While there is still an enormous amount of support from American Jews for Israel, it seems not as widespread as it was in the past. The reasons are mainly lack of education concerning the formation of the State of Israel and history of the Middle East in general, a masterful PR job done by various Palestinian Arab groups and people that support them in the United States and the liberal progressive view that automatically justifies the weaker side in any conflict.
However, there are patriotic Americans who strongly support Israel, and one well-known scholar in particular, Dr. Herbert London, who stands out as being behind Israel his entire life.
London founded the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies at New York University and then devoted his scholarly work to the world of conservative politics. He advised both presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and ran for both mayor of New York City and governor for the state of New York and is founding head of the much respected London Center for Policy Research.
When London was born, Israel was not yet an official country and he vividly remembers hearing of its formation while listening to the radio with his father and watching his father cry tears of joy.
I recently interviewed Dr. London on his views on the challenges facing today's Israel, how Jewish college students can fight anti-Semitism, Muslim women and the real goals of the BDS movement.
How did your think tank, the London Center for Policy Research, influence the US Congress to pass the Taylor Force act?
We served as a guide to key congressman who played important roles in getting the bill passed such as Congressman Keith Rothfus from PA.
Do you feel there is a chance for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
I am always hopeful and hope is the harbinger of change. To quote Gold Meir, “…We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." When this occurs, there can be a turnabout that will have an effect on the relationship between the two peoples.
Do you feel that Egypt or Saudi Arabia can assist in achieving peace in the region?
No doubt that attitudes have changed recently toward Israel. They are concerned about Iran and as long as this menace exists, they realize they need Israel as a strategic partner and a buffer to Hezbollah.
Do you agree with how Prime Minister Netanyahu is handling the situation with Israel and Syria?
This is a very delicate situation. He doesn’t want war. There are many factions to deal with in Syria. Russian troops in Syria complicate the situation and the offensives introduced by Syria. This is a balancing act and he is handling it the best he can at this time.
In an op-ed in April 2018 in The Washington Times you stated, “While King Salman reaffirmed a steadfast position on the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to Jerusalem as their capital, he made an astonishing claim that the Jewish people have a right to a “nation state in at least part of their ancestral home.”
Do you think that Arab countries will follow King Salman’s lead and realize for security and economic growth it makes sense to have friendly relationships with Israel?
Yes, no question. The Saudis realize that their economic strength from fossil fuels will come to an end in about 20 years. Israel has constant technological breakthroughs and has a diverse economy that the Saudis would like to learn from, be a part of and emulate. I see better relationships with Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and hopefully other countries down the line and they need Israel for geo-strategic reasons to stand against Hezbollah as I mentioned earlier.
Do you see any hope for the relationship between Turkey and Israel?
Not immediately with Erdogan as its leader. This is unfortunate because there is a positive history between the two nations, but as long as he continues to Islamicize the country I don’t have much hope.
You are the author with Jed Babbin of: The BDS War Against Israel: The Orwellian Campaign to Destroy Israel Through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. What do you feel the true motivation of BDS is, anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism?
The real motivation is to eliminate the State of Israel. Palestinians and those who sympathize with them try their hardest to demonize and delegitimize Israel. They are adept at using psychological weapons. They will not be successful in the end but for now are causing a lot of damage…especially within segments of the Jewish community.
You were an educator at NYU for many years. So many professors on US campuses are against Israel, how can Jewish American youth be educated before they get to college with accurate knowledge about the founding of Israel?
More Jewish groups need to hold seminars for young people over winter and summer breaks from school and use those seminars to educate students about the history of the Jewish people, including how and why Israel was founded and the Jewish religion. The Tikvah Fund, for example, already has such programs, but we need additional groups doing this across the US Knowledge is power.
How can Jewish college students stand up to these professors who are proponents of BDS without risking getting a failing grade?
In the end, the answer is courage. When Jewish students hear professors spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric they have to have the courage to stand up for themselves and the truth. I am not saying that is an easy thing to do, but it is what is necessary.
But a lot of young American Jews feel the world would be better off without Israel. What do you think the world would be like for Jews without Israel?
This is an interesting question. With Israel Jews will prosper. Without Israel Jews will not fare well. Israel is still the only sanctuary Jews can count on when they are persecuted. In recent years Jews have faced anti-Semitism in England, France and Belgium. They know if they want or have to leave their homes, they have a home in Israel.
What would the Middle East be like for Americans and Christians without Israel?
Christians know they can count on being free to worship as they please in Israel. The Muslim majority Arab countries do not treat them with the same respect and Israel in the hands of the Muslims would not give the same freedoms to Christians as they have now. As for America, if there would be no Israel, we would have no true partner in the Middle East to look out for our interests and security and as a partner against terrorism.
The London Center hosted a seminar earlier in the year at which Muslim women spoke about how they were treated by their Muslim communities in their countries such as Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. Why does the left in the United States, who believe so much in women’s rights turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of Muslim women all over the world?
There is much hypocrisy in the democrat party when it comes to this issue. Why don’t Tom Perez and Keith Ellison, American democrat leaders, get their constituents to demonstrate and lobby congress on the rights of Muslim women? Do only American women deserve to be treated with respect?
How do you feel about the US Embassy being moved to Jerusalem?
Four US presidents talked about moving the embassy, but only Donald Trump had the courage to actually do it. All they really did was change the sign from consulate to embassy but by doing so, it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and symbolism is important.
Jeremy Frankel is a frequent contributor to The Daily Wire, NOQ Report, Resurgent and has had pieces published in The Jerusalem Post, The Daily Caller and The American Spectator. Follow Jeremy on Twitter.