NYC: Judea and Samaria Conference to Begin Amid Leftist Threats
American and Israeli activists at a New York conference this afternoon are expected to urge supporters of Israel to focus their advocacy efforts on explaining and defending the Jewish state's rights to Judea and Samaria ("West Bank"), amid ongoing calls for the wholesale dismantling of Jewish communities and deportation of Israeli civilians living there.
Meanwhile, a coalition of left-wing extremists has issued a joint call to fellow activists, urging them to turn out to oppose the presence of representatives from the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria at the conference, who they term "settlers".
According to an email circulated by radical leftists and seen by Arutz Sheva, one of the organizers of the counter demonstration is the controversial Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which runs summer camps training activists to coordinate boycott campaigns against Israel, and which has been accused of mounting a systematic campaign to split the American Jewish community.
Last month, the Anti-Defamation League named the JVP as one of the top ten American anti-Israel groups - along with other fringe movements such as American Muslims for Palestine and Neturei Karta - despite the organization's insistence that they are not anti-Israel.
Among those scheduled to speak at the conference is Arutz Sheva analyst Mark Langfan.
Langfan, a NY attorney and real estate investor, is a leading defender of Israeli rights who has made countless presentations on Capitol Hill and before editorial boards of leading newspapers, focusing on the existential threat posed to Israel's security in the event of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva this morning, Langfan said he planned to call on American Jewry to "stand up and be counted", in the face of what he described as a calculated strategy of demonization of the Jewish state - and particularly Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria - by the Obama administration.
Claiming that the term "West Bank" would be more accurately phrased as "the West Heights" - due to Judea and Samaria's strategically-important topography - he warns that the idea of a "demilitarized Palestinian state" would be impossible to enforce. Such an entity, he claims, would find smuggling and manufacturing rockets far easier than in the far smaller Hamas-run Gaza strip, and would quickly pose a security threat to the center of Israel, which contains 70% of the Israeli population and 80% of its industry.
Conference organizers say they are unfazed by the calls for a protest, which they say they fully expected given the "hysteria" over Jews living in Judea and Samaria which exists in radical circles.
The conference, entitled "Addressing Core Issues and Improving Your Impact", will be available to watch online via a live stream from 2:00 p.m. local time.
If you want to follow Mark's speech, click here for notes.