The Dangerous Myopia of American Jewish Leaders

From coast to coast, as Progressive American rabbis continue to call for peace, they are inadvertently revealing their tragic inability to acknowledge that the world in which they once formulated their positions on Israel has changed almost beyond recognition. The gaping disconnect between the world that these rabbis pretend exists and the one that actually exists renders their message both irrelevant and myopically dangerous. For the goal of religious leadership ought to be to get people to do something. Yet, acting while denying reality can lead only to grievous, and, perhaps, irredeemable mistakes.

Jews do not easily surrender our hopes for peace. But increasingly, beginning with the Second Intifada, Israelis have come to doubt the possibility of a “land for peace” deal. That doubt increased when Gazans voted Hamas into power after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. In recent years, as more Israelis have come to understand that there is no placating Gazans, who see themselves as descendants of 1948 refugees from the Negev and the coastal plain (precisely the places that Gazans shelled during the recent conflict), Israeli despair has only hardened.

That the situation is both dangerous and depressing is undeniable. But responsible leadership does not deny reality, no matter how sad it may be. It first acknowledges what exists, and only then tries to imagine what we can do to create a better world.

Yet that is precisely too many American Progressive Jewish leaders refuse to do. As Operation Pillar of Defense was raging, the rabbi of Ikar in Los Angeles wrote to that community saying that what Israel needed to do was “engage earnestly and immediately in peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,” demonstrating an utter lack of understanding of the power balance between Hamas and Fatah, or of the hatred of Israel that is now systemic in Palestinian life. When the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to that of non-member observers, the rabbis of Bnai Jeshurun in New York wrote their community saying that “The vote at the UN [was] a great moment for us as citizens of the world. … This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition.”

Do these rabbis imagine in their wildest dreams that any parallel sentiment will emerge from the other side? The ink was hardly dry on that letter when Hamas’ political chief Khaled Meshal said that “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land… there is no legitimacy for Israel.” Meshal continued: “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.” Does anyone really imagine that Israeli concessions in the West Bank can curb this sort of hatred? Would an Israeli willingness to deny Meshal’s view and his popularity strengthen Israel or weaken it? Shortly after that, it was reported that PA forces in the West Bank have ceased all operations designed to curtail Hamas’ influence in the West Bank. Can anyone doubt what that means?

Some responsible American Jewish voices are coming to terms with this new reality. Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in The New Republic that “I no longer believe that peace between Israelis and Palestinians will occur in my lifetime. I have not changed my views; I have merely lost my hopes.

Wieseltier is, sadly, where most Israelis are. Progressive American voices, tragically, are in a very different place. “We are deeply entrenched in our narratives of good and evil, victim and perpetrator,” Ikar’s rabbi wrote, unwilling to take a stand on whether Hamas was good or evil, victim or perpetrator, while Bnai Jeshurun’s followed with that note that the UN vote was a great moment for them “as citizens of the world.”

Jews have always seen ourselves as citizens of the world. But key to Judaism’s survival has been an ability to couple that universal concern to a clear-eyed assessment of the challenges and dangers facing the Jewish world. The mark of great religious leadership is not simply its ability to imagine a better world, but to imagine how we might get to that world from the one that actually exists. We will know great Progressive religious leadership is emerging when we see the world that they describe bears at least some resemblance to the one in which Israel has to try to survive.

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About Daniel Gordis

Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. The author of numerous books on Jewish thought and currents in Israel, and a recent winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Dr. Gordis was the founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism.

85 Comments on "The Dangerous Myopia of American Jewish Leaders"

  • Ben Dor says

    Excellent opinion.

    Try preaching this to the Israeli politicians first. They seem to have lost their bearings.

  • Rabbi Gabriel Ben-Or says

    While it is disheartening to read such rabbinic leadership comments, please know that many more of us do recognize the intransigent and implacable hatred that exists against Israel and Jews. The fruit of decades of the Palestinian education system has born its’ blemished fruit.

  • Merle Wolofsky says

    I am a 71 year old woman brought up in Montreal.I start this way so that you understand the gereration I am part of and who served as my teachers and inspirations. My education and career were in the Jewish School system and spent my summers in Hebrew speaking Camp Massad as a child. As an adult I arranged and supervised 20 teenage trips to Israel involving over 1800 youngsters. Since my retirement I have spent 4 tours of duty in Sar-el and will be leaving soon on my 25th trip to Israel to serve once more in Jan. I am a Zionist.
    All that being said I am extremely upset by the actions of the Israeli government (not the conduct of the army) vis a vis supporting and extending settlements, especially the newest E-1 announcements. To me I do not believe that Bibi really wants to make a Palestinian state possible and I believe that we will never have a Jewish State in a moral and ethical sense if we continue the occupation. The loss of faith is devistating as I feel a betrayal to my teachers, leaders and family. But I think theat the Israeli policies are the betrayers and that the Liberal leaders you are targeting are like the prophets of old warning the ancient leaders.

  • Ben Dor says

    Some information for Merle regarding the false use of the term “occupation”.

    Are Settlements Illegal? http://emetnews.org/analysis/are_settlements_illegal.php#.TrFMb94dF50

    An opinion was held by Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of the Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs in the administration of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and a drafter of UN Resolution 242:

    The heated question of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank during the “occupation” period should be viewed in this perspective. The Mandate ratified by 51 nations (members of the League of Nations)recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in the whole of the Mandated territory. It was provided that local conditions might require Great Britain to “postpone” or “withhold” Jewish settlement in what is now Jordan. This was done in 1922. But the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan river, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors. And perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, “the Palestine article”, which provides that “nothing in the Charter shall be construed … to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments….”

    http://www.tzemachdovid.org/Facts/islegal1.shtml

    League of Nations resolution and Mandate for Palestine: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/2FCA2C68106F11AB05256BCF007BF3CB

    Charter of the United Nations; June 26, 1945: Article 80
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art77 1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.

    Jews have these rights according to International law, based on the above documents and agreements to settle wherever they wish in Jerusalem,Judea and Samaria, because it

    was given exclusively to the Jews for their sovereignty, to reconstitute the Jewish homeland, in the same way that Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Trans-Jordan were given for Arab

    sovereignty and self determination. These agreements remain binding today, and Arab determination and foreign interests to deny these truths in no way alter the legal status of Palestine.

    In 1967 Israel had come into control of the said territories following a legitimately fought defensive war. Another very significant historical and legal viewpoint regards Israel’s presence in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria as emanating from the historical rights granted in Palestine to the Jewish people by the Balfour Declaration and affirmed by resolution of the League of Nations in 1922, granting to the Jewish people a national home in all parts of Mandatory Palestine and enabling “close settlement on the land.” The continued validity of this resolution, beyond the days of the League of Nations, was in fact maintained by Article 80 of the UN Charter, according to which rights granted to peoples by international instruments remain unaltered, and hence still valid.

    Should you wish additional information, I will post it here.

  • If anyone needs a reason to redouble the support and advocacy of Israel and understand the Palestinian Authority/PLO of today, just read Abu Mazen’s speech to the UN and the reception he received at the UN. Unfortunately, it seems the UN of today is the Reichstag of the 1930’s. The “progressive” rabbis in the US can preach their opinions of what Israel should or should not be doing, but at the end of that sermon the rabbi returns to his/her safe, secure and comfortable home in the US. It is not enough to foolishly hope for a world that does not exist. Israel, not the Palestine sought by the palestinians, is our homeland.

    Charles D Pulman
    Dallas, Texas

  • Barry Berger says

    Daniel,

    You write about “Progressive American rabbis” and you identify them as “they”, excluding yourself from that group. As a person who closely admires and follows your writings, I would certainly include you in the “progressive” group – compliments intended!

    As a fellow “progressive”, I agree with your cautions about treading naively (and dangerously) on the path to peace with those who preach our destruction.

    Yet, there are additional components to being progressive in dealing with the situation – the danger of accepting or even exaccerbating the status quo, the dehumanization (ourselves and them), the assymetrical judicial process …. the list goes on!

    We should certainly be cautious in making dangerous concessions in the name of a false “peace”, but we need to stay true to the ethical moral standards that defines our progressive zionism.

  • Well stated, though sad it needed to be stated. The myopia of progressive Jewish leadership seems in line with that of progressive American and European leadership…. focusing on what could be, while ignoring or not seeing the real world politic that is…. The progressive view, as myopic as it is, serves a purpose to remind us of what could be some day with different circumstances, but we must live in the here and now.

    As an American Jewish Zionist, I see us as bearing the legacy…. and the responsibility….. of the 2 and a half tribes…. We must remain steadfast and unconditional defenders of the Land, and our Brethren within, and be the vanguard of defense on a world geopolitical front. To paraphrase Rav Kook, in Orot, Israel is not a peripheral matter…. Even to American Jews, as remnants of those 2 and a half tribes, it is the essence of our identity and our destiny.

  • Larry Winer says

    The only message that can get through to the other side is we are not going anywhere. Israel is our homeland. We are not going to be marched into ovens or depend upon the good nature of our enemy. Could we have reasoned with Hitler? With Haman? Negotiate with the likes of the Mullahs? We can either surrender and become servile second class citizens who are tolerated at best or defend ourselves to the hilt. No one talks about all Jews of Arab countries who fled to Israel after 1948! We must always hope for peace but that is a long ways off. We Jewish Americans love our country. But we also love our ancestral homeland and recognize that Israel is at the core of Jewish identity. If building “settlements” gets the message across that if our Arab cousins think they can outlast or wear us down they are sadly mistaken. Somehow this has to be communicated to the Arab masses!

