Saul Alinsky, the godfather of subversive radical political action, had a very
clear strategy for undermining and destroying his enemies: Infiltrate, divide
Since his disciple Barack Obama was elected US president in
2008, Alinsky’s impact on Obama has received a fair amount of
Less noticed has been the adoption of Alinsky’s methods by
radical leftist Jews in the US and Israel for the purpose of undermining the
American Jewish community on the one hand, and Israel’s nationalist camp on the
other. This week we saw the impact of both campaigns.
weakness of the American Jewish community was exposed on Tuesday with the
Democratic primary defeat of Rep. Steve Rothman in New Jersey. In Israel we saw
the impact of the campaign to undermine and destroy the nationalist camp with
the defeat of the proposed legislation aimed at saving the doomed Givat Haulpana
neighborhood in Bet El.
Ahead of the 2008 US presidential elections, the
anti-Israel pressure group J Street made a sudden appearance. Claiming to be
pro-Israel, the anti-Israel lobby set about neutralizing the power of the
American Jewish community by undermining community solidarity. And it has
Rothman is Jewish and a strong supporter of
Israel. His defeat at the polls in New Jersey by Rep. Bill Pascrell owed in
large part to openly anti-Semitic activism by Pascrell’s Muslim
According to an investigative report of the primary campaign
by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, in February Pascrell’s Muslim
supporters began castigating Rothman and his supporters as disloyal Americans
beholden only to Israel.
Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based
American Arab Forum, published a column in the Newark Star Ledger titled,
“Rothman is Israel’s Man in District 9.” He wrote, “As total and blind support
becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the
elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign
flag is not loyalty to America’s [flag].”
These deeply bigoted
allegations against Rothman and his supporters were not challenged by Pascrell.
Pascrell also did not challenge Arabic-language campaign posters produced by his
supporters enjoining the “Arab diaspora community” to elect Pascrell, “the
friend of the Arabs.” The poster touted the race as “the most important election
in the history of the [Arab American] community.”
Rather than challenge
these anti-Semitic attacks, Pascrell enthusiastically courted the Muslim vote in
Pascrell was a signatory to what became known as the
“Gaza-54 letter.” Spearheaded by J Street, the 2010 letter, signed by 54
Democratic congressmen, called on Obama to put pressure on Israel to end its
“collective punishment” of residents of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
race was far from the only recent instance of anti-Semitism being employed by
Democratic candidates to win their elections. In Connecticut’s 2006 Democratic
Senate primary, anti-Semitic slurs and innuendos were prominent features of Ned
Lamont’s successful race against Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Defeated in his party’s
primary, Lieberman was forced to run as an Independent. He owed his reelection
to Republican support.
LIBERMAN’S GENERAL election victory over Lamont
did not force all of his fellow Democrats to rethink their use of anti-Semitism
as a campaign strategy. At a candidate’s debate in this year’s Connecticut
Democratic Senate primary race, candidate Lee Whitnum attacked her opponent Rep.
Chris Murphy as a “whore who sells his soul to AIPAC.”
Given the fact
that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans are supporters of the
Democratic Party, it should have been assumed that they would have responded to
Whitnum’s anti- Semitic slurs by seeking to get her expelled from their party.
They also could have been expected to pour resources into defeating candidates
like Pascrell who actively court the votes of open Jew-haters. But this didn’t
Instead, due to J Street’s agitation, and the penetration of the
Jewish organizational world by J Street fellow travelers, for the past three
years, the American Jewish community has been fighting among itself about what
it means to be pro-Israel. At a time when the US Jewish community’s party of
choice is increasingly falling under the influence of radical leftists and
Muslims who reject Israel’s right to exist, rather than standing tall, Jewish
communities around the US are being neutralized by the solipsism of
self-defeating, J-Street-invented issues like whether AIPAC is legitimate and
whether Jewish anti-Zionists can be considered pro-Israel.
horrible, if not worse, at a time when Israel is being threatened with
annihilation by Iran, and Jewish communities in Europe and Latin America are
under physical assault, the voice of the self-obsessed American Jewish community
is coming through more and more weakly, with powerful voices questioning the
very legitimacy of its collective voice.
In Israel, the success of local
Alinskyites was on display this week as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu found
himself squaring off against his party’s most committed constituency.
350,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria and their massive support base
inside the Likud, and indeed throughout Israeli society, suffered a tremendous
defeat this week.
