Avi Gabbay
Avi GabbayFlash 90

Arriving in New York for a series of meetings in the US, Labor party leader Avi Gabbay attacked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Zionist Union, which heads the Opposition to Netanyahu's government, is a joint list made up of Labor, MK Tzipi Livni's defunct Hatnuah party, and the small Green Movement.

"Israel's crisis with US Jewry is mostly the result of a lack of leadership on Netanyahu's part," Gabbay said. "Netanyahu has abandoned this issue to narrow political interests."

"Today, as we mark November 29, I land in New York. I will meet with the leaders of Jewish communities, federations, and organizations, as well as other senior officials. US Jews contribute a vital portion of Israel's security abilities, and they are part of our defense system."

On November 29, 1947, the UN approved the Partition Plan, paving the way for the creation of a Jewish state. The Arabs rejected the plan outright, while the Jews accepted it, although it created a truncated, non-contiguous and tiny Israel without Jaffa, Nahariya and Jerusalem. Jewish Agency head - and later Prime Minister - David Ben Gurion explained that he was willing to settle for the partition so that there would be somewhere for Holocaust survivors to go. He declared the state in May 1948 and seven Arab countries promptly declared war in an effort to annihilate it. The Israelis managed to gain control over more territory than that granted in the Partition Plan, and remained there since. (It should be noted that all the land gained in the war had been set aside for the Jewish homeland to begin with, until Britain reneged and the Partition Plan was passed.)

"Here, too, we hear the news about corruption, and the laws which cause a disintegration of democracy," Gabbay noted. "[US Jews] are worried about these issues, just like [Israeli] Jews are. We are here in order to listen, to strengthen, and to tell them again that not everything in the Jewish people is politics, and the Israeli people completely support US Jewry."

Gabbay also said he had met with World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, Israeli New York Consul General Danny Dayan, former Former Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and current Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Thomas Nides, Jewish Federations for North America President and CEO Jerry Silverman, and others.