ‘tough’ decisions lie ahead,” news, March 18] is not just symbolic; it goes to the heart of the peace agreement that Secretary of State John F. Kerry is trying to broker. If the Palestinian leadership does not extend such recognition, then an agreement would be no better than a cease-fire in which Palestinian children continue to be taught that Israel is illegitimate and should be destroyed. In that case, Israel would give up land and get nothing in return.

For an agreement to represent true peace, not just a temporary armistice, Palestinian leaders must sincerely affirm that the existence of the Jewish state is legitimate and permanent and teach that to their constituents, especially the children who will be tomorrow’s leaders.

Sincerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

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What It Means To Be Pro-Israel

The J Street Challenge jpeg_ 2-19-14

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA) is cosponsoring (along with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia) a public program, What It Means To Be Pro-Israel, on March 27. The program will feature remarks by Alan Dershowitz and Dr. Charles Jacobs, and the Philadelphia-area premier of the documentary movie “The J Street Challenge.” For more information and to RSVP please visit:
https://www.jewishphilly.org/get-involved/federation-events/what-it-means-to-be-pro-israel

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“Gaza militants fire large rocket barrage at Israel” – Philly RZA’s letter in The Washington Times

washington times

Published in the March 20, 2014 issue of The Washington Times. (see
http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/20/letter-to-the-editor-israel-defense-cant-be-solely/)

“Gaza militants fire large rocket barrage at Israel” (Web, March 12) reported that of the “20 rockets” fired from Gaza into Israel on March 12, eight rockets struck populated areas while three that would have hit populated areas were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

While it is wonderful to be able to intercept any missiles, and all Israelis are grateful to the United States for its financial assistance in developing Iron Dome, the fact that Iron Dome was unable to stop eight of the 11 rockets heading toward populated areas underscores the hazards of relying too heavily on technology to stop terrorists.

According to recent news reports, the Obama administration has been trying to coax Israel into withdrawing from the strategically important Jordan Valley by promising that the region “would be fortified with high-tech fences, electronic senors and unmanned drones, to protect Israel from attacks.” Fences, sensors and drones cannot fully protect Israel any more than Iron Dome can. It’s no wonder most Israelis are convinced that in the end, the presence of Israeli troops is their best protection against hostile forces.

Sincerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

 

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Abbas has said repeatedly that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State – Philly RZA’s letter in The New York Jewish Week

logo_jewishweek

Published in the March 20, 2014 issue of the The New York Jewish Week. (see http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/letters/ayalon-jewish-state)

To the Editor:

Ami Ayalon, the focus of your March 14 “N.Y. Minute,” is an understandable choice to spearhead J Street’s national campaign for Palestinian statehood. Ayalon’s support for creating a Palestinian state presumably will impress his listeners because he has the credibility of having once headed the Shin Bet, Israel’s security services.

But according to your interview, Ayalon believes that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state “is necessary in order to create a viable agreement. … it is very important for us that they understand and recognize us the way we understand ourselves.” In other words, Ayalon is a strong supporter of the leading condition for an agreement with the Palestinians advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has said repeatedly that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. The Arab League, representing all 22 Arab states, recently said likewise. If Ami Ayalon stands up for the position he articulated in your interview, he is likely to soon find himself denounced as an “obstacle to peace,” ostracized by the elite media and academic circles that have adored him until now, and unable to find a publisher for his next book. That’s the price to be paid for speaking the truth.

Sincerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

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Is “the two-state solution…the best Zionist option?” – Philly RZA’s letter in The Washington Jewish Week

Washington Jewish Week
Published in the March 19, 2014 issue of the The Washington Jewish Week. (see http://washingtonjewishweek.com/11018/letters-9/)

Zionist option not what you think

The WJW’s March 13 editorial, “Michael Oren’s unilateral withdrawal,” argued that “the two-state solution is the best Zionist option.”

Is it really? Let’s consider how a two-state solution — that is, creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria — compares with Israel’s current situation.

Right now, 98 percent of the West Bank Palestinians live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority and 100 percent of the Gaza Palestinians live under the rule of Hamas. They run their own affairs and they vote in their own elections. They lack only two things that belong to a sovereign state: complete control of their borders and an army. So the question for Israel boils down to this: Would it be better for Israel, or worse for Israel, if the Palestinians controlled their own borders and had their own army?

