By Aaron Klein
Organizers frustrated with Jewish groups ‘failing to mount any opposition’
JERUSALEM – A grassroots coalition of U.S. Jewish students is planning a nationwide protest next week against the Israeli government’s ongoing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before President Bush leaves office in January.
The demonstration, scheduled for Sept. 18, also opposes what organizers state is the “failure” of mainstream American Jewish groups, including Orthodox-oriented organizations, to mount any opposition to the Israeli government’s negotiations and its purported willingness to forfeit strategic territory.
“The religious Jewish establishment will not speak out about the planned division of the land of Israel. They are remaining silent just as they did three years ago, before the Gaza retreat,” Yosef Rabin, director of the United Jewish Student Council, told WND.
Rabin’s group has sent flyers to U.S. Jewish schools calling for students to protest on the 18th, starting 10 minutes before the first class, comprising the first lesson of the day.
The suggested format of the protest includes reading of Psalms and other prayers for Israel. Demonstrators are urged to invite the local media and bring cameras and video recorders to later post the protests on YouTube.
Rabin said so far students and parents in Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio have signed onto the protest and are working to organize students from their schools.
Israel has been negotiating with the PA in line with talks initiated at last November’s U.S.-backed Annapolis summit.
Media reports say Israel is willing to cede the majority of the strategic West Bank to the Palestinians and that the Jewish state is negotiating Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has denied Jerusalem is up for negotiation. But Israeli and Palestinian sources intimately familiar with the current talks tell WND Jerusalem is being negotiated, with Palestinian officials claiming the talks are in advance stages.