By: Fern Sidman
“European countries are asleep and don’t perceive Iran as a danger. They have adopted a Chamberlin-like attitude and are much more sympathetic to Islamist causes that we’ll ever know,” said Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely at a recent speaking date before the South Florida Jewish community. Addressing an audience of over 100 at a Chabad sponsored “Lunch and Learn” in Miami Beach on December 14th, Ms. Hotovely, who sits on the Knesset’s Security and Defense Committee, referenced her recent trip to Belgium where she had attended a meeting of NATO members.
“I couldn’t sleep from fear, realizing that Israel and the US are the only countries in the world that recognize the existential threat of a nuclear Iran,” she lamented. On the subject of right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, she declared, “We must make it abundantly clear to the world that Israel is ours because of the biblical mandate that we received. Our land belongs to us because it was promised by G-d to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Taking issue with the Israeli right, Ms. Hotovely said, “We made a terrible mistake when we adopted the position that Judea and Samaria are necessary for Israel’s security. The Palestinians interpret this as an admission of theft; that we really don’t believe this land is ours and that we need to seize it for our own purposes. They then advance the morally superior argument that says that even if a thief believes he needs to steal someone’s home for his own security, it makes him no less a thief.”
Introducing Ms. Hotovely was Carol Flatto, Florida chairperson of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI), who sponsored the event. She cited Hotovely’s strong record of support for a whole Israel. Ms. Flatto also noted that it has been prominent Christians such as radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck and GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich who have championed Israel’s cause and lambasted those liberal Jews who have launched attacks on them. She also expressed thanks to the Israel Independence Fund for sponsoring Ms. Hotovely’s speaking tour of the US.
Responding to Gingrich’s comments that the Palestinians are an “invented people,” Ms. Hotovely said, “no matter whether the Palestinians are recognized as a nation or not, the problem still remains on how to deal with them, and this is what needs to be addressed.”
Taking questions from the audience, Ms. Hotovely addressed the many concerns over the freedom of Jonathan Pollard and said she had attempted to visit Pollard at the federal prison in North Carolina but was denied visitation on the grounds that he “cannot have visitors due to his poor health.” She noted the fact that a letter requesting his release that was signed by 100 Knesset members had been sent to President Obama and implored her audience to, “write, e-mail and telephone members of the US government, demanding Pollard’s immediate release” from prison where he has been incarcerated for close to three decades.