Why he cries
Just as Noah Goldstein cried (“Why I cry at Yitzhak Rabin’s grave,” Comment & Features, November 12), I came close to crying when I read his heartfelt column. Sadly, though, he saw everything in black and white: white when he came at age 16, but black on his recent Birthright trip.
The truth is that the reality of the Jewish state we all love is not as wonderful as when Mr. Goldstein saw it at 16, but neither is it as dastardly as he now perceives it.
On the tragedy of the Rabin assassination, many on the Right spoke venomously about the Peres/ Rabin-inspired Oslo process. However, one could also ask about the role played by Avishai Raviv, considered by some to have been an agent provocateur of the Left, in egging on and besmirching the Right. He then disappeared.
As for Mr. Goldstein’s take on the “peace process” – where he appears to put the entire onus for lack of progress on Israel’s shoulders – it would help if he were more nuanced by taking note of the position often averred by Palestinian Arab leaders, that they will constantly strive to end up with a Palestinian state, although from the river to the sea.
Much as he laments Israel’s policy, I hope he would not wish us to pay for our “sins” by facilitating our own annihilation.JAC FRIEDGUT
Why won’t Noah Goldstein, in his grandfather’s memory, use his inspiration to come to Israel and work miracles for peace? He could try and find a peace partner that does not wish to destroy Israel once it has the power. He could use his energy to respond gently and passively to rockets and tunnels initiated in Gaza. He could dream of peace while the country is threatened by Iran.
Living comfortably in Washington will not help solve the problem. Let’s see Mr. Goldstein make a difference here instead of critically pontificating on ideological but unachievable outcomes in the present milieu.KAREN PISK
Own goal – and often
With regard to “PA: Security coordination with Israel fully restored” (November 9), what a relief! Now we can rest easy that the terrorist organization, with its head dude, Mahmoud Abbas, has decided to allow us to continue to make sure he survives – which has always been the policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Abbas, Netanyahu’s “peace partner,” was so angry when Israel put in metal detectors at the Temple Mount after Arabs shot and killed two Israeli policemen that he decided he was going to teach us a lesson and told Netanyahu that Muslims would not go back to the Temple Mount until every vestige of security was removed. Wow! That is fighting talk, for sure. It was enough to frighten Netanyahu.
A tragedy averted! Nothing like an own goal, something we do quite often.YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya Not knowing the truth
Reader Amiel Schotz (“Three possibilities for Bibi,” Letters, November 9) presents three imagined scenarios of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s involvement in the various suspicions against him and claims that whichever is correct, Netanyahu is unfit to be prime minister.
He asks: “What other possibility is there?” But he does not even consider the possibility that Netanyahu will be exonerated.
Of course, I do not know what the truth is, but neither does Mr. Schotz. What annoys me is the degree of hatred against the democratically elected leader of the country that brings him to condemn the prime minister before the legal system has even decided to indict him, let alone declare his guilt.
This is the same reprehensible attitude as that of the protesters outside the attorney-general’s home, who do not allow a civil servant to do his job to the best of his ability, but try, by making his private life and that of his neighbors unbearable, to force him to decide according to their incomplete knowledge.
We have also seen this behavior outside courtrooms, where day after day, protesters bang drums and scream in order to influence the judges to reach what the protesters have decided the verdict should be. (When the verdict goes their way, these people praise the legal system!) My personal view is that all such protesters should be arrested for trying to pervert the course of justice, no less than if they had offered someone a bribe.
Leave it to Israel’s Right
Vivian Bercovici’s reasonable commemoration (“Misplaced rage against the Balfour Declaration,” Comment & Features, November 8) still wrongly accuses critics of the document for singling it out more than other contemporary arrogances.
The Palestinians were the inhabiting people of the Palestinian colonies and territories under the Ottomans, and the Balfour Declaration, when it was incorporated into the Palestine Mandate, violated the heart of the League of Nation’s covenant for mandates to decolonize the inhabitants of the world’s “former colonies and territories” without displacing people.
Ms. Bercovici doesn’t see that the inhabitants of the former colonial mandates all stayed where they were throughout the decolonization process – except for the Palestinians, who suffered radically different consequences because of the Balfour Declaration in the Palestine Mandate. Only the Palestinians were unjustly singled out not to be decolonized.
Are inaccuracy and a lack of clarity the only ways to defend the history and legitimacy of the modern, robust, thriving, diverse and democratic State of Israel? Of course not. But leave it to the Israeli Right to hand over on a platter the obviousness of its weaknesses to the malicious enemies of the great, reborn Jewish nation.
Leave it to the Left in general
Much of the problem with leftist – including Jewish leftist – attitudes toward Israel arises from the self-styled “progressive” Left’s self-definition as being smarter, better educated, better informed and more moral than its opponents in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The collapse of the Soviet Union didn’t just deprive the Left of its lodestone and moral model – it also led to a release of Soviet archives demonstrating that USSR had become exactly the corrupt totalitarian dictatorship the Right had been claiming all along. The clash between the Left’s self-image and being completely wrong about its ideal, and the Right’s being... well, right about it, could hardly be starker.
To avoid having to conclude that the hated liberal- democratic system of capitalism was actually a superior social system, the Left offered up the notion of “multi-culturalism,” that all cultures had essentially the same moral value. Thus, it did not need to concede that its idealization of the Soviet model had simply been dumb.
The clash between multi-culturalist beliefs and the evident reality that some cultures produce better results is one reason for the growing hostility of the Left to Israel. Like the Jews before it, Israel’s success has demonstrated that some models do work better than others.
Since Israel is evidence that multi-culturalism is nothing but a kluge, the hostility the Left has always directed against the evidence that it was wrong about the Soviet Union and its self-conception is now directed at Israel.
The only way out is to tell the Left clearly: You were wrong about the Soviet Union. If you’re so smart, maybe you should learn something from that.
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