  • I think you said it very well, as you always do. The JStreeters of today are rampant, and I’m sorry to say Ehud Olmert seems to be not too far behind them, stating today that Bibi’s policies will lead to another intifada. Why give our enemies such an opening? As for Merle Wolofsky, I respect her age and opinion, though not her conclusions. I’m staring at E1 from my apartment in Maale Adumim, as I’m writing, and I’m sorry you have drunk the kool-aid that makes you believe this piece of property, owned by Israel, is an obstacle to peace. By the way, after 25 trips to Israel you say you are a Zionist. You are a pseudo-Zionist; the real ones live here and don’t bark disappointments from 6000 miles away.

  • linda cooper says

    Merle, you are precisely the Jewish mindset that Gordis’ article
    is trying reach.
    Please try to re read and understand it.
    If one of your grandchildren was a target of violence and hatred,
    and he continued to reach out his hand to be friends, wouldn’t there come a time when he would say, “Enough?”
    Do you really think all of the overtures of peace would have changed Hitler’s intent and violence? The muslims were allies of Hitler.
    Would you stand by with your hand out to Hitler or to the abusers of your grandchildren….and stand idly by while they are being massacred or would you finally acknowledge that there is hatred in the world that you just cannot change, and that you need to protect your family and country.
    Linda

  • <erle is upset. She does "not believe that Bibi really wants to make a Palestinian state possible and [she] believe[s] that we will never have a Jewish State in a moral and ethical sense if we continue the occupation".

    Boy am I glad that the original settlers of Petah Tikva, Rishon L'Tzion and Rechovot, for a few colonies of Zionism are not around to here that.

    Merle, essentially nothing has changed since 120 years ago. I know it is frustrating and maybe even disheartening.

    All that is needed to test Bibi's committment is for the Arabs to sit down and negotiate. He even halted construction. He even probably will not build up E1 for a couple of years.

    And be careful of quoting Prophets. They had some nasty (well, probably by your standards) things to say about the political situation that could very well parallel today's reality.

  • Ivan Lubash says

    I totally concur with Daniel Gordis. There is no chance of a successful agreement with the Palestinians/Arabs. The only chance for a settlement (and that is extremely remote) is for the Israelis to continue improving and building the land. At some point the Palestinians/Arabs might agree to recognition and settle.

    But, until that day comes, Israel should pursue its own destiny and continue as a leader in democracy in the mid-East, and beyond. I am in the similar age group as the previous writer, and I expect my grand-children to be still hoping for a equitable peace agreement.

  • steve gerson says

    There has always been the “we live in a dangerous neighborhood” argument. And it is no less true now. But along with that, our narrative has always been that we stand ready to negotiate peace with any serious Palenstinian partner. From this side of the ocean, that seems to have changed. Price Tag attacks that go unpunished. An extremist Likud coalition lineup. Even the leftist parties try not to mention the Palestinians.

    It is the Israelis who are now seen by many to not be a serious partner for peace negotiations. If Israelis want a future as a Jewish democratic state, it is critical to negotiate a two-state solution. We have, and will always have enemies and adversaries outside the borders. It is in the interests of Israel to negotiate new borders that lets those adversaries try to build their own nation.

    The Israeli government should be welcoming the PA to the UN, a proper response to those on the other side who want to resolve the issues through peaceful means.

  • Michael Breslauer says

    Our Jewish essence requires us to question. A corollary principle is the requirement that we continue our effort to improve our own lot and that of the world surrounding us.

    Your recent posts lead me to conclude that you, like Wieseltier, have lost hope. But the basic problem with the “Arabs hate us; Hamas will never accept us; the PA is an unacceptable partner for peace” line of thought is this: once you adopt such a line it’s much easier to absolve yourself from actually trying to change the paradigm. You’re trapped in a binary world you unintentionally create when you adopt the line. It’s much easier to make a decision to restart the process to build additional settlements in EJ. It’s much easier to refuse to take chances for peace. Multiple chances, if necessary.

    What are the true visionaries telling us about ways to move forward toward resolution? Dunno. Haven’t heard one yet. But at least the ‘wayward Rabbis’ of Ikar and B’nai Jeshurun are thoughtful and resonate with the admonition we all must follow to refuse to accept what is for what can be.

  • Stanley Tee says

    Steve Gerson, I have some homework for you. Rather than reply to your comment, I ask you to do the following:
    Please read Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the UN. You’ll find it here:
    http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/news/5787-pa-president-abbas-speech-to-un-general-assembly.html

    Now, please read the following speech given by Netanyahu:http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ewJXKcOUJlIaG&b=7717007&ct=11141385#.UMTCELYX6ck

    When you have done that, I ask you please to consider just who really, truly wants peace? Which of these two leaders is adopting a more conciliatory tone? Which sounds as if he is prepared to compromise in return for true peace?

    Please take a few minutes to do what I ask, and then consider again whether your comment is really valid.

    Thank you.

  • Nicole Blacksburg says

    Your past three columns have just served to attack American Progressive Jews and the Rabbis who lead them. You clearly have lost any connection to that community and, sadly, have joined the chorus of voices from Israel that remind American Jews that you don’t consider us Jews while you demand our absolute agreement wih everything you say. I find this transformation in you particularly sad since as a convert (although not recognized by you apparently) your writings about Israel shaped my views on Israel. Seemingly, you no longer teach. You just attack. I’m sad to have lost a teacher whose views mattered to me. Instead of saying how wrong others are, how about teach your views. I still believe in the Psalm of “Seek peace, pursue it” and am sad that you have decided that peace will never come.

  • Stanley Tee says

    Michael Breslaur,

    What do you suggest? How would you go about changing the minds of the PLO and Hamas? What can Israel concede that she hasn’t already given, that will finally get these groups to allow Israel to live in peace?

    Before you answer, please remember that Israel has tried offering the Palestinians everything they claim they want (see Camp David, 2000 and Jerusalem 2008). Israel has tried withdrawing unilaterally, asking for nothing, yet giving up plenty (see withdrawal from Lebanon, withdrawal from Gaza).

    With every successive concession, the Palestinians simply demand more, all the while continuing to educate their children to hate Jews and Israel.

    So please, instead of criticizing Rabbi Gordis, please offer a suggestion of yoru own.

    Thank you.

  • Stanley Tee says

    Nicole Blacksburg, I refer you to my reply above to Michael Breslaur and ask you the same question, and add a question for you.

    Why do you think it is Rabbi Gordis who has last any connection to the (Progressive) American Jewish community – rather than the other way around? Is it not possible that this community has lost its connection to the reality of life in Israel?

    It’s all very well to quote the psalmist, but how can you “Seek peace, pursue it” if your enemies have no desire for peace at all and demonstrate it at every turn?

  • martin says

    With all the ululating, intellectualizing, legalizing, moralizing, rationalizing bullshit [ I’m sorry, I’m angry ] going on, please help me. Does Israel realistically need American Jews to survive –that all I want to know? If not, stop beating them over the head. Ignore them. If yes,there you haqve the realistic answer to the problem one has with progressive American Jews. And don’t tell me “yes” and “no”–that’s the same as a “Yes”.

  • Lauren Hershey says

    Daniel:

    As a previous student of yours and someone who greatly respects you and your work, I applaud you on writing this article, as it brings up many heavy-felt points of contention. I agree with you that the reality of the situation is largely obscured to the American Jewry, and as such, we learn about ‘ancient’ Judaism – rituals, practice, custom, history… we reflect. I am a current teacher within the Jewish American system and find my curriculum to be a bit superficial. I, however, cannot in good faith extend that recognition or labeling to American Jewish leaders. I believe that there is a stark disparity between those who are preaching idealism and those spreading the message of awareness through an idealist nature (or vessel).

    Nearly ALL of my educators on JLI spoke in this manner, while paralleling a recognition of ‘reality’. What I deeply respect about the American style of teaching, actually, is the curiosity for change and the lack of direct condemnation of other peoples. While this may be interpreted as weak, uninformed, or simply ambiguous (refusing to don a stance), I see it as balanced, not arbitrary.

    Something that I personally struggle with (in keeping up with BBC news, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and other news sources) is the disconnect in communication amongst American and Israeli leaders. It seems to me that leadership has become increasingly more bilateral and antagonistic, relaying messages to the ‘other side’ that display bitter emotion and frustration, instead of asking for cooperation– or better yet, relaying information in a necessary, yet diplomatic sense.

    Just because American Jews are not physically housed in the walls of Jerusalem does not mean WE are not invested in the life, presence, and future of the people we love there and the meaning of the land in accord with our faith and reason. Both states are a burden– I dare not say one is heavier than the other, since there are few parallels to be drawn in the two situations.

    With that being said, what needs to happen is a dissemination of information from Israeli Rabbinical (or otherwise) leadership to American leadership forging a bond, rather than severing one. I deeply understand that Israel feels pressed, anxious, and isolated– but communicating specifically the same isolating and extreme language that is experienced by Israeli citizens from those who wish to see Jerusalem conquered, and shoving it down the throats of brothers and sisters across the sea, directly breeds malcontent– and ironically, a desire to distance oneself from the conflict itself. We have seen the dreaded power of prejudicial scapegoating throughout history, and it is possible and applicable now to state the such tactics of persuasion are being used by those who NEED their message to be heard.

    The problem lies in the fact that the message is heard loud-and-clear, but nothing is seen as proof, as verification, as a call for help. The message is a cry for change, ironically, but the kind of change that idealistic pawns off the responsibility on the American leadership– who seemingly lack the vision or correct knowledge of the situation to be a veritable aid in the first place. I do not align myself with such circular finger-pointing as a meager attempt at mustering us to a figurative or literal arms.

