Your editorial, “As Israeli-Palestinian tensions escalate, where is America?” (Ledger, Oct. 23), both misapprehends and unnecessarily politicizes the recent wanton, tragic attacks upon Jews in Israel. The letter by Professor Vera Schwarcz in the same edition of the Ledger (“The Nazis’ ‘Night of Long Knives’ is being replayed in Israel,” Oct. