PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu waves at the crowd at the AIPAC Policy Conference in 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A group of Jewish American millennials delivered a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, calling on him to change his policies or risk seriously eroding support for Israel among the next generation of US Jews.
The letter, signed by more than 100 young Jews between the ages of 20 and 40 who are affiliated with a broad swath of American Jewish organizations, provides the prime minister with a list of Israeli policies that make it “increasingly challenging” for them to advocate for Israel.
“Some of your government’s policies both strain our connection to the Jewish state and hamper our ability to advocate for Israel’s well-being,” the millennials wrote.
These issues include:
1. legislative initiatives that threaten Israel’s democracy,
2. the lack of progress on issues of religious pluralism,
3. the dangerous rise of Jewish extremism,
4. policies that diminish the possibility of a two-state solution, and
5. growing calls for Israel to annex parts of the West Bank.
The letter, sent to the prime minister less than a week before he visits the White House and addresses the AIPAC Policy Conference, urges Netanyahu “to address these worrisome challenges” in his AIPAC speech and beyond.
“Articulate your vision for achieving a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution,” the letter states, or risk “seriously erod[ing] support for Israel among our generation of US Jews, thereby threatening the sustainability of a strong US-Israel relationship.”
The signers are or have been affiliated with major US Jewish organizations and young leadership networks, including AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, Hillel International, Israel Policy Forum, Jewish Federations of North America, J Street, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Moishe House, The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s ROI Network, Union for Reform Judaism, the Wexner Foundation and more. Signatories also include the JSwipe founder David Yarus and Elad Nehorai, known as Pop Chassid on social media.
“Millennial Zionists are finding it more difficult to make the case for the US-Israel relationship with a surging far Left and far Right here in America,” said Zak Sawyer, a former AIPAC assistant director. “Having the prime minister of Israel cave to some of the most extreme voices in Israel makes it even more challenging for us to advocate for a strong US-Israel relationship.”
The letter was organized by IPF Atid, the young professionals network of Israel Policy, and Union for Reform Judaism.
The group is still accepting new signatures through Tuesday, March 26. To sign, visit https://sign.dearbibi.com/.
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