    I believe more and more, that there is never folly in advocating peace (from a liturgical, moral, and realistic standpoint). It is SO DIFFICULT to fully know what happens in a place in which you do not live; that concession is not one of admitting ignorance, it is a truism for those who seek PROPER knowledge and insight. The news, no matter what source, simply does not give the scope of conflict its due process. Nor does it seek to rectify those ills which occur– it isolates, labels, and condemns with its words. It does little (and this is found domestically and internationally– something in unison) to demand resolution that necessitates self-observation and reflection. It blames, points outward, to external conditions and consequences. I have yet to see any semblance of self-criticism or even self-loathing from any article I have ever read on relations between Israeli and American leadership, let alone the actions of Israel in the world theater as well. I feel like I am consistently coming into contact with defense mechanism after defense mechanism, and know that no transformation comes without sacrifice. In more plain speech, initiate a positive change and you will see those who are willing to change with you. If it is not directly the change you wanted to see, if the Jewish American leadership seem to be a sort of frivolity that distributes words of empty optimism and don’t contribute like you’d wish in such affairs, then ASK for help and TELL why it is needed. The subject of belittling through subtext is not only ineffective, it’s poisonous and destroys good intentions and well as steps towards progress, or action, as I believe the two have been couple in your article. Teaching tolerance never destroyed bridges; if anything, it aims to construct them. Bigotry, in any form, can only achieve the opposite of that aim (even if it is directed at member within an alignment of your own, say a religion or creed).

    With hope and resolution,
    Lauren Hershey

  • Barbara Oberman says

    I was saddened to read of Merle Wolofsky’s lack of faith in our goverrnment.
    I am an over 70 year old woman, born in
    London with a track record of helping to
    bring the wonderful ALyah from the SOviet Union and now living my dream in Israel.
    Many of my grandchildren serve in the IDF and
    whilst I really appreciate your work with
    Sar-el I would strongly advise you to read,
    learn and understand the need for a contiguous Jerusalem. If you listen to how the leaders of our enemies have spoken in the last few days you will see it is they that want a Palestinian State on the whole of what is today Israel.
    Merle we have an enormously brave and well
    loved Prime Minister in Benjamin Nathanyhu and one in whom we have enormous faith to steer this ship safely. I hope when you come here you will be able to change your mind.

  • Moishe (Thomas) Goldstein Toronto, Canada says

    Dear Rabbi Gordis.

    A Jew is defined by her and his soul.

    Where does one find the quintessential Jewish soul in this column (and in your recent A Responsibility to Speak and When Balance Becomes Betrayal)?

    Where too is your concern for our opponents’ victory as we become infected with a Heart of Darkness?

    Warmly – Chag Chanukah Sameach

    Moishe

  • Nicole Blacksburg says

    Stanley Tee

    I don’t propose to know the answer. In fact, one of my favorite things I learned from Rabbi Gordis is that if anyone thinks that there is a simple answer to this problem, then they haven’t understood its complexity. I agree that I cannot know day to day life in Israel. I agree that I am frustrated and angry and fearful at the people who deny Israel’s right to exist. Rabbi Gordis’ writing opened my eyes to the hypocrisy that the world holds for actions from Israel and other nations . My main point was that his past columns on a critical issue and that needs a loud, clear voice to teach others about Israel instead comes across as judgmental and condescending, especially this one where he doesn’t even name the Rabbi with whom he used to work and apparently call a friend. The point I took from his articles is that he considers Progressive American Jews as idiots and part of the problem. I actually liked Martin’s response…if you want or need us, then stop telling us we are a bunch of idiots and tell us your side. Teach don’t screech. If you don’t need or want us, then why do you care what American Jews think? I’m tired of being insulted and asked to support you in the same breath.

  • Sol Bleiweis says

    I am amused by some of these comments. For reference only I am in my late 80’s and was born in Germany. My mother who was a good soul and had concerns for every body, my father was a more realistic and hard nosed. When my mother would show concern for some one, my father had a yiddish expression don’t be a “melitz yosher” to my mother. As best that I can determine it translates to don’t be a tighteous advocate. I think that our progressive friends and Rabbis should heed this advice. History has shown that we Jews can only rely on our selves. Therefore, a strong and viable Israel supported by world wide Jewry is best to secure our future.

  • Stephen says

    The danger facing Israel has been what it always has been-no peace. You have Morsi brokering a truce ( not a peace) between Israel and Hamas. He than tries to you the prestige from this for a power grab the Eygptians are trying to stop him. You have Hamas willing to defer to Fatah because Fatah succeeds in getting recognition in the UN. You have no idea what is going to happen Syria, what fires that cause in Turkey with the Kurds or in Jordan. Libiya who knows who will rule there? Iran? Don’t ask. Than you have Bibi spank the Fatah-must we be as stupid as a Arafat and lose this opportunity to have an opportunity. Two states now. Negoiations only get ceasefires. The reality of two states gives people responsibility, something to declare as there’s and a reality from which negoiations can be done. You had the Oslo accords you had the parition in 48 choose one and impose it.

  • To Moishe Goldstein –

    “Soul”? I wouldn’t say it is the defining characteristic. The head comes first, seichel, simple logic, rationality. If Khaled Meshal says Hamas pledges that it would never recognize Israel and calls for an Islamic Palestinian state on the territory of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, would you rather Israel give over more territory with probable no quid pro quo (see: Disengagement 2005 which was a repeat of Peel 1937, UN 1947, Sinai Withdrawal I 1949, Sinai Withdrawal II 1957, etc.) but rather endangering Israel’s security when the rockets next come from the hills of Judea & Samaria since Hamas will wipe the floor with Fatah in any upcoming elections? Nu?

  • Chana Givon says

    It is incomprehensible that anyone who knows the history of the Middle East and is aware of the dangerous concessions made by Israel under extreme outside pressure can imagine that the country does not want peace!

    It must be understood that those who today call themselves ‘Palestinians’ adopted the name that identified Jews until 1948 when we became ‘Israelis’. Even then the Arabs who lived in Palestine preferred to be known as members of the larger Arab nation -but later adopted the name for political expediency in order to claim the territory.

    More than ninety years ago -long before the re-establishment of the Jewish state in her original homeland- there were massacres against Jewish communities and support for
    Hitler’s ‘final solution’ by their descendents who today continue to echo their hatred for Jews and plans for continued call for Israel’s destruction.

    An excellent compilation of facts can be accessed at:
    http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2012/12/6/december-6-2012-rights-spelled-clear.html

    Gordis’ article underscores the lag of American Jews in understanding the reality of life in Israel. Another point might be added; many Americans in general do not listen to the calls of radical Islam for the destruction of Western civilization and the creation of a worldwide caliphate with global sharia for all.

    Israel is the bulwark of democracy in a region infested with terrorism. American Jews should understand the importance of keeping Israel strong instead of promoting the fantasy of ‘land for peace’. The conflict is not about land but the endgame -as stated above.

  • Glenn Rubel says

    Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the size of the land designated to be a Jewish state has been continually diminished. Now, we are asked to shrink its’ size again. Can anyone insure greater peace will result? I think not. Indeed, our enemies promise to destroy us, regardless of the amount of land we inhabit. It is flabbergasting and confounding that anyone can believe otherwise.

  • H Lewis says

    How much risk would critics of Daniel Gordis suggest that Israel take for peace?
    I ask that somewhat odd question since we all know that taking a risk alway has another side to it – of losing. Taking a risk is never free. So, when you ask Israel to continue to take risks for peace, how much are you prepared for Israel to lose if peace does not materialize? The losses for Israel are measured in loss of life, not the kind of loss we often associate with risk – loss of money in the stock market, etc.

    Another question, how can we American Jews, whose families are hardly, if at all, touched by Arab wars and Palestinian terrorism want peace more than Israeli Jews, practically every family of which has experienced deaths and maimings from Arab wars and Palestinian terrorism? Don’t Israelis have a greater claim on peace and therefore a greater right to create their own policies to pursue peace at their own pace than we do?

  • Al Neuman says

    Of course as is often the case, Gordis is”right on”–able to cut through the liberal foolishness and get to the heart of the matter.
    Liberals in general see the world the way they want it to be rather than the way it is. Well i’m sure many are well-intentioned regarding their desires for peace, unfortunately no rational human being could believe that that desire is at all reciprocated on the Palestinian side.
    The track record of concessions to the Arabs has been dismal, and whenever Israel has given up precious bits of its miniscule land mass, the Palestinians have viewed it as an opportunity to use those regions as staging points for more attacks on Israel.
    Why in the world would Israel with less than .1% of all Mideast land would give up ONE INCH more to those sworn to its destruction is incomprehensible
    The same people who support Obama i guess, with the same lack of rationality.

  • Moishe (Thomas) Goldstein Toronto, Canada says

    Chag Chanukah Sameach, Yisrael Medad.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my comments – and so refreshingly gently at that.

    I neither ignore the mind or the heart.

    But is it not instructive to remember our history – David HaMelech, and his generation, could not build the Beit HaMikdash because of their warrior nature.

    There is a lesson here as to what Judaism aspires to.

    I am not blind to, nor do I ignore or discount, our opponents’ intent and acts.

    But we need to wage peace as we wage war, with vision, heroism and boldness.

    Warmly

    Moishe

  • steve gerson says

    It is discouraging when the Israeli government (and many Israeli citizens) appear to give up hope that a two-state solution is possible. You guys may be right; maybe it’s not possible; maybe there will never be a serious Palestinian partner to negotiate with. But if we stop trying, then we are on a collision course that only has bad outcomes:

    – we can remain a democratic state but the growing Palestinian population will spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state
    – we can remain a “democratic” state but deny certain citizens an equal voice in the democracy. Another name for that is “apartheid”
    – we can adapt the Mitt Romney fantasy and hope that life is so miserable for a segment of the population that they will peacefully “self deport” and never be heard from again. Another name for that is “wishful thinking”.
    – we can actively try to push the Palestinian population to the other side of the Jordan River. Another name for that is ethnic cleansing

    Seriously, what other path to peace is there other than a negotiated two-state solution?

