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Open Letter to the American Jewish Community

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There are endless attempts to analyze what happened on November 7. The media outlets published or aired several points of view, some of us think it is Iraq, others claim it is the economy and the middle class crunch, Katrina and the confirmation of incompetent government is another argument.

Probably it was all the above and more, but the single most important lesson is the fact that the American people voted in a mid-term election overwhelmingly to punish the Republican majority.

The mid-term election is always about local issues, but this did not stop the American public from voicing their anger and frustration at a branch of government that probably had little to do with the over all performance of the executive branch.

This type of reaction has a single name it was a backlash.

I am concerned the next two years will bring to America a much larger backlash, and this time it will be against a minority in America.

The backlash this time will be against the American Jewish community, I come from a minority, and I know how it feels to see in the eyes of your neighbors, your colleagues, people you never saw before a question that you could not answer. Are you patriotic?

I am not a prophet, I cannot project the future, and the Jewish community is an integral part of the American fabric that existed since the birth of this nation or very soon after.

I understand that the Jewish community learned the value of activism from an incident during the Second World War when a ship full of Jewish escaping the Nazi ordered to leave the shores of America with its human cargo regardless of the consequences. The President then denied the community leaders a chance to meet with him in attempt to reverse the decision.

I respect the fact that the community united afterward, worked very hard to organize, so today the Jewish community in America has the most access of any interest group through several powerful organizations such as AIPAC and Conference of Presidents.

I believe that our constitutional system guarantee the rights of minority to representation, our system defines the proper channels to accomplish these goals through legal means such as lobbying.

I totally believe that The Jewish community and their major organizations understand the system better than any other does and the current influence and power they insert on the American policies especially in the area of foreign affairs is through legitimate means.

The success AIPAC, Conference of Presidents and many other Jewish organizations achieved by supporting candidates on both sides of the isle, guarantees that the new majority will not change the American policy in the Middle East substantially.

Therefore, the Jewish organization unlimited success might be the reason behind an uncontrollable demise of their influence. If this happens Israel will be a loser, but the American Jewish community will pay even a bigger price.

In the last few months, the American public discovered that all our investment over the last five years in American lives and treasure failed. It failed in making us safer, it failed in making us stronger, it failed in making us more influential.

In the last few months, I read opinion editorials in major publications such as the Washington Post and New York Times that I never thought a year ago was possible, articles that described Israel as the major reason of our failing policies worldwide. The more stunning phenomena are the comments on articles supporting the American policies in the Middle East. The comments without exceptions mentioned Israel as the culprit for our failures.

The internet is not any better, hundreds of Blogs full of angry words talking about the price the Americans are paying for unconditional support to Israel, talking about war crimes, usage of chemical weapons, indiscriminate killings in Gaze and Lebanon that constitutes genocide. Discussions on how these actions create the next generation terrorists and the responsibility of Israel.

In addition, we see academic papers addressing the same issue and regardless of the immediate and relentless attack on the authors and their credibility, regardless of the scientific value of the paper itself, the publication confirms the overall sentiment because simply few years ago none of this would have been possible. Few years ago a statement describing Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East and the only ally we have were enough, not any more!

There are also widespread discussions on the tail wagging the dog, or Israel using America's power to fight their wars and the price we pay for the American Jewish insistence on putting Israel's interests ahead of America's interests.

This last discussion is the most alarming one, where the allegiance of a minority or representatives of a minority questioned. This movement might be the elites talking, it might not be as widespread as I think it is, but things can change, the anger can pick up steam. Support for Iraq war was in the seventy percent, where is it now?

The options America has in Iraq are very limited, either to pack and leave chaos behind, which will catch up with us eventually.

Alternatively, use the deteriorating environment to find a solution not only for Iraq but also for the chronicle disease that is the grand father of terrorism in the region, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The solution of the Middle East conflict will happen only when America pressures Israel to stop the current policies in the region and withdraw to the 67 boundaries.

America will not pressure Israel until the American Israeli lobby allows this to happen, or the American people feel enough rage to enforce this to happen. If the latter it will be through a backlash against the Jewish community as whole.

Will the AIPAC be smart enough to lead Israel and America towards a final solution that will allow both countries to prosper?

Will AIPAC miss the boat?

The answer to this question will be determined in the next few months, and the victim or the winner will be the old Jewish couple living next door, and the rest of us!
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I am an Egyptian American born in Alexandria. I immigrated to the US in the late eighties, during this time lived in many places in US and Europe. I work as an IT manager and love it. I love to travel, it makes me feel young, and it awakes in me (more...)

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that the problem is more about fundamentalism. The... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 6:53:45 PM
I am troubled by the almost threatening tone of th... by ardee D. on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 7:30:07 AM
Ardee, The tone of the article if was threaten... by sameh abdelaziz on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 12:56:33 PM
I believe that you underestimate the USA. You migh... by ardee D. on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 7:09:00 PM
Rob, You say, "Wahabists, who teach hate to li... by sameh abdelaziz on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 12:13:39 PM
... you missed it here. The mistake you made wa... by Steven Leser on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 11:04:31 PM
Steven, First, thank you for your very kind wo... by sameh abdelaziz on Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 11:40:59 AM
While I disagree with my friend Sameh on that "Bac... by waelsm on Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006 at 6:23:58 PM