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Letter to the
editor, Hebrew Watchman, June 7, 2007, page 13
Israel, not Policies
My compliments on printing the article "Leftist Jews
try to balance community, opposition to Israel" in your May 17 issue. I
do wish the title had been "opposition to Israeli Policy" rather than
just "to Israel". This was a remarkably even-handed and
nuanced article on an extremely touchy subject.
I'm a devoted Jew, my grandfather was an orthodox
Rabbi and refugee from Europe. I consider myself an ardent Zionist, in
the sense that I very much want a safe and peaceful home for the Jews
in their historical homeland, and a place where it is assured that any
Jew can go when they need to go somewhere. That makes me an
ardent supporter of an Israel with very much its present basic
But supporting Israel doesn't mean I have to
support every current Israeli policy, any more than being a patriotic
American means I have to support every current US policy. I'm
convinced that the present Israeli treatment of Palestinians is not the
way to get to a peaceful and safe state for Jews. The
Palestinians feel the same aspirations for statehood as the Jews do;
they have as strong an attraction to the land. I don't see any solution
but a two-state solution, with Jews having the right of return in a
Jewish state, and Palestinians able to return to a Palestinian state.
It will take us a long time to overcome the
hatred. It will take time and money, to get the Palestinians out of
camps and into homes and jobs, to desalinate water and distribute it
fairly. We did that for the Jews coming to Israel in 1948 and for
the Russians arriving more recently. We (the Jews but not just
the Jews) will have to do that for the Palestinians too. But we need to
get started, unless we want to fight until the last Palestinian and the
last Israeli are both dead.
My wife and I will be leaving
shortly to travel with a group sponsored by American Friends Service
Committee and the Fellowship of Reconciliation,, to visit pro-peace
groups in both Israel and the occupied territories. I expect to
be somewhat uncomfortable in the group, where "anti-occupation"
rhetoric may sometimes outweigh my own views, but I think the group
needs a voice at least as Zionist as mine.
The article referred to was a report on a meeting of the organization Jewish Voice
Part of this was posted on the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website,
where reader posts are anonymous, 05/22/07 @15:46. If it is still
on-line, you can
see the article I was commenting on by clicking here.