  • Sheila Novitz says

    Well said and well written, Daniel Gordis. Every single word of it.

    Any one of us, Jew, Christian or Muslim, Israeli or non-Israeli, who still says “Israel must make peace” is an ass.

  • Sheila Novitz says

    Was it Menachem Begin who wrote, “When your enemy says he is going to kill you, believe him”?

    Why can we Jewish people not drop all the non-sense surrounding this, and face reality, confront it, and do what has to be done?

    This reminds me so much of the 1930s in Europe, and of Hitler’s words which most people dismissed, that it is positively terrifying.

    I am 70, but I would still like to have a big gun and be trained to use it.

  • linda cooper says

    On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM, Linda Cooper wrote:
    for Al Neuman:
    Al, your definition of liberals is the best one i’ve heard yet!
    “Liberals see the world as the way they want it to be, rather than the way
    it is.” Brilliant!
    Linda

  • Phil Cohen says

    In the midst of our Hanukkah celebration it is incumbent upon us to recall that we appropriate the Maccabean war as a reminder that some things are worth fighting and dying for. But we also must remember that that war was not only a revolution but a civil war fought between those who put Judaism first and those who believed Hellenistic culture should be primary. This is an ongoing struggle in Jewish life and thought, and Rabbi Gordis lately, in the pages of The Times of Israel, has been a strong representative of the first type of thinking. In the face of intractable enemies, Israel (which as a nation actually embodies the values of Western culture) must come before other things.

  • Nicole Blacksburg says

    Sheila and Al and others:

    Please share your opinion with me because it is difficult to get these answers in America. Please don’t insult me for not understanding your perspective, please educate me.

    1. Is Hamas different from the PLO?
    2. Are there any Palestinians who want peace?
    3. Does the restrictions on work etc. encourage war?
    4. I agree re: not returning to 1967 borders. If we keep the 1967 borders and say that there is no chance for peace, then what is the practical result of that? What does that mean? What does that mean for Gaza?

    I would appreciate anyone’s answers (particularly those in Israel). Please (if possible) leave out insults and derogatory opinion about liberals in America. I’m trying learn from you, but it is more difficult when you call me an unrealistic ass :)

    Chag Sameach,
    Nicole

  • Merle writes – “David HaMelech, and his generation, could not build the Beit HaMikdash because of their warrior nature.”

    Well, since there is Midrashic comment on that episode we need be careful. Yes, due to the blood David shed he was not permitted to build the Temple although he bought it and sat with Shmuel to make sure the exact site was delineated. But that blood was the blood of “innocents” not because he was a warrior King in and of itself (see the Radak at I Divrei Ha-yamim 22:8).

    On the other hand, the Midrash Tehillim(Midrash Shocher Tov, Psalm 62) indicates a totally different reason –

    “…Indeed, David was worthy to build it, but the prophet Natan came and said to him: “You shall not build a house to My name, because You have shed much blood upon the earth before Me” (ibid. 22:7). When David heard this, he was frightened and said: “Surely, I have been disqualified from building the Temple!” Rabbi Yehuda bar Ila’i said: “The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: ‘Fear not, David, by your life, all the blood that you shed is before Me like that of a gazelle or a deer.’ Thus it is stated: ‘The unclean and the clean may eat of it as they do of the gazelle and the deer. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the earth like water’ (Devarim 12:15-16).

    “He said to Him: ‘If so, why can’t I build it?’ The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Him: ‘If you build it, it will stand forever and never be destroyed.’ He said before Him: ‘Surely that is good!’

    The Holy One, blessed be He, said: ‘It is revealed and known to Me, that in the future Yisrael will sin, and I will diffuse My anger by destroying [the Temple], and Yisrael will be spared.’ This is what is written: ‘He has bent His bow like an enemy… He has poured out His fury like fire’ (Eikha 2:4). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: ‘Even though you will not build it, since you wanted to build it, I will ascribe it to your name.’

    By not building the Temple and leaving that work to his son, David saved the blood of Israel for the destroyed Temple took the place of the guilt of Israel (a bit different from another religion, btw).

    Moreover, the Meshech Hochma at Bamidbar 25:5 writes that had David built the Temple, it might have been interpreted as an act for the purpose of strengthening his rule and glorifying his name, and not for the sake of heaven.

    So when quoting Torah/Rabbinic sources, you should do so comprehensively.

    In the end, though, none of this matters as regards the point you are making. For if we would act as David did in his justified use of force, I feel you would be much more uncomfortable than at present.

  • Stanley Tee says

    Steve Gerson, you still appear to place all the onus on Israel.

    Abbas has made it perfectly clear that he wants Israel to give up all its negotiating points before he will “negotiate”. So how do you propose getting him to the table while there’s still something to talk about?

  • Stanley Tee says

    Moishe Thomas, fine words indeed.

    Unfortunately, they are totally meaningless. How do you “wage peace” with an enemy that refuses to talk to you? What more can Israel give up to appease the unappeasable?

    You talk about “vision, heroism and boldness”, but provide no concrete suggestions at all.

    To my mind, offering the Palestinians everything they want in return for the promise of peace is a perfect example of “vision, heroism and boldness”. Israel has demonstrated a willingness to give up land, security and more. But nothing has ever been enough.

    So please, Moshe Thomas, enough of the platitudes. Make suggestions. Tell us what you would do. Don’t just criticize, because that serves no purpose whatsoever.

  • Stanley Tee says

    Nicole Blacksberg, some attempts at answers for you:
    1. Is Hamas different from the PLO? Yes. Hamas openly calls for the destruction of Israel in English and in Arabic. The PLO claims to be seeking peace and says nice things in English, but usually says something completely different in Arabic – and by their actions, demonstrate that they are no different from Hamas in their desire for the destruction of Israel. Case in point: The PLO was supposed to amend their charter, removing the part that calls for the destruction of Israel. They held a meeting to talk about doing this, promised to do it, but to this day, have not. Their charter still calls for the destruction of Israel.

    2. Are there any Palestinians who want peace?
    It depends on your definition of peace. Most Palestinians will tell you that they do want peace, but what they won’t say is that they want peace WITH Israel. They appear to want a peace that replaces Israel. But there are some Israeli Arabs – most notably the Druze and a few others – who do accept Israel and do want to continue living as Israeli Arabs. The other sad thing is that if there are any Palestinians who are prepared to accept Israel, they would probably risk their lives if they said so.

    3. Does the restrictions on work etc. encourage war?
    What restrictions on work etc.? If you’re referring to a growing Israel reluctance to employ Palestinians, well then, which came first? This reluctance is because of war, not the cause of war.

    4. I agree re: not returning to 1967 borders. If we keep the 1967 borders and say that there is no chance for peace, then what is the practical result of that? What does that mean? What does that mean for Gaza?
    Israel cannot afford to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” (Abba Eban). She needs the strategic depth of the Jordan value. BUT, Israel does not say = and never has said – that there is no chance for peace. On the contrary, Israel wants to negotiate a true peace. It’s the Palestinians who refuse to come to the table until Israel gives up everything, which makes negotiations pretty pointless.
    And it means absolutely nothing for Gaza, because Israel has withdrawn completely from Gaza and has no intention of taking back any of it.

  • Chana Givon says

    To Moishe,

    Those of us who live in Israel have had ringside seats to the mistaken human effort made by successive Israeli governments to ‘wage peace with vision, heroism, and boldness’.

    In 2005 we were witness to the expulsion of 10,000 Israeli citizens from 4 strategic hilltop communities in northern Samaria and
    21 peaceful communities in Gush Katif in Gaza. This upheaval was undertaken ‘in the interest of peace’. The response of the new ‘residents’ was their gleeful torching of the working greenhouses left for their economy aa well as the synagogues that had been left.

    The trauma to many Gush Katif expellees resulted in family breakups and stressed children; there are still families who do not have permanent homes or much needed bomb shelters. Gaza is now a terrorist haven for attacks closer to larger Israeli cities, including Israel’s capital – Jerusalem!

    Today,even leading proponents of the 2005 expulsion admit that the Israeli government should have had vision and realized that forced removal of peaceful Jews would endanger the entire country; NOT expelling them would have been a bold act of heroism and would have spared us national anguish.

    As Daniel Gordis has stated, those who live outside of Israel are out of touch with our reality.

  • Chana Givon says

    To Steve Gerson,

    Israel IS a democracy and even has Arab MKs who advocate the destruction of the State!
    There is freedom of religion for all – unlike that which exists in other countries
    in the region. Israel even absorbed Vienamese boat people when no other door was open to them.

    Israeli Arabs work and have health care just as Jews do. Many have expressed preference for living in Israel even if there were to be a two-state creation. Another ‘Palestinian’ state would be a terrorist apartheid entity.

    Anyone with knowledge of historical fact knows that Jordan was part of the original promise of the Jewish homeland until Churchill lopped off 77% of that land and created a state for Arabs only; THAT is apartheid. The remaining 23% – all of today’s territory of Palestine – is legally the Jewish state.

    Approximately a million Jews were expelled from Muslim countries in the region -forced to leave their possesions behind. THAT is ‘ethnic cleansing’ – apartheid.

    The ‘peace process’ is a fantasy. It was never a ‘process'; Israel was always pressued to yield to Arab demands. It is time to put that ‘unreality’ to rest,too.

    An excellent compilation of facts can be accessed at:
    http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2012/12/6/december-6-2012-rights-spelled-clear.html

    It is time for a taste of reality in the interest of Israel’s security and survival.

  • Ben Dor says

    Shalom Nicole Blacksburg and Hag Sameach

    I will try and answer your questions.

