Story Stream
recent articles

Earlier last week, in an address before French immigrants to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proudly stated that his appearance in the rally last month in Paris and his planned address to the US Congress were in his capacity "not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people."

Rather than rally behind the prime minister of the Jewish State, Jews driven by a liberal agenda which is often counter to the interests of the Jewish people and the State of Israel chose to immediately go into attack mode.

Social media platforms featured the voices of a small but loud minority who proclaimed, "Bibi does not represent me," and that he is not "King of all Jews." J Street, the American-based organization that never fails to play the role of harmful provocateur, took its protest move one step further.

With an online petition entitled, "I'm a Jew. Bibi does NOT speak for me!," the organization was able to garner thousands of signatures from those purporting to support Israel. Ignoring the fact these signatures represent but a drop in the very large bucket that is American Jewry, the petition was clearly motivated by an underlying opposition to the prime minister, rather than any legitimate criticism or appreciation for the role of Israel's democratically elected leader.

As proud as our prime minister might be to serve as the democratically elected leader of the State of Israel, he is certainly not blind to the fact that his political perspectives are not shared by all Israelis - let alone all Jews. As a leader who firmly believes in democratic ideals, he equally champions the rights of both those who agree with him and those who might disagree.

For those who took the time to recognize the value of his message, it is clear that what the prime minister was saying was that he would always work to defend the interests of Jews in the face of any attack - wherever and whenever in the world it might take place.

Jews, cognizant of history, should be inspired and reassured by this statement. One would think it superfluous to point out that if we had such a strong Jewish leadership in 1933 - and one who was positioned to offer Jews a physical refuge - how different things might have been.

The shortsightedness of people like these J street signatories is therefore startling.

Rather than champion the existence of a strong Jewish state and leadership prepared to proudly defend our people, they fall back on political attacks and biases against the prime minister.

While it is deeply regrettable, I am forced to recognize that the political vitriol from agents like J Street has spun far out of control.

As acknowledged above, legitimate and informed political criticism and the existence of diverse viewpoints is something which is not only acceptable, it is a value which is lauded within our democracy.