Let me see if I’ve got this straight.
Dozens of terrorists who murdered American citizens are walking free in Palestinian Authority-controlled territories. The Biden administration is preparing to send hundreds of millions of dollars to the unreformed, terror-sponsoring PA regime.
PA bulldozers are damaging Jewish historical and religious sites in Judea-Samaria and building homes in areas under Israeli control.
And the number one issue on the agenda of prominent American Jewish and Zionist organizations is an unkind joke about Israel on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL).
In the final weeks of the Trump administration, there were a number of issues on which pro-Israel groups should have spoken out. They should have pressured the outgoing Trump administration to force Jordan to hand over Sbarro bomber Ahlam Tamimi who was responsible for murdering American Malki Roth and others. They should have demanded that the departing administration release the long-buried report proving that the number of Palestinian Arab refugees is far lower than Arab propagandists claim.
They didn’t undertake any protest campaigns on those urgent issues. Yet now they have been inspired to speak out because SNL comedian Michael Che made an unpleasant joke about Israel’s vaccination program.
This past week, my inbox has been overflowing with press releases from Jewish organizations furiously denouncing Che’s joke. I can’t see the rationale for so much duplication of effort. It’s as if each of these organizations felt that all the other organizations’ press releases were insufficiently indignant, so each had to issue one of their own that would be even longer, or even angrier, than the others.
They want Che to publicly apologize. They want to know which SNL staff writer was responsible for writing the joke, and they want that writer fired.
I don’t like unflattering jokes about Jews or Israel. I’m sure African-Americans, Latinos, and Italian-Americans don’t like unflattering jokes which are made at their expense. But the nature of comedy or what passes for comedy in modern America is that you either develop a slightly thicker skin, or you change the channel.
Jewish and Zionist organizations need to do some serious prioritizing. They need to realize what’s actually important, and what’s a lot less important.
These groups are always clamoring for our donations. You know what I’m talking about—all the mailings and emails pleading for contributions on the grounds that these groups “urgently” need more resources in order to defend Israel. Well, I for one would be more impressed by such solicitations if I saw that those organizations were focusing their resources on issues that are serious threats to Israel and the Jewish people. Things that are more serious than a late-night joke.
As I type these words, over 150,000 Hezbollah rockets are aimed at northern Israel, and the international community continues to treat Hezbollah with kid-gloves. Jewish groups could be pressuring countries around the world to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is openly flirting with a return to the dangerous Iran nuclear deal. Jewish groups could be mobilizing members of Congress to block appeasement of Tehran.
And President Biden’s new Secretary of State is telling us that Israel must return to being nine miles wide, which is what the slogan “two-state solution” means in practice. Jewish groups could be explaining to political leaders, the media, and the American public exactly what dangers Israel would face from the borders that the “two-state solution” would create.
These are life-and-death issues for Israel. Is Michael Che’s joke really more important than Hezbollah rockets, Iranian nukes, or Israel being reduced to nine miles wide?
Stephen M. Flatow is an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.”