The Palestinians seem to have answered that question this month. An Iranian ship loaded with advanced weapons tried to reach Gaza. It was intercepted in international waters, but only because the Israeli Navy maintains a legal blockade of Gaza’s western border, the Mediterranean seashore. If the Palestinian Authority controlled its borders, truckloads of weapons from Iran would be arriving daily.
Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, some of them hitting cities such as Ashdod and Ashkelon. If there was a Palestinian state in Judea-Samaria, terrorists with rockets would be hitting synagogues in Jerusalem, shopping malls in Tel Aviv and airplanes taking off from Ben-Gurion airport.

No, the current Israeli-Palestinian situation is not ideal. But the fact is that for nearly 50 years — ever since Israel won Judea-Samaria in the 1967 war — Israel has been able to maintain a reasonable level of security; Israelis have had access to Jewish religious sites in the territories, which the previous Arab rulers denied; Jerusalem has been reunited; and Israel has remained both Jewish and democratic, despite all the doomsayers’ predictions.

The status quo is far preferable to the creation of a Palestinian state in Israel’s backyard.

Sinerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

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Terrorism that almost took place does not usually make the news – Philly RZA’s letter in The Jewish Press

Jewish Press Logo

Published in the March 7, 2014 issue of the The Jewish Press. (see http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-292/2014/03/05/)

To the Editor:

Your Israel correspondent Steve Walz reported (“Preemptive Strikes Thwart Terror Attacks Against Israel,” news story, Feb. 28) that recent raids by Israeli security services preempted a series of major Arab terrorist attacks.

Terrorism that almost took place does not usually make the news, and as a result many of us tend to forget how many close calls there are, and how many times the brave actions of Israeli soldiers or police officers have prevented a mass slaughter.

According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s General Security Service, six Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks last year, five of them in the West Bank territories. Far from embracing nonviolence, Palestinians in those areas have dramatically increased their use of violence in the past year: according to the Shin Bet, there were 1,271 terror attacks in 2013, up from 578 in 2012.

They would have been far more numerous if not for the preemptive actions undertaken by Israel’s security forces.

Sincerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

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72 percent of Americans have a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” view of Israel – Philly RZA’s letter in The Baltimore Jewish Times

Published in the March 6, 2014 issue of the The Baltimore Jewish Times. (see http://jewishtimes.com/boycotts-much-ado-about-nothing/#.UyH_jM5lGSp)

To the Editor:

A news item in your February 12 edition quoted a member of Knesset from the Labor Party as saying that if Israel does not quickly agree to the creation of a Palestinian state, Israel will have “an image as a state worthy to isolate.”

Yet Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey, conducted in February, found that fully 72 percent of Americans have a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” view of Israel. By contrast, only 19% think favorably of the Palestinian Authority. Israel is not isolated – at least not here in America, where it counts most. Israel’s decisions in the negotiations should be based on its national security needs, not on fear of a boycott movement which is more smoke than fire.

Sincerely,

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter

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Kerry’s Implicit Threat of a Boycott – Philly RZA’s letter in The New York Jewish Week

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Published in the February 26, 2014 issue of the The New York Jewish Week. (see http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/letters/kerry-one-sided)

To the Editor:

Yaakov Kirschen’s Dry Bones cartoon in your Feb. 14 issue compared Secretary of State John Kerry’s prediction of an international boycott against Israel with a Chicago gangster’s “prediction” that “something might happen to you” if you don’t heed his demands.

Unfortunately, Kerry’s implicit threat of a boycott was just the tip of the iceberg. His entire approach to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has been to press for Israeli concessions while ignoring outrageous Palestinian actions. He demands that Israel freeze all construction for Jews in the Judea-Samaria territories, but he never demands that the Palestinian Authority freeze its much more widespread construction in those areas. He demands that Israel release convicted Arab terrorists, yet he never says a word about the Palestinian Authority receiving those terrorists as heroes.

Nor does he ever say a word about the anti-Jewish incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s schools, the maps showing all of Israel as “Palestine” that are displayed in PA government offices and websites, or the constant desecration of sacred Jewish sties such as the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem (Nablus) and the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem.

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America — Philadelphia Chapter

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