Recently addressing a French-speaking audience, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, declared that he went to Paris to attend the demonstration of January11th « as the representative of all the Jewish People ». It is as such that he says he is « ready to go anywhere, on request, to present the Israeli point of view against all those who wish to kill us, and come firstly from the Iranian regime. » He alludes here to his decision of going to Washington in the near future to address the American Congress so as to outline the reasons why he opposes the agreement which the United States are negotiating with Iran.
In Israel, this decision is highly controversial. In the United States, more and more Jews ask the Israeli Prime Minister to postpone his talk in the Congress until after the elections. Most of them see there a wish to interfere with the American policy regarding Iran, while according to a survey conducted by JStreet on a sample of Jewish American voters, 84% of them would support an agreement giving Iran an access to Civil Nuclear Energy with international controls. This medding in American politics is perceived by some people as dangerous for the very interests of the Jewish American community. Many Democrat members have already announced that they would not attend Netanyahu’s speech, and even among Republicans, similar voices are being heard.
As for us, on the basis of the information available today, we do not take a stand on a possible agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Energy.
If Mr Netanyahu can claim with good reason the right to express himself on behalf of the State of Israel, he can under no circumstances claim to do it on behalf of all Jews in the world. As of the fifties, David Ben Gurion, founder of the State of Israel, declared that « The State of Israel could speak only on the behalf of Israeli citizens, but under no circumstances on behalf of Jewish citizens of other countries. » No, Mr Prime Minister, you cannot speak on our behalf. In the diaspora, many of us think that Netanyahu’s years will remain a period when Israel weakened politically, losing its credit on the international scene—mostly due to the status quo policy regarding the Palestinians, and also, at the same time, to the continuing colonization in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In the same way as JStreet with American Jews, JCall claims to represent this part of the European diaspora which considers itself deeply attached to the State of Israel while advocating its attachment to the creation of a viable Palestinian State beside it. And we allow no one to speak on our behalf.