    I was born in Israel. My parents were Holocaust survivors and both joined the Hagana in the war of independence. I myself served 25 years with the IDF.

    1. Basically there is no difference between Hamas and PLO, they are just 2 of the many terrorist organisations that sprang up after 1948 to fight the Jews who renewed the State of Israel after 2000 years. These terrorist organisations are funded by various countries while the PA “Palestinian Authority” established after the Oslo Accords is funded today by USA and Europe. For a list of all these terrorist groups you can go to: http://www.historyguy.com/palestinian_political_and_military_factions.htm

    Both Hamas and PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) were set up to destroy/eliminate the State of Israel. See their Charters here: http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm Article 15 and here: http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html
    BTW the PLO was established in 1964, during Jordanian occupation of the West Bank, way before the 1967 war that liberated these territories.
    Regarding the legality of these territories, you can refer to my previous post on this article.

    2. Are there Palestinian Arabs who want peace? Yes there are, but they are a small minority who dare not speak their mind, otherwise they will meet the same fate as their former brothers who spoke up.

    3. Restriction on work – before the 2000 uprising there were over 250,000 Arabs working in Israel and there was free travel between all territories. Only after the Arabs began their homicidal terror campaign, blowing themselves up in buses, restaurants, streets, bars, discotheques and synagogues, did the government of Israel decide to restrict the entrance of Arabs for work. Now there are over 100,000 Arab workers entering with licenses to Israel. Restrictions are placed on those who have any connection to terrorist activities.

    4. Regarding the territories, I have already posted some information before. If there is no peace, and as long as the Arabs do not recognize Israel, there will be no peace, then we will have to live on our swords as long as it takes.

    We need the support of all our brothers in the diaspora to maintain the only country that the Jewish people ever had since time immemorial. That support can come in many ways: Alia, political support, tourism and funding of projects.

    I hope I have answered your questions.

    If you still have questions, please contact me.

    Hag Sameach to All

    Ben Dor

  • josh baker says

    Sadly, it is not just progressive American Jewish leaders who are failing their people. The failure of American Jewish leadership extends (with a few exceptions) to Jewish federations, JTS and mainstream American rabbis. Other than ZOA, the Wiesenthal Center, CAMERA, Stand With Us and a handful of other brave groups, American Jewish leadership can not see that anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism. It is stunning that these so-called leaders are so ignorant.

  • Nicole Blacksburg says

    Ben and Stanley,

    Shalom and thank you! I did not know that the PLO has a charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. It is a completely reasonable of Israel to refuse to negotiate with an organization whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction. I also didn’t know that Palestinians who want peace with Israel would be in danger. That risk makes it almost impossible for that viewpoint to be aired and for it to ever overshadow Hamas’ hate. Hamas and the PLO and PA are winning the public relations war which is partly a double-standard for Israel and partly that they are taking on the roll of the underdog without truly sharing their hatred. I agree that many Americans want to believe that this problem can be solved and think that hope is all that they can offer Thank you for your answers and your kind tone. Your words helped me understand Daniel Gordis’ posts better.

  • Jeff Cohen says

    There is something very sad about the column, and it isn’t just Wieseltier’s losing hope. It is the nature of the dialogue within our community. First, just because many Israelis have hardened not all have. Second, far left Rabbis are truly not helping things but where is the voice that argues for both strength and for peace. It is just way too easy to fall into the so-called liberal Rabbi camp as it is to lose hope. Where is the column articulating what holding on to both ideas? Where are the politicians here and in Israel willing to reach for this. As Jews, we must always demand more of ourselves. We must always lead with our humanity and not just with our fists. Tit for tat builds nothing, solves nothing but does cause hope to be lost.

  • steve gerson says

    To Chana Givon,

    No disagreement with you that Israel, inside the green line, is a democracy, with participation allowed to all citizens. But that is not the case for all residents in the West Bank.

    We also agree that no matter what settlement there may or may not be with Palestinians, the Israeli army will not be beating their swords into picnic tables any time soon. The IDF will be tasked with defending Israeli territory from possible incursions from a Palestinian state on the West Bank. The IDF has been quite capable of projecting strength and limiting attacks (and inflicting proper punishment) from other hostile territories which Israel does not occupy: Gaza and southern Lebanon.

    Many writers in this extended conversation are engaging in wishful thinking: The Palestinians, having lost multiple wars since 1948, should have the good taste to start behaving like a defeated people and move somewhere else.

    Even though that scenario has played out in other places (for example, the Native American population here in the US), it is fantasy to think that the Palestinians will just go away. (Just like it is fantasy for some Palestinians to think that Israeli Jews will just go away.)

    There is no other realistic alternative for a safe and peaceful Israel than to continue to strive for a 2-state agreement, and to take actions that will make such an agreement possible. The continued building of settlements in the occupied territories is an attempt to undermine that goal and will contribute to endless conflict.

  • Howard Stevens says

    There he goes again…Rabbi Danny tilting at windmills. He chooses targets thousands of miles away for his scorn, while his fellow Israels saying the same thing are ignored. Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Yossi Alpher have more stridently critiqued the mad adventures of the Netanyahu government than the Americans he calls out – but to Gordis it is as if they don’t exist.

    Rabbi G properly states that Jewish survival has depended on “a clear-eyed assessment of the challenges and dangers facing the Jewish world.” Why can’t he take that advice to heart and provide his assessment of the Occupation which is bleeding Israel dry,?

    What is the cause of his silence? We know he is concerned about his sons serving in the IDF and we pray for their welfare and safety. But what kind of Israel will they – and their children – inherit if this pointless, dangerous and unproductive settler enterprise continues? His silence is especially mysterious considering his view that Israel’s future will condition the future of the Jewish People. What future does he think Israel will have with Mr. Netanyahu and his ilk continuing to pursue the policies of arrogance, militarism and subjugation?

  • Moishe (Thomas) Goldstein Toronto, Canada says

    Chag Sameach, Yisrael Medad, Stanley Tee and Chana Givon.

    Thank you very much for your valuable insights.

    I appreciate that I do not live in Israel – yet Israel is existentially vital to me, my children and my grandchildren.

    I have not, in my few words, criticized anyone.

    I have nothing but admiration for Israel’s necessary military actions for its safety and security.

    Indeed, it is in the vein of the brilliance of the recent Pillar of Defence, that I urge Israel to be as visionary, heroic and bold in strategies and tactics in its campaign for peace

    I appreciate the challenge – David HaMelech is the evidence.

    And yet, shall we falter from the challenge – wage peace as we wage war!

    To believe otherwise is to accept that we can offer no more than hope for “Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’ase shalom aleinu”.

    Any takers today for “Adonai yilachem lachem veatem tacharishun!”

    Warmly

    Moishe

  • Gail Weiss says

    After traveling to Israel in 2007, I came back to the safety of the U.S. with a sense of pride and awe at the achievements of Israelis in only 60+ years – all of this while constantly fighting for survival against sworn enemies. We drove around the Golan Heights and witnessed Israel’s vulnerabilities in the north. We saw the large Arab presence in Acca, next to Haifa, on the road to Tzfat, and in Jaffa – a now suburb of modern, vibrant Tel Aviv. But it was in Jerusalem where I felt a sense of danger and foreboding.

    A visit to the Old City was disconcerting. In many Arab shops maps were displayed that showed Israel and the West Bank as one entity called “Palestine.” It made me feel uncomfortable, and uneasy, to know that those Arabs might turn on me or some fellow Jews simply because of our Jewish heritage. And then I saw the walls that the Israeli government had built to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and other murderers. I walked by the site of the former “Sparro” pizza restaurant, near the big Jerusalem market. And I began to look more carefully at other pedestrians, hoping that I wouldn’t be in the wrong place at the time.

    This is the reality that our Israeli cousins must live with daily. And this certainly doesn’t include the horror that residents of Sderot, Ashkelon, and other towns closer to Gaza must face as they pray that Gazan rockets down’t hit their homes or injure their children.

    So I think it is easy for American Jews, and even some American rabbis to criticize the Israeli government from a distance. But we don’t face the constant dangers and realities of Israeli life. We have forgotten what happened during World War II, when Jews had no refuge to escape to. And we ignore the virulent resurgence of antisemitism that is sweeping Europe and is even occurring on American college campuses. Without Israel, where would we go?

  • Not all American rabbis take the position attributed to them in this article. I, who am extremely liberal on most political issues, never have felt that peace, as conceived by most political pundits, is possible for Israel. I have an alternative land for peace deal which I believe will produce peace. “Give me peace or I will take your land, piece by piece.”

    It is high time we stop talking about the west bank or Palestinian territories & refer to this land as disputed Israeli territory. We should support those who wish to develop settlements in the disputed territories. There should be no negotiations regarding a division of Jerusalem whatsoever.

    I might also point out that targeted assassinations of those who fire missiles at innocent civilians is hardly a proportional response. Considering the numbers of Israelis & the numbers of Israel’s enemy in the area, a proportional response to a few Israeli deaths would produce a staggering number of casualties. Israel should be applauded, not castigated, for its restraint.

    Until the world learns that Jewish lives are as sacred (no more, no less) than any other life in the universe, we ought to give great consideration, as nature intends for all species, to protecting ourselves. The world’s inattention to the horror that goes on in Sederot is indefensible. There is little point in appeasing those who would wipe us out in the name of justice.

  • Shalom Howard Stevens

    I read your comments to Daniel today. From the tome of your writing you seem quite upset with Daniel for addressing some of the Jews in the diaspora and with some of their leaders while not reaching directly to a minute minority of extreme Leftists in Israel (less than 3% of the Jewish population) who brought upon us the disaster of the Oslo Accords. This miserable agreement has permitted the arch terrorist Arafraud to enter the disputed territories together with 15,000 terrorist armed to the teeth. Since then thousands of Israelis have been murdered including so many women, children and tens of thousands of Israelis maimed forever some beyond recognition.

