The Zionist Organization of America has harsh words for some American Jewish organizations, comparing their recent positions with U.S. "establishment" Jewry's attitude towards those who tried to warn about the Nazi threat in the late 1930's and early 40's.
Anti-Defamation League leader Abe Foxman and Union for Reform Judaism president Rick Jacobs have condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for accepting a Congressional invitation to speak to a joint session about the Iranian nuclear threat to Jews and the United States. Netanyahu is scheduled to speak there on March 3.
Their actions are "reminiscent of establishment Jewish leaders' condemnation of Peter Bergson and Ben Hecht for trying to speak to Congress in the 1930's-1940's about the Nazi threat to Europe's Jews," the ZOA announced.
Prominent U.S. Jewish leaders of the time, led by Reform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Nahum Goldmann, urged the Roosevelt administration and Congress to ignore screenwriter Ben Hecht and Irgun leader Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook) and their attempts to publicize and stop the Nazi massacres of European Jews.
"The parallels to the certain Jewish leaders' statements today in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat are downright eerie," according to the ZOA. It states that Netanyahu's speech to Congress about the imminent danger of Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities "is such an urgent and life-threatening issue – to both Israel and America – that every Jewish leader should be urging all members of Congress to attend [it]. Instead, Foxman and Jacobs are pressuring Netanyahu to cancel his speech."
Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) was even more direct. "It is critical that PM Netanyahu's voice is heard publicly in Congress in front of the largest number of elected officials possible," the organization stated Tuesday morning.
"The threat posed by Iran is too great for petty politics to get in the way," the organization announced, in light of the threats by Democratic Party Congressmen to boycott the speech.
AFSI urges the public to contact their "Congressmen or Senators who say they may not be attending the Prime Minister's speech" and insist that this "possible boycott… would be unforgivable."