An Open Letter to President Donald Trump

Throughout the 2016 Presidential Campaign and its aftermath, President Trump has stated unequivocally that he plans to seek the good for all American citizens. As American citizens, True Torah Jews feels it incumbent on ourselves to state our position in clear and respectful manner. Therefore, we wish to issue the following letter.

Mr. President,

Almost seventy years have elapsed since the name “Israel” has been officially misappropriated by a nation-state whose intrinsic nature is the opposite of the fundamental tenets of Judaism and it’s adherents. Judaism was a moral compass that guided Jews throughout the ages, exhorting them to pursue peace and kindness wherever they found themselves throughout their long exile. The sanctity of human life is a principle which is to be strived for to to such an extent that it can supersede the most stringent of Jewish laws (Shabbos, etc.). This should be contrasted with the attitude of one of the chief architects of the State of “Israel”, its first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. In 1938, as Europe started to see the fires of destruction kindling, Mr. Ben-Gurion stated that:

"If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel.”

Mr. Ben-Gurion was one of the most pivotal leaders in the history of the State of “Israel”, shaping its very essence and laying down policy foundations for the next generation, and his influence is still strongly felt to this very day. It would be safe to say that an “Israel” without David Ben-Gurion is tantamount to an America without George Washington.

Taking all of this into account by way of introduction, we must humbly make our voices heard, trying our best to be understood amidst the myriad voices which deign to speak in the name of American Jews. The difference between us and them (World Zionist Congress, Jewish Defense League, the Israeli Government, etc.) is that history, however unpopular and bitter, is on our side. Our illustrious rabbis, who guided their communities throughout the ages with wisdom and foresight, knew that antagonism usually produces bitter fruit, as evidenced on an almost constant basis by the current Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessors.

Your desire to help the Jewish People has been well documented and it is with that in mind that we humbly ask, Mr. President, that you refrain from moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Such a move would, in our opinion, only exacerbate an already explosive situation. One need not have a doctorate in Middle East Studies to see the familiar pattern that has played itself out throughout the almost 70 years of “Israel’s” existence, one in which has seen a rapid deterioration in the situation in the Middle East and deaths of close to 40,000 Jews alone, not to mention countless others.

A leader must oftentimes do things that are in the long-term best interests of his/her constituents but disliked in the present. There are few American Jews who would welcome such a move even though the repercussions would not be their best interests and would only increase the danger they often find themselves in due to Israeli politics. These few supporters are a very vocal minority, making it seem as thought they speak for the majority of American Jews. When Israel fights a war with its neighbors, Jews in Western countries and around the world suffer as a result of a distorted guilt by association.

The same could be said concerning the settlements, which have been described by many on both sides of the aisle as the biggest hinderance to peace in that region. Even before the first of the settlements started sprouting like mushrooms in the West Bank, Theodor Meron, then chief legal counsel of the Israeli Foreign Minister, wrote the following to Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of then Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol. This memorandum was preserved in Eshkol’s office files. It reads as follows:

Jerusalem, September 18, 67

Top Secret

To: Mr. Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of the Prime Minister
From: Legal Counsel of the Foreign Ministry
Re: Settlement in the Administered Territories

As per your request…I hereby provide you a copy of my memorandum of September 14, 1967, which I presented to the Foreign Minister. My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention,

Sincerely,
T. Meron

Considering that approximately 15% of West Bank settlers are American citizens, the stakes rise dramatically. According to a 2015 study conducted by Sara Yael Hirschhorn; of the 170,000 American immigrants in Israel, 60,000 Americans live in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli government and settlers say that the expansion of territory into the West Bank is with the interest of Jewish safety in mind. This couldn't be further from the truth, we have seen time and again the danger that settlements have created for the Jewish people. Murder and violence is rampant in the West Bank and only creates further strife between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr. President, your desire to achieve peace in the world’s most volatile region is well known. Please take away the greatest stumbling block to that goal. The settlements not only endanger American Jews in “Israel” but around the world, including America. “Israel’s” approval of 2,500 new homes behind the Green Line after your inauguration shows that their desire for peace is, in the most optimistic of terms, mere lip service.

Lastly, Mr. Netanyahu and others before him have consistently used the aftermath of terror attacks against Jews around the world as a platform for increasing immigration to their state. In addition, they all too often presume to speak in the name of American Jewry, acting as our unauthorized spokesmen. We ask that you put a stop to Mr. Netanyahu’s bombastic rhetoric, aimed to further his own political ambitions. He doesn’t represent America’s Jews and Benjamin Netanyahu is not the President of the United States of America, you are.

It is our fervent prayer that you should be successful in your endeavors to lead the United States and that we should see peace in our time.

With Great Respect,
True Torah Jews