    It is very easy to sit in the serene safe environment of Canada or USA and pass judgement on the Israeli Government while knowing close to nothing about the history of the Zionist movement and the conflicts in Palestine up to and after the establishment of the State of Israel.

    Some of the terms used in your comments show how ignorant you are of the legal status concerning the disputed territories and the behavior of our government towards the Arabs living in Judea & Samaria.

    I have posted some of my references regarding the legal status of these territories before on this article but I will do it again just for you.

    I hope you take the time to read these documents so that next time you use comments like: occupation, arrogance, militarism and subjugation, you will also follow them up with some facts.

    Hag Sameach to you and yours.

    Here is some information for you to read:

    During the course of recent history, the Jewish people have received documents and signed several agreements with prominent leaders, countries and international organizations.

    Following documents:

    1) Balfour Declaration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration_of_1917

    2) Agreement Between Emir Feisal Husseini and Dr. Weizman: http://www.nymei.org/arab-jewish-treaty.html

    Watch the historical clip on developments in Palestine from 1917 to 1919 ending with the Agreement signed in France by Weizmann and Faisal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watchfeature=player_embedded&v=pmXmFlp9eAs&mid=520

    3) San Remo Resolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmMmJ46O-3Q&feature=player_embedded

    4) League of Nations resolution and Mandate for Palestine: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/2FCA2C68106F11AB05256BCF007BF3CB

    See Also: This is my Land: http://www.analystnetwork.com/articles/65/MandateForPalestineThelegalaspectsofJewishrightsbyEliHertzwithassistancebyDavidSinger.pdf

    5) Charter of the United Nations; June 26, 1945: Article 80
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art77

    1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties

    2. Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77.

    7) Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States [*] http://www.jus.uio.no/english/services/library/treaties/01/1-02/rights-duties-states.xml

    Article 6 The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.

    Are Settlements Illegal?

    http://emetnews.org/analysis/are_settlements_illegal.php#.TrFMb94dF50

    An opinion was held by Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of the Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs in the administration of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and a drafter of UN Resolution 242:

    The heated question of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank during the occupation period should be viewed in this perspective. The British Mandate recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in the whole of the Mandated territory. It was provided that local conditions might require Great Britain to “postpone” or “withhold” Jewish settlement in what is now Jordan. This was done in 1922. But the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan river, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors. And perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, “the Palestine article”, which provides that “nothing in the Charter shall be construed … to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments….”

    http://www.tzemachdovid.org/Facts/islegal1.shtml

    Jews have these rights according to International law, based on the above documents and agreements to settle wherever they wish in Jerusalem,Judea and Samaria, because it was given exclusively to the Jews for their sovereignty, to reconstitute the Jewish homeland, in the same way that Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Trans-Jordan were given for Arab sovereignty and self determination. These agreements remain binding today, and Arab determination and foreign interests to deny these truths in no way alter the legal status of Palestine.

    In 1967 Israel had come into control of the said territories following a legitimately fought defensive war. Another very significant historical and legal viewpoint regards Israel’s presence in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria as emanating from the historical rights granted in Palestine to the Jewish people by the Balfour Declaration and affirmed by resolution of the League of Nations in 1922, granting to the Jewish people a national home in all parts of Mandatory Palestine and enabling “close settlement on the land.” The continued validity of this resolution, beyond the days of the League of Nations, was in fact maintained by Article 80 of the UN Charter, according to which rights granted to peoples by international instruments remain unaltered, and hence still valid.

  • TomSolomon says

    I think the root cause is the left’s view that people are inherently good and benevolent, and that given free choice, people will seek peace. Hence, it cannot be that an Arabic culture, a population, can hold such an apparent and deep seated, irrational hatred for the relatively few Jews in their midst. Unfortunately, it’s true to the clear minded, and unfortunately, peace is not on the horizon nor can be attained through a land swap.

  • Michael Breslauer says

    To the R. Koppelmans of the dialog:

    First, and importantly, thanks to the nature of our community that we can openly dicuss and (dis)agree with one another while still maintaining our love of Israel and the Jewish people.

    But you and many others with similar posts just don’t get it. It’s the OCCUPATION. The corrosive, debilitating, dangerous, expensive and (let’s hope for the short term) necessary act of militarily controling almost 2 million people. When you say that it’s “high time” we start talking about the West Bank as “Disputed Israel Territory” you’re either delusional or waiting for this problem to be solved by the Moshiach. (Maybe that’s the same thing.)

    What, you think the residents of Ramallah and Jenin and East Jerusalem are just going to get up and walk to Jordan? You think that King Abdullah will decide to call his Hashemite Kingdom a Palestinian State and invite them there? You think either the Israeli government or someone else will forcibly deport them over the border?

    Get real.

    The longer we allow the Occupation (any one calling other than what it is is blind or lying) to continue, and the longer the Israelis let the nationalist Zionist movement there dictate Israeli policy, the farther away from a two state solution we get. Pure and simple.

  • Howard Stevens says

    Shalom, Ben Dor A

    The Israeli commentators I cited are not living in a “serene safe environment” but are right there under the rockets. And what makes you believe they are “a minute minority” of Israel opinion? Do you have any facts to support this?

    You cite many of the international treaties and agreements that gave birth to Medinat Israel. But we need to mindful that by similar legislation the world could decide Israel is no longer worthy of existence and new documents could be created to the grave prejudice of the Jewish state.

    All of the legal justifications advanced to support the Occupation are countered by other legal analyses which hold the occupation to be a violation of international law. You can hire a lawyer to justify or condemn any and every part of the Occupation. It would be perfectly “legal” for you to embark on a diet of ground glass and Coca Cola – but very bad for your survival.

    Rabbi Gordis notes that Israel’s survival depends on “clear-eyed assessment of the challenges and dangers” it faces. Thus the question should not be whether the Occupation – and other actions of the present government – are technically legal, but whether they are they smart, beneficial and will ensure survival of the Jewish state.

  • George Herman says

    The tragedy of the left, especially the Israeli left, is that it has no counterpart on the other side, and cannot possibly have one with the generations-old hate factory run by not only Palestinians but many of their co-religionists. It is precisely because Israelis have not been taught to hate the Palestinians that there is a conscientious “left.” The Israelis I know do not hate the Palestinians, but I do regard them as culturally inferior because of their culture of hatred. As do I, a North American Jew with strong Israeli connections.

    Against such an enemy there cannot be a survival which is suitable for prime-time viewing. You do what’s necessary, and the moment you lose your stomach, it’s over. Many Jews of conscience, even some Israeli Jews, have lost the stomach for this survival battle and, I believe, have made an unconscious decision not to survive if the price is the continual spilling of Palestinian blood.

    Typical of this sad state of affairs is a recent notice on the website of PNN, a relatively moderate Palestinian information service. At an upcoming event, an Israeli Jewish professor was speaking on the methods used by the Israeli education system to subtly inculcate a mindset of entitlement among Israeli children with respect to ownership of “disputed” lands. Completely missing from her outline was the fact that Palestinian education materials, which are easy to obtain, do not need professorial analysis. They continue to sow outright hatred. There is no recognition of Israel and a constant reference to the “Nakba.” For instance, phrases such as “Zionist gangsters,” are used to describe Israel in the new (2006) high-school texts used in the PA, and the history of WWII completely ignores the Holocaust. Add this, of course, to the messaging in mosques and in the media–yet this professor is dissecting Israeli education materials for possible compromises on objectivity. Of course, it is her own objectivity which has been seriously compromised. She is gazing inward at her own conscience, and is in complete denial about the systematic, multi-generational erasure of conscience on the other side. It cannot possibly be so. But it is so, and people bred on such hatred see no closure in a negotiated peace.

    Incidentally, I wonder how many readers here are aware of Abu Mazen’s own education, and the fact that his PhD thesis (subsequently published as a book) not only denied the Holocaust, but alleged that those Jews who did perish were the victims of a Zionist-Nazi deal to buy emigration to Palestine with European Jewish blood. His public record was sanitized after Oslo I. So our “moderate” Palestinian leader turns out to be just another product and proponent of the hatred factory.

    With the perfect storm of left-wing antisemitism, right-wing antisemitism and petro-funded Islamic antisemitism already raging, the Jewish conscience cannot become an accessory to another genocide. If your knees are weak, butt out. This is deadly serious business.

  • Shalom Howard Stevens

    These commentators mentioned and their ilk usually belong to the far Left of the political arena here in Israel and in the last several elections have not succeeded to convince more than 3% of the Jewish population. Mind you they are also funded anti-Semitic organizations, mainly in Eurabia.

    As for you insistence with the term “occupation”, no mater how many times you repeat a lie, it will always be a lie. I have sent you enough information to prove my point but if you are still not convinced, then I suggest you read the Bible if you are a Jew or a Christian.

    I also suggest you read the comments of others on this issue.

  • To Michael Breslauer

    You keep on using the term “occupation” without giving reference to 1 single legal document to prove your point.

    I have posted plenty of information for all to read why our life here in Israel, and I mean all of Israel, is covered not only by the Bible but also by decisions made and ratified by all countries under the League of Nations from the 12, of August 1922.

    Charter 80 of the United Nations clearly states that: placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.

    It cannot get any clearer than that.

    GA Resolution 181 on 29.11.1947 was an illegal decision and contrary to the above Charter.

    The Jewish people yearned and prayed for 2,000 years to return to the Holy Land and now YOU are claiming that we are “occupiers?”

    Give me one single legal document proving that we are occupiers in our land!!!

    If you can prove that, then you can also prove that USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, S. America, Australia, New Zealand, North Ireland and the Malvinas are all under OCCUPATION.