Netanyahu’s decision to torpedo a proposed law that
would have prevented the implementation of the Supreme Court-ordered destruction
of the Givat Haulpana neighborhood in Beit El has made these Likud members
perceive themselves as isolated and in danger.
Just as the American
Jewish community needs to recognize the J Street effect to contend with its
current condition, so in Israel both sides of the divide in the nationalist camp
need to understand how they came to find themselves on opposite sides of the
Misreading what has happened, many are drawing false analogies
between Givat Haulpana and the destruction of the Jewish communities in Gaza in
2005 and the destruction of homes in Amona in 2006. In both those previous
cases, the destruction of the homes was the consequence of government policy.
Then-premier Ariel Sharon wanted to destroy the Jewish communities of Gaza and
northern Samaria. Their destruction was the centerpiece of his governing agenda.
So, too, his successor Ehud Olmert wanted to destroy Jewish communities in Judea
and Samaria. He ran on a policy of destroying them in the 2006
This is not the case with Netanyahu.
Netanyahu can be
faulted for not providing sufficient protection to Jewish property rights in
Judea and Samaria. He has not permitted Jews to build on state land to make up
for the fact that they face market discrimination from the Palestinian Authority
which has made it a capital crime to sell private land to Jews. And of course,
he bowed to US pressure and instituted the deeply prejudicial temporary
construction ban on Jews in 2009 and 2010.
But unlike Sharon and Olmert,
Netanyahu has not made the destruction of the Jewish communities in Judea and
Samaria a goal of his government.
To the contrary, he has enacted
initiatives to strengthen the Jewish communities there and to raise the general
public’s awareness of the centrality of Judea and Samaria to Jewish history and
Netanyahu is not the best friend of the Jewish communities in
Judea and Samaria. But he is more a friend than an enemy.
SO IF Netanyahu
doesn’t oppose the communities of Judea and Samaria, why is he supporting the
destruction of Givat Haulpana? The answer is that he and his angry constituents
were set up by the radicals who run the state prosecution.
leftist-dominated Supreme Court ordered the government to destroy the
But the state prosecution gave the court’s justices no
The case regarding Givat Haulpana exposes several of the
pathologies of Israel’s legal system.
But by far the most glaring
pathology it reveals is the politicization of the state prosecution by the
radical leftists who run it.
In the event, the radical activist group
Yesh Din petitioned the court in the name of a Palestinian who claimed to be the
rightful owner of the land on which the neighborhood was built. Yesh Din
presented the court with an affidavit in which the Palestinian claimed that the
land in question belonged to him. Yesh Din then asked the court to make the
state explain why, given the affidavit, the IDF had not yet evacuated the
On its face, the job of the state prosecution couldn’t have
been more obvious. All they had to do was tell the court that the issue of
ownership is contested and that the court should require Yesh Din to adjudicate
ownership in the lower courts.
So, too, they ought to have rejected the
unsubstantiated assertion that the IDF is required to destroy homes built on
private land. There is ample precedent for both positions, including a nearly
identical case regarding a neighborhood in Barkan where the land in question
belonged – without question – to a private Jewish landowner.
state prosecution decided not to take any of those obvious positions. By not
questioning the veracity of the affidavit or the assertion that the IDF is
required to destroy homes built on private land without the permission of the
owner, the state prosecution, which is supposed to represent the elected
government, left the justices no choice. All they could do was set a date for
the expulsion of the 30 families living in the five apartment buildings. And so
Both the Knesset and Netanyahu seem to recognize that Israel’s
elected leaders were manipulated by political radicals abusing their positions
in the state prosecution to undermine the elected government. And they seem to
be taking appropriate action. The Knesset has ordered the state comptroller to
investigate the circumstances surrounding the state prosecution’s mishandling of
the Yesh Din petition. Netanyahu has ordered the construction of 300 buildings
in Beit El and 851 homes in all of Judea and Samaria. He has formed a
ministerial committee that will oversee the state prosecution’s handling of
future cases regarding Palestinian claims to land housing Jewish
None of this solves the problem of the 30 families who
through no fault of their own are slated to become homeless in the next three
weeks because public officials abused their office to throw these families from
their homes and divide and destroy the nationalist camp. But it may make
prosecutorial malpractice a less attractive option for these homegrown
The Alinsky strategy is brilliant in its cunning mendacity.
And his followers in the American Jewish community and Israel have already
succeeded in causing great harm. The stakes are high in both countries. The time
has come for the majority of American Jews and Israelis to stop being cowed and
confused by their destructive manipulations.