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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Congratulations on your son Nicholas's wedding, (Jerusalem Post, April 18). It seems only yesterday, and not 30 years, that we were neighbors on Riley Road in suburban Washington, our kids played together and we worked together at AIPAC.
The three kids you once knew now have three more siblings, born here in Israel after we made aliya. The three kids you once knew are all married to Jewish spouses with their own children, living near us here in Gush Etzion.
Yes, we are living in areas Israel reclaimed in the 1967 war.
Like your Israeli cousins, they are "on the Right." Our oldest recovered from a terrorist attack six years ago without any physical scars. Our four boys and our son-in-law have all served in combat units. Two of them followed me and became army medics. They have fought in Lebanon and in various cities in Judea and Samaria. One is on active duty today.
You claim that you have "a real hesitancy about telling your cousins what they should or shouldn't do with their lives." But that's exactly what you do. Sitting in suburban Washington, you have become a spokesperson for the "Appeasement Lobby," calling for Israeli concessions while sanctimoniously wrapping your misinformation in images of Israel's military cemeteries and the Holocaust.
Shame on you.
You attack hawks such as Daniel Pipes for sitting 6,000 miles away "constantly pressing Israel to fight rather than yield territory." But, when the appeasement lobby calls on Israel to make concession after unanswered concession from the safety of your 6,000 miles, you call that "promoting policies that will help Israel achieve peace and security." What hypocrisy.
Am I unfair? Not when I read your recent argument on why Israel should deal "even with a Palestinian Authority dominated by Hamas." You argue: "The Palestinians fully control no territory, have no army, and are next door to the fourth strongest military power on earth."
And you continued: "Palestinian responsibilities are less significant" than Israel's "...The Palestinians are by far the weaker party."
You then really poured on the agitprop when you rejected comparisons of Hamas's victory to the Nazi rise to power. I guess you don't take the Hamas charter seriously. It's like reading Mein Kampf.
I'm not surprised; you never took Yasser Arafat's anti-Israel propaganda or media incitement seriously either.
WE DO. We can't afford not to. We have buried friends and their children over the years. In some cases they were killed after pressure from the appeasement lobby removed roadblocks that made "life difficult" for the Palestinians. The subsequent attacks, of course, made "life impossible" for the victims.
The utopian, naive dream you carry of the pastoral "kindergarten in Netanya... Tel Aviv beach... Carmel in Haifa..." is just that - a dream. It ignores the furnace of Islamic hate churning out suicide bombers, anti-Semitism, and vows to capture Netanya, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem - not just the West Bank Jewish communities that you loathe.
Mike, Israel having the fourth strongest army in the world does not impress me. (Even if it was close to being true.
It certainly doesn't impress the Palestinians, or Hizbullah, or Iran.
It doesn't stop the rocket fire or the suicide bombers or the anti-Semitic mosque speeches.
Your differentiation between the beautiful pre-1967 Israel and the territories doesn't impress Israel's foes, either.
The Israeli towns and villages built after 1948 are just as illegitimate in their eyes as those built after 1967.
What is 19 years in the scale of their history and cosmic justice?
WE CERTAINLY do not aspire to live in a modern day Sparta or to live with our swords constantly by our side. I never dreamt that my boys would one day be in combat. But we cannot disarm to live up to your dreams. We will not roll over to assuage your guilt of Jewish power. Nor will we surrender our religious patrimony to soothe the discomfort felt by those who cringe at the sight of proud religious Jews and their many children at the Western Wall, Rachel's Tomb, or Cave of the Patriarchs.
Some of us dream of our grandchildren growing up as proud Jews in Israel and not in Los Angeles, Paris or Washington.
So Mike, don't sell us your nostrums.
One of your colleagues at the Israel Policy Forum recently penned an article, "Israelis Just Wanna Have Fun." It leads me to conclude that one of you had a hand in writing a most troublesome line from Ehud Olmert's speech before your organization last June - "We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies."
At that occasion, speaking in New York, he may have been speaking for you and the appeasement lobby from a text written for him.
He wasn't speaking for all Israelis, and I don't even think he was speaking for the Ehud Olmert I've known for 25 years.
The writer served as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission in the Washington Embassy. Today he serves as an international consultant to corporations and foreign governments.
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