    So wake up my friend and start learning a bit of history.

  • Michael Breslauer says

    To Ben Dor A.

    My friend, you sound to me like the engineers that say they’ve proven that aerodynamically, a bumblebee cannot fly. They have documents and formulae proving their point. Yet we all know the “fact” of bumblebee flight.

    If you insist on arguing that the UN resolution of 29.11.1947 was a sham and that the bible gives us all of “the Land of Israel”, that the IDF is not controlling the movement (and the security) of the 1.5 million Arabs living in what most of us call the West Bank, you’re nothing other than a crank engineer telling us all that bumblebees can’t fly. We don’t take you seriously.

  • Howard Stevens says

    Shalom Dor Ben A

    You have sent no information justifying the occupation in any moral or political sense, just a bunch of self-serving legalism which the other side can refute point by point.
    As American jurist Oliver Wendel Holmes once noted in another context, “the life of the Law is not logic, but experience.” It is not a “lie” to point out the experience of how Israel’s maintenance of sovereignty in the West Bank has sapped its economic strength, defeated the morale of its people and aroused the ire of most of the rest of the world, including former supporters. The recent vote in the U.N. is a vivid demonstration of this.

    As for your views on the ‘far left,” I am not aware that any party campaigned on the specific issue of ending the occupation.

    And using the Bible as a guide to political action is just as useful as the Salafists using the Koran to support their brand of self-destructive action.

    So wake up my friend and start learning a bit of reality.

  • Shalom Howard Stevens & Michael Breslauer

    When the Arab hordes conquered the Holy Land, the Jews had 3 options: Run for their lives, convert to Islam or be slaughtered.

    These same options stood intact in 1919, 1920, 1929, 1936-9 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 and they are still intact with the PLO and Hamas Charters so please wake up and don’t lecture me about realities.

    Israel has done so much in its short comeback history to make peace with its’ Arab neighbors including relinquish of territories for the sake of peace and see where that got us. (Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza and part of Samaria.)

    The only reason for the “aroused ire of most of the rest of the world, including former supporters. The recent vote in the U.N. is a vivid demonstration of this” derives from the weak side of our nation that prefers the pot of meat I/O FREEDOM!

    Have a great day.

  • Howard Stevens says

    Shalom Ben Dor A.

    Where did it get us? Israel’s international trade has never been stonger. Israel’s dvelopment of tech industries has never been greater. Israel’s revenues have never been higher. The concords relieved much pressure on the IDF and raised Israel’s standing in world affairs. The benefits have been IMMENSE!

    And what benefits do you think Israel obtains by the Occupation. Or if your prefer, ruling Samaria and Judea? How is Israel made stronger by this?

  • Palestinians do not want peace, they want the destruction of Israel.

    I don’t say this as some ignorant Right-winger/pro-settler, or whatever. I say this as someone who deeply yearns for peace between Israel and her neighbors, but also as someone who has studied the dynamics of this conflict.

    Once I had hope that maybe, just maybe, Palestinians would do that which is in the best interest of their children, and would compromise for a peace settlement with Israel. Now I see that this is simply not going to happen. Not any time soon, and probably not in the next 50 years (unless Western powers make it manifestly clear to Arab and Palestinians leaders that their aggressive and destructive behavior toward Israel will not be tolerated).

    When I say that Palestinians want the destruction of Israel, I say this because it is a fact – the vast majority of Palestinians (at least 82%) say that they prefer to not have peace with Israel, and to continue living under occupation if the alternative is that millions of Palestinian refugees do not return INTO ISRAEL. That is what the polls show, and that is a very unfortunate situation – but still one that we have to learn to live with.

  • Shalom Howard Stevens

    I don’t understand you. How can the State of Israel be occupying their own land?

    If there is any occupation today in the world it is the Brits who occupy the Malvinas Islands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, former Brits occupying North America and the Spanish occupying South America.

    Just go back to your history lesson and read how many millions of Native Indians were massacred in the Americas by the Brits, the French and the Spanish. How many millions of Aborigines the Brits slaughtered in Australia and Maoris in New Zealand, How many Indonesians, the Dutch murdered in Indonesia, the Portuguese in the Americas and Asia, the Belgians in Congo, the French in North Africa, the Turks in the ME and the list is endless.

    So please, don’t you flaunt at me the word occupation.

    If there was any occupation in the Holy Land, it was by the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greek, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ayubs, the Mamlukes, the Ottomans and the Brits.

    We the Jews are living in our land, Israel, which includes Judea and Samaria.

    I’m not overlooking the fact that there were Arabs living here since the Arab occupation, as of 638 CE and we cannot just get rid of them today.

    Israel has suggested and offered its Arab neighbors so many peace plans but all were rejected and what we got was terror, wars and further terror. The more we gave in the more terror we received.

    When the Arabs decide that they had enough and that they are ready to sit down and discuss peace with Israel, that will be the moment we can begin to contemplate some kind of compromise. Till then, there is nothing to talk about.

    The last thing we need is for our Jewish brothers to tell us that we are occupiers in our own land.

    It is time for you to come and see things on the ground for yourself and not get your information from corrupt politicians and biased antisemitic media.

  • Michael Breslauer says

    To Ben Dor A:

    Why not annex the territories?

    Are you willing to admit that in doing so, that Israel will either (i) cease to be democratic or (ii) cease to be ( shortly) a Jewish State?

    Are either of those results acceptable?

  • Howard Stevens says

    Shalom Ben Dor A.

    If it’s “our land,” why have successive Israel governments agreed to return it to the Palestinians? Even Mr. Netanyahu favors the so-called “Two State Solution!”

    Self-serving rhetoric about other historic injustices does not justify this one.

    And persistence in the delusion that ruling over an unwilling, hostile population somehow benefits Israel will just build up more world wide opposition, internal demoralization and economic disaster, threatening to destroy Israel.

  • Shalom Howard Stevens & Michael Breslauer

    Caving in to international pressure by ceding additional land to the Arabs won’t bring peace to the ME and will not make the issue right. That’s what happened to Czechoslovakia in 1938 and look where it got us.

    The 2 state solution can be also interpreted as the state of Jordan for the Arabs and the State of Israel for the Jews. That was the intention of the Brits in 1922: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_White_Paper

    Any further ceding of land to the Arabs is suicide. (See the results of the redeployment in Lebanon, Sinai and Gaza)

    As for why didn’t Israel annex the territories after 1967? Big historical mistake in my opinion. We are reaping the results of this mistake till today.

    Maybe we can offer Reservations in the territories for these so called “Palestinian Arabs” same as the North American Indians are living? What say you?

    Please don’t lecture me about injustice after more than 24,000 Israelis gave their lives to protect our ancestral home from the Arab hordes. Where would the Jews be today without Israel?

    Maybe it is time for all those hypocrites to first undo the historical injustices and atrocities to others before they come to us and lecture us about injustice.

    Who are you to pass judgment on Israel?

    As of 1993 (Oslo Accords) we have stopped controlling the so called “Palestinian Arabs”

    They have their own Governments who control them: i.e. the PA in area A and the Hamas in Gaza. The problem is they want control of all the former land called Palestine from the river Jordan to the sea and throw all the Jews to the sea.
    Why don’t you read the PLO Charter and Hamas Charter? Just look at their emblems, their flags, their maps and listen to their speeches. Where are you living? on Mars?

    As for world wide opposition, what hypocrisy, when was there any tolerance for the Jews? You are like all of those Jews who think that when others spit in your face, you think its raining.

    Israel is the only true Democracy today in the ME. We do not control the Arabs, they have their own Democratically chosen Governments both in Gaza and the PA Territories.

    Wake up people and learn your history!!!!

  • Michael Breslauer says

    To Ben Dor

    You dodged my question. Should the West Bank be annexed and declared a part of Israel?

    Please answer

    Your responses are getting rather hysterical, too.

  • Michael Breslauer says

    Ben Dor a

    You dodged my question. Should Israel annex the West Bank?

    Please respond.

    Your responses are getting a bit hysterical.

  • Howard Stevens says

    Shalom Ben Dor A.

    Some of your misconceptions:

    “ceding additional land…happened to Czechoslovakia in 1938…”

    No one is asking Israel to cede its internationally recognized borders, those accepted in 1947 and augmented by the 1949 concord.

    “The 2 state solution can be also interpreted as the state of Jordan…”

    Such an interpretation is NOT accepted by the people whom it would affect – the Palestinians themselves.

    “Any further ceding of land to the Arabs is suicide. (See the results of the redeployment in Lebanon, Sinai and Gaza)”

    Israel is more powerful and economically secure since then. With modern warfare technology proximity means little.

    “Maybe we can offer Reservations in the territories…”

    Like the Bantustans offered by South Africa? Look where that got them!

    “Maybe it is time for all those hypocrites to first undo the historical injustices and atrocities to others before they come to us and lecture us about injustice.”

    Do you suggest the victim of injustice has a license to inflict injustice on others? Such a concept is found nowhere in Jewish Tradition and is expressly rejected in Israel’s foundational document, the Megillat Ha’atzmaut

    “Who are you to pass judgment on Israel?”

    I make no judgments but agree with views of those Israelis who I have cited before but you erroneously dismiss as 3% of public opinion.

    “As of 1993 (Oslo Accords) we have stopped controlling the so called “Palestinian Arabs”“

    Palestinians cannot travel freely; have their imports and exports strictly regulated; have no say in construction activities; cannot determining who can immigrate into their land – the list of Israel’s controls goes on and on.

    “As for world wide opposition, what hypocrisy, when was there any tolerance for the Jews? You are like all of those Jews who think that when others spit in your face, you think its raining.”

    You adopt the same rhetorical hate tactics of Israel’s enemies. Anyone who disagrees with you must be condemned – intolerance is the key motivator. not exactly a Hillel-Shammai moment.

