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Dangerous Peaceniks on the Hudson By: P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, December 19, 2005

In recent weeks, the president of Iran called for Israel to be wiped off the map, amid reports that Iran will have a nuclear capability in a few months, and the UN held a “Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” that prominently featured a large map of “Palestine” in which Israel had disappeared. And after a massacre of Israeli civilians by a Palestinian terrorist in the town of Netanya, the UN Security Council proved unable to condemn the act.

In Israel and the PA, in addition to the Netanya attack, Hezbollah subjected northern Israel to a missile barrage that injured a dozen Israelis; the commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division sent a message to Defense Minister Mofaz saying the number of terrorist incidents coming from Gaza “is enormous,” with the army reporting 75 incidents of small arms fire from there, 130 Kassam and mortar shell attacks, and at least 18 bombs planted along the border fence since the “disengagement”; PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a law providing lifelong stipends to families of suicide bombers; Hamas leader Khaled Mashal announced that his organization will resume attacks after the end of 2005; convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti won the Fatah primaries in a landslide; Hamas won municipal elections in a landslide in major West Bank cities; Debkafile reported, “Palestinian terrorists are preparing Qassam missiles with chemical warheads, according to information reaching Israeli intelligence”—and that is but a partial list.

Seemingly, the issue that Israel faces is not peace, but survival. But none of this has stopped the professional peaceniks at the New York-based Israel Policy Forum from continuing in their cheerful path. As Kenneth Levin notes in The Oslo Syndrome, this American Jewish organization was “created in 1993 at the behest of Israel’s Labor-Meretz coalition government and placed under the leadership of...Jonathan Jacoby, who had earlier in his career signed a New York Times ad accusing Israel of ‘state terrorism.’”[1]


Since then the IPF—now with Seymour Reich as president and Jacoby as executive director—has steadily shilled for the Fatah stream of the Palestinian war on Israel, while urging the U.S. government to press Israel into concessions on the basis of polls of American Jewry, conducted by the IPF itself, that the Zionist Organization of America criticized for “vague and deceptive language,” a “reprehensible misuse of...polling,” and “misusing statistical evidence.” In one case, Levin notes, an IPF poll was so “grossly skewed” that “the Anti-Defamation League, which had been reported to have cosponsored the poll, disassociated itself from it.” [2]


Most recently, Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz reported that “New York Jewish leaders...encouraged [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice to intervene aggressively in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over the Gaza border crossings...among others, Rice met in Washington...with the heads of the left-wing Israel Policy Forum, who expressed their views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” When Isi Leibler bitterly criticized the IPF’s role in the crossings fiasco in the Jerusalem Post, accusing the IPF of “unashamedly lobby[ing] the State Department to exert pressure to bring Israel to heel even if that entails riding roughshod over our security requirements,” Seymour Reich replied in the same newspaper by condemning Leibler’s “malicious accusations” as “untrue and dishonest.”


Yet, as Leibler emphasizes, the same Haaretz article states quite plainly:

IPF President Seymour Reich, who participated in the meeting with Rice, told Haaretz, “We don't presume to say that it was because of our conversation with the secretary of state, or the political paper we sent her, that she acted so aggressively to achieve the border crossing agreement.” However, he added, “I have no doubt that we bolstered the secretary of state's instinct and strengthened her opinion that aggressive American involvement was needed to achieve practical results.”

The “practical results” are now with us—that is, with Israelis, who face an increased threat to our and our children’s lives thanks in part to Seymour Reich and his other New York security mavens. Ynet reports that:

David Walsh, an aide to...Rice, has been trying to prevent [a] political crisis following Israel’s decision to delay...parts of the crossings agreement following the deadly terror attack in Netanya...The most serious disagreement focuses on Israel’s decision not to allow the passage of Palestinian convoys between Gaza and the West Bank...We are exposed to deadly terror coming from the West Bank, like the suicide attack in Netanya. In such a reality we are not ready to move forward and implement the crossings agreement,”  government officials said....

The report goes on to note that defense officials:

have criticized the Palestinians’ work in the Rafah crossing. One of the problems was that online information about the people entering the crossing was not transferred to Israel, contrary to the agreement signed following Rice’s pressure...The more serious problem...was, according to aides of Mofaz, the feeling that the Palestinians are fooling us with the names and the details of the people entering...We have information about al-Qaeda members and people from the black list of Palestinian terror entering the crossing from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.”

In light of the Rafah situation and the ongoing attacks from Gaza, the situation is now seen as so dangerous that the defense minister announced the convoys have been delayed for the moment—while the international pressure to get them moving continues.


Do not expect any contrition from the IPF for pushing a deal that, by all accounts, Rice initially bludgeoned Israel into accepting despite the urgent protests of its security agencies. Ideological peaceniks like Reich, Jacoby, and crew are always ultimately uninterested in details about terrorist infiltrations, broken agreements, and the like. There is no other way the IPF could have kept enthusiastically promoting the Oslo process” throughout the twelve years of slaughter that this catastrophe has brought upon Israel. 


For the IPF, peace is always shining just around the next bend, if the Jewish state can just be nudged into the right capitulations. The question is how long we have to keep paying the price.



1. Smith & Kraus Global, 2005, p. 451.

2. Ibid., pp. 451-452.


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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.

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