Whom the Jewish Left chooses to mourn is sadly revealing

J Street denounced the murder of Iranian scientist Fakhrizadeh and US Peace Now mourned Saeb Erekat. Did they forget Esther Horgan? Op-ed/

Stephen M. Flatow ,

New Israel Fund and J Street logoss
New Israel Fund and J Street logoss

Whom a Jewish organization chooses to publicly mourn can be very revealing.

On December 20, Esther Horgan, mother of six, went out for a jog in the forest adjacent to her home town of Tal Menashe. Early the next morning, she was found dead. Based on the circumstances of her death, the Israeli police immediately said they suspected it was a case of Palestinian Arab terrorism.

But the police weren’t yet certain. So I didn’t expect any American Jewish organizations to start issuing statements.

On December 24, the police announced they had arrested a suspect in Esther’s murder. He is a Palestinian Arab who was previously imprisoned for terrorist activity.

I checked the web sites of the most prominent leftwing Jewish organizations in the United States—J Street, American for Peace Now, Partners for Progressive Israel, Ameinu (Labor Zionists), and the Association of Reform Zionists of America. No comment on the murder. Perhaps they thought that the police got the wrong man.

Two days later, the Israeli police announced that the suspect had confessed. And reenacted the crime. And described in great detail how he used a large rock to murder Esther. And it turns out she fought back.

Now, surely, there was no excuse for the American Jewish left to remain silent. Yet none of the above-mentioned groups took the few minutes necessary to issue a press release mourning this horrific murder. None of them.

Which is not to say that none of these groups haven’t publicly expressed their grief over any recent deaths. They have.

On November 28, for example, J Street publicly denounced the assassination of the Iranian war criminal-scientist who is in charge of developing nuclear weapons with which to annihilate Israel.

And on December 7, J Street proclaimed that it was “deeply saddened” at the death of a Palestinian teenager, Ali Abu Aliya, who was shot while he was part of a mob throwing lethal rocks and burning tires at Israeli motorists.

Meanwhile, Americans for Peace Now and Partners for Progressive Israel each issued statements mourning the death of Palestinian Arab diplomat Saeb Erakat, master of the blood libel. Erakat, who regularly accused Israel of committing Nazi-style genocide, is perhaps best remembered for falsely claiming Israel slaughtered more than 500 residents of Jenin in 2002. (In reality, there were about 50 Arab fatalities, which occurred during a pitched battle with Israeli forces and most were terrorists.)

I am not saying that the leaders of J Street or the Reform Zionists are not saddened by the death of Esther Horgan. I’m sure they are. But I believe there is a cynical political reason that they are not saying so in public. And that’s what makes their silence all the more tragic.

One of the major goals of those groups is to create a State of Palestine along Israel’s nine-miles-wide pre-1967 borders. In order to advance that goal, J Street et al must persuade political leaders, media pundits, and the American Jewish community that the Palestinian Arabs are overwhelmingly moderate, reasonable, and willing to live in peace with Israel.Because if they are not peaceful, nobody in their right mind would ever expect Israel to take the incredibly risky step of going back to those extremely vulnerable borders.

The terrorist murdered Esther with a large rock—the crudest, most barbaric weapon available, one that required him to use savage, up-close force.
The murder of Esther Horgan demolishes the idea of Palestinian Arab moderation. The killer did not attack an armed Israeli soldier (whom some on the left would call a “legitimate” target); he chose a diminutive, middle-aged, unarmed civilian woman. He lay in wait before ambushing her—meaning that he was not acting in response to some provocation or in a moment of delusion, but after careful thought and planning.

The terrorist murdered Esther with a large rock—the crudest, most barbaric weapon available, one that required him to use savage, up-close force. And the murderer was a convicted-and-released terrorist—meaning that he had promised to give up his old terrorist ways, but was lying. Not only did the Palestinian Authority not keep him under surveillance to prevent him from returning to terrorism—it did not even publicly condemn his latest murder.

Now you can see why Partners for Progressive Israel, Americans for Peace Now and the rest don’t want to talk about Esther Horgan. They don’t want to draw attention to her murder, because it undercuts their political agenda. They want the public to forget Esther, as quickly as possible, so they can get on with the business of giving the killer and his supporters a sovereign state.

But we will never forget her.

Stephen M. Flatow is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” is now available on Kindle.