From the point of view of someone who has sat in Israeli government cabinet meetings when the prime minister has had to make decisions about sending IDF soldiers into harms way, I feel strongly that Temple Israel of White Plains is wrong to give a single penny to the New Israel Fund.
I hope that they would agree that the soldiers of the IDF are living and breathing heroes and angels of the Jewish people. Not just for those in Israel, but for all Jews around the world...as they are the ones that not only protect the Jewish state, but by doing so allow us to practice Judaism proudly around the world.
NIF supports, among other organizations, Breaking the Silence, an organization dedicated to providing what they call "evidence" to "out " Israeli soldiers and in fact the entire IDF as war criminals at the UN, the EU, the international Criminal Court and others. Any group that tries to paint the IDF and its soldiers as war criminals, deserves the full wrath of any Jew that cherishes our soldiers.
The fact the NIF grants money to such an organization means that no matter what else the NIF does, the NIF deserves to be completely shunned by the Jewish community....especially by Rabbis.
I pray you think about this. There is no way anyone can stand with NIF and the IDF at the same time....you really must choose. I urge you to publicly condemn NIF and anyone else who supports the maligning and targeting of our precious boys and girls in the IDF. Anyone who does the opposite deserves the ire of the Jewish people. This is an issue of not right or left, orthodox or reform and any other division. It is at its very core, an issue about whether you stand with Israel or not...its that simple.
I hope you take my words to heart with all the good faith in which they were written.
George Birnbaum, former chief of staff to Benjamin Netanyahu
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