Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation

`Peace Breakers’ and `Mischief Makers’ or `Peace Makers’ and `Mischief Breakers’?

To keep you up to date on the desperate reaction of the fans of the Oslo sellout to the PLO, I would like to report on two recent publications that reflect the frustration of the leftists over the strong, evergrowing opposition to the policies of Rabin, Peres, Beilin and Co.

One such sharp attack comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from the Reform -- that fringe that for over 100 years has been fighting the return to Jerusalem and the Temple. In the current issue of their publication, "Reform Judaism," they carry an article titled "Peace Breakers," which traces the opposition to the "peace" process to "the streets of Brooklyn" from where Kahanism is alleged to have sprung.

They admit that the opposition has flowed over from Brooklyn and is now also found among the "Modern Orthodox" -- including the National Council of Young Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America -- and also among the non-Orthodox. The reference to the "streets of Brooklyn" smacks of the same condescending aversion expressed by the Reform on Fifth Ave. and Park Ave. toward religious Jews, as was displayed during the Crown Heights pogroms, when the same Reform Jews distanced themselves from the victims of black anti-Semitism. (Neither Jeffries nor Farrakhan makes this distinction among Jews, just as Hitler sent Reform Jews on the same cattle trains to Auschwitz and Chassidic Jews.)

After castigating Orthodoxy for fomenting "Peace Breaking," the article has to admit that now a huge mass of secular Jews and Jewish organizations have joined the opposition -- mainly ZOA, Pro-Israel AFSI, the World Committee for Israel plus the prestigious neo-conservatives, represented by such outstanding men as Norman Podhoretz, editor in chief of Commentary.

I consider it a badge of honor that the article emphasizes that the Board of ZOA "has given an honorary position to Manfred Lehmann." It also gives me credit for having founded the World Committee for Israel, which the article calls "a kind of Orthodox counterpart to AFSI, combining sophisticated geostrategic analyses with wildly emotional rhetoric." (It would be nice of the author to explain these words to me!)

I am described as "Florida-based real estate investor Manfred Lehmann, who writes a weekly column in the Yiddish Algemeiner Journal, where he compared Israeli Labor leaders with Nazis." You as my readers will know, I have yet to write one word in Yiddish, nor have I yet invested in any real estate. Also I never compared Rabin and Co. With Nazis in the Algemeiner. I did write an article in another publication where I pointed out that if Rabin continues to put Jewish lives at risk, delvers Israel to the PLO, and dismantles Israel, he may end up being compared with French hero Marshal Philippe Petain, who saved France in World War I, but betrayed France by delivering his country to Hitler and the Nazis. Of course I hope that will never happen.

Having called the opposition "Peace Breakers," the Reform magazine does not mention that, by the latest polls, 60 percent of the Israelis prefer Netanyahu to Rabin, whose disapproval has risen to 71 percent. Also, instead of speaking about "breaking" the peace, the author should have listed the positive peace alternatives that all the opponents pursue in search of a real, secure peace -- not the counterfeit variety cooked up by Meretz-leftist extremists, who at best would gather 6 percent of the Israeli vote today. Why not mention the peace alternative plans of Likud, of General Kahalani, of Minister Shetreel, and other groups?

The Reform article is followed by an intemperate column by Thomas L. Friedman on the New York Times editorial page, titled "Mischief Makers." Mind you, the same Friedman only a few columns back reported that the majority of Israelis disagree with Rabin and that Syria does not deserve to be trusted in any peace agreement. His new column -- which bears the well-known fingerprints of the Israeli diplomatic establishment in New York -- attacks a "loose coalition of right-wing Jewish groups, coalition of right-wing Jewish groups, conservative lawmakers" who are "meddling" in Washington. The column calls it "mischief making" to insist that Arafat comply with his publicly made commitments to stop terrorism and abrogate the PLO Covenant and tear down all the other obstacles to recognition that the September handshake should have put to rest.

Mr. Friedman continues to spread the fable that placing peace keeping troops in the desolate Sinai is the same as placing them on the Golan next to the Hizboliah terrorist center, a fable which only children and leftist extremists believe. Reluctantly Mr. Friedman has to admit that "there are legitimate aspects to all these initiatives." And that "Mr. Arafat must be made to live up to his commitments." But he again falls for Peres’ deception that "Arafat needs the very funds to live up to these commitments." It is well known that Arafat will never live up to his commitments -- which have nothing to do with the Islamic hatred for Jews -- and that anyway, he has repudiated in countless speeches to his own people in Arabic. Funds will not go to the needy, but only to Arafat’s own already well-stocked pockets.

Thus Mr. Friedman oscillates between his own convictions, which seem to be close to the "Mischief Makers," and the Israeli diplomats, who speak through him as their Charlie McCarthy. There shines through a complaint, for example, that Rabin "has only received the most tepid support from mainstream American Jewish groups, like the Conference of Presidents and outright hostility from the Orthodox and fringe Jewish groups."

If we "Mischief Makers" are in the same boat with the Conference of Presidents, why are we called "fringe groupings"? Incidentally, my hat off to Malcolm Hoenfein and Lester Pollack of the Conference of Presidents for convincing the Rabin government that American Jews cannot be brainwashed into applauding their disastrous policies of dismantling the Zionist dream.

Why We Cannot be Brainwashed

Authors of articles, such as the ones I have described above, seem to be totally unaware of the strength of the Jewish 2,000-year-old dream of returning to Zion. Long before Zionism, our forefathers prayed, dreamt and suffered for the realization of that dream. When R. Moshe ben Nachman emigrated to Jerusalem 700 years ago, followed by hundreds of French rabbis and followers’ when Sabbatai Zvi electrified all of the Galut (Diaspora) with the possibility of a Messianic return to Zion; when the Gaon of Vilna and the founder of Chabad sent their followers to Jerusalem -- they preceded Dr. Herzl and political Zionism by centuries. The prayers for the return to Zion are most frequently repeated in our daily devotions. Only those who either detest being Jewish or feel totally inferior to the non-Jewish world around us would be so uncomfortable about asserting our Jewish goals.




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