    “Wake up people and learn your history!!!!”

    The lessons of history shows that attempts to govern an unwilling population have always had bad results. Perhaps you need to “learn history.”

  • Shalom Howard Stevens

    Here are your misconceptions:

    “No one is asking Israel to cede its internationally recognized borders, those accepted in 1947 and augmented by the 1949 concord.”

    I recommend you read the following:

    League of Nations resolution and Mandate for Palestine: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/2FCA2C68106F11AB05256BCF007BF3CB

    See Also: This is my Land: http://www.analyst-network.com/articles/65/MandateForPalestineThelegalaspectsofJewishrightsbyEliHertzwithassistancebyDavidSinger.pdf

    Charter of the United Nations; June 26, 1945 Article 80:
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art77 1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.

    “The 2 state solution can be also interpreted as the state of Jordan…”

    “Such an interpretation is NOT accepted by the people whom it would affect – the Palestinians themselves.”

    Jordan is today is only 20% Hashemite, the rest are the so called “Palestinian Arabs”
    With the Arab Spring in full force, it is only time that they will take over Jordan. They tried it before but failed. Look for “Black September”

    “Israel is more powerful and economically secure since then. With modern warfare technology proximity means little.”

    How would you feel if your cities, towns and villages were bombarded on a daily basis by high explosive rockets for years from all sides? Would you cede anything to your enemies?

    “Like the Bantustans offered by South Africa? Look where that got them!”

    Like the Indian Reservations in USA and Canada.

    “Do you suggest the victim of injustice has a license to inflict injustice on others?”

    Since the inception of modern Israel, we have always been on the defense and not offence. Where do you get the notion that we have inflicted injustice on others? Your problem is that you are tuned to the Western Media which is biased towards Israel and publishes daily lies and false information on the daily life over here.

    “I make no judgments but agree with views of those Israelis who I have cited before but you erroneously dismiss as 3% of public opinion.”

    The local elections here are due on 22.Jan. 2013. Lets wait and see what the Lefties get here. Till now they were only 3%. I don’t expect them to get more than that. Even they claim today that the Oslo Accords were a mistake.

    “Palestinians cannot travel freely; have their imports and exports strictly regulated; have no say in construction activities; cannot determining who can immigrate into their land – the list of Israel’s controls goes on and on.”

    The only reason why the so called “Palestinian” Arabs cannot travel freely and have their imports regulated is because they have opened a campaign of homicidal attacks on Israeli civilians by exploding themselves in hotels, buses, restaurants, disco bars, pizza parlors and synagogues. They have also used your good taxes to purchase arms and rockets from Iran. I think you would have done the same and even worse. As for construction activities, just look at what they have built till now and are still building. You know nothing about what is going on here. Where do you get your information from?

    “The lessons of history shows that attempts to govern an unwilling population have always had bad results. Perhaps you need to “learn history.”

    We have no intentions to govern these people but they sure have intentions to annihilate us.

    Again I reiterate. Wake up!!!

  • Shalom Howard Stevens and all Daniel Gordis followers.

    Please watch this clip and pass it on:

    I hope you have the patience to watch it till the last moment.

    You can download this pamphlet:
    http://www.unmaskedthemovie.com/learn_more/activist-guide.pdf

  • Howard Stevens says

    Some more reality from Israel:

    Bradley Burston, a columnist for Haaretz:

    This year, for Hanukkah, I want one person running this country, this Israel, to show me one scrap of light. One move — any move — for freedom, for all the peoples who live here. One step — no matter how slight — in the direction of a better future. What makes this Hanukkah different from all others? It’s the dark. It’s the sense that this country — beset by enemies, beset by itself — has locked down every single door against the future, and sealed shut every last window against hope. … This country has begun to feel like a lamp whose body is cracked and whose light seems all but spent. On these long nights, we can make out little but an occupation growing ever more permanent, and a democracy growing ever more temporary.”

  • Howard

    Haaretz is one of the most self hating media outlet of the Jewish world, run by so called “progressives” and extreme lefties.

    It has published many lies, libels and misleading information. It has been taken to court countless times and was penalized by the judges.

    This extreme Leftist, anti-Israeli establishment is funded by German Leftist: http://cafe.themarker.com/topic/2724826/

    And last but not least you seem like one of those that according to Isaiah Chapter 49:17 Thy children make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee.

    In Hebrew it sounds much better:

    .יז: מִהֲרוּ, בָּנָיִךְ; מְהָרְסַיִךְ וּמַחֲרִיבַיִךְ, מִמֵּךְ יֵצֵאוּ

    It looks like you are pleased to publish and throw any garbage at the state of Israel. תמות נפשי עם פלישתים

    My parents, myself and my children have fought for this country so that the Jewish people all over the world will have a free homeland without persecution.

    My Grandchildren will soon join the IDF as did and will so many brave Jewish boys and girls to protect our ancestral homeland.

    I have lost many relatives & friends over the years and my brother was seriously injured, maimed for life all this so that even Jews who do not serve in the IDF can live freely over here.

    You seem more concerned about the rights of terrorists than the life of our people.

    Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NgCgTv7vDEQ

    Shame on you.

  • Sol Bleiweis says

    Ben Dor A,

    I agree with you completely. Without Israel we would be second class citizens wherever we live. As my beloved grandfather (a victim of the Shoah) would have said “gut gzukt”

  • This is directly from the horse’ mouth.

  • How lucky we are that we have such eloquent friends:

    This video is probably the most powerful and noted support for Israel that I have ever seen and heard. I feel it is imperative to watch it.

  • Howard Stevens says

    Dror

    It’s sad you cannaot engage in rational thought and civil discourse.

    “Haaretz is one of the most self hating media outlet of the Jewish world…”

    This absurd claim just shows you are blind to truth and reality. Haaretz has been in business since 1918. Its criticism, opposing your cherished ideology, is not dismissed by calling it “garbage.” You are the “self hating” one when you violate the Jewish tradition of open and candid debate.

    “You seem more concerned about the rights of terrorists than the life of our people.”

    That you can write this hateful, despicable accusation demonstrates your bigotry. Your emotional ranting and personal insults are no substitute for honest thought. The threats to Israel are grave and for you to act as if anyone who dares disagree with you is an enemy only makes things worse.

    The Jewish people have not survived this long by being closed-minded and engaging in the kind of intolerant behavior you enjoy, so shame on YOU!

  • Ben Dor A,

    So what exactly is your solution? You say:

    that Palestinians should live in conditions “…Like the Indian Reservations in USA and Canada.”

    But Indians still have full voting rights in the US. Do you suggest millions of Palestinians should be given full voting rights in Israel? If that’s what you’re offering it is national suicide.

    Otherwise, if you don’t think Palestinians should be given voting rights in Israel, then there is no alternative to a two state solution.

  • Hello Jeorge Enoughie

    I mentioned the Indian Reservations in North America as an example of the abuse and crimes against humanity that the Brits, French and Spanish committed against the Indians in North America.

    There is nothing to compare the wars and terror campaigns that Israel suffered from the Arabs since it’s inception in 1948 and before.

    The Arabs living in Judea’ Samaria and Gaza have full voting right to their own institutions as of 1993. What is the Hamas in Gaza and the PA in the territories if not their elected institutions?

    Arabs who did not run away in 1948 and stayed as Israeli citizens have full voting rights and they comprise about 20% of the population today. They have members of Parliament, Ministers, Supreme Court Judges, University professors and full integration in Israeli institutions. Where did you get the notion that there is any discrimination in Israel?

    As for Hamas and the PLO = Fatah = PA – they want to annihilate the State of Israel and massacre all the Jews. Just look at what they have been doing to each other all over the Arab world and still doing in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran ect. ect.

    Why would any nation in its right mind set up another terrorist entity right next door? Would you do it in North America?

    I have posted so many documents and historical facts on this board, not including the Bibles, proving legally the fact that the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, belongs to the Jewish people like Britain belongs to the Brits, France belongs to the French and Germany belongs to the Germans.

    Instead of reading these documents which are BTW posted on the UN records, all I received from some on this board was false accusations of “occupation” “bigotry” “ranting” and “violation of Jewish traditions” without any basic proof.

    Let me ask those accusers: what exactly is Jewish tradition? Genocide committed by the Greeks and the Romans, executions under the sword by the Arab hordes, massacres of the Crusaders, Marching to the Death Camps of Europe and Russia?

    After 2,000 years of persecution and mass murder, we finally have our sliver piece of land, which is smaller than NJ. and can protect ourselves from all Arab aggressors around us, there are people who come to us with some insane ideas to give up parts of our ancestral homeland.

    The Arabs have their own enclaves in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, their own elected institutions. Once they stop terrorizing our people and decide to sit down with us for peace talks, I’m 100% sure we can reach some king of agreement which will be much better than the Indian Reservations or the other occupied territories still occupied by the Super Powers today.

    Till date, all we had from them is wars and terror. Why give them any presents or appeasement for their actions?

  • FYI

    European settlements and double standards

    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3170

  • Additional information for our readers:

    EUROPE´S HIDDEN HAND: EU FUNDING FOR POLITICAL NGOS IN THE ARAB ISRAELI CONFLICT: ANALYZING PROCESSES AND IMPACT

    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/data/images/File/NGO_Monitor_EU_Funding_Europes_Hidden_Hand.pdf

  • “I am going to start an Intifada.”

    For those who forgot and those blind to the facts:

    http://cifwatch.com/2013/01/06/i-am-going-to-start-an-intifada/

  • Fatah’s Facebook:
    Glorifying terror, inciting hatred,
    and erasing Israel

    Fatah’s heroes:
    Saddam Hussein, Dalal Mughrabi and the rifle

    http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8319

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