Jews need to be united in a united Jerusalem

The esteemed president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, spoke about the need for unity among the Jewish people at the WJC’s Theodor Herzl Awards Gala on Tuesday at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The event honoring Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, whose parents were among a small number of Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki, Greece, was deliberately held on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Crystal Night. Broken “1938, in which more than a thousand German and Austrian synagogues were attacked, Jewish-owned businesses were looted and 30,000 Jews were imprisoned.

“We are at a crossroads that is dangerous for the Jewish people,” Lauder warned at the event, with good reason.

As the son of survivors and a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, I am deeply concerned for the future of the Jewish people, amid rampant anti-Semitism, the chasms in the American Jewish community, and the pressure on the Jewish state that the Holocaust demonstrated. . so necessary.

Throughout the history of the Jewish people, in good times and bad, a theme that has united Jews from all walks of life has been the fate of Jerusalem. Even at a time when the Jewish people have been extraordinarily divided, the united Jerusalem has united us. This should be seen as one of those moments.

THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE General on Agron Street in Jerusalem – eye of a storm. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL / FLASH90)

Currently, the Biden administration is pressuring Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to allow the reopening of a US consulate serving the Palestinian Authority in the heart of downtown Jerusalem. This would be an unprecedented step: allowing a diplomatic mission to serve a foreign entity in the capital of another country.

At a press conference in Jerusalem last weekend, Bennett and Lapid ruled out surrendering to such a demand. But Biden wants his campaign promise on the matter to be kept at all costs, to the point that he could potentially make such a move unilaterally and illegally, against Israel’s will.

This is the time for the entire American Jewish community to come together to hold Jerusalem together, because Biden’s move is so much more than the consulate.

The Abraham Accords came from then-President Donald Trump making it clear that there is no daylight between Israel and the United States. He emphasized the lack of daylight with every step he took, from renouncing the dangerous Iranian nuclear deal to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, formally recognizing united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and relocating. from the United States Embassy.

Reopening the US consulate for the Palestinian Authority would be a destructive step on the road to undo other moves bravely undertaken by Trump for Israel, America’s closest and most loyal ally. It would be a sign that the Biden administration is deliberately creating daylight with Israel again.

Understandably, the Biden administration wants to damage the Abraham Accords, which were an unprecedented achievement initiated by the predecessor of the president of a rival party. But it would be completely myopic and distance peace in the Middle East after significant progress was finally made.

This measure would isolate Israel in the international community and return to intransigent Palestinian leaders the veto power that allowed them to override all peace proposals by Democratic and Republican presidents and secretaries of state in the past. It would also hurt the chances of formally expanding the Abraham Accords to other countries, most notably Saudi Arabia, which was active behind the scenes in efforts to promote Middle East peace during the Trump administration.

The diverse Israeli government, which is divided on most issues, is united in favor of expanding the Abraham Accords, so failing to do so by refocusing diplomatic energies again on the Palestinians would be a tremendous missed opportunity.

Israel desperately wants to get closer to the Biden administration, Democrats and self-proclaimed progressive American Jews. As part of that effort, Lapid and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said this week that they want to immediately proceed with a plan to change the status quo at the Western Wall, which would cause tension.

Lapid listed several reasons why implementing the Kotel plan was important to him, including improving relations with Diaspora Jews. But the truth is that changing the status quo at the Kotel would divide both the diaspora and Israeli Jews at a time when we can least afford disunity.

Israel must refrain from taking such a divisive step at such a delicate time.

Like the Israeli government, the American Jewish community must understand the stakes and present a unified front around holding Jerusalem together and properly promoting peace in the Middle East.

The writer is co-chair of the Religious Zionists of America, president of the Center for Righteousness and Integrity, and a committee member of the Jewish Agency. He was appointed by former United States President Donald Trump as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. The opinions expressed are yours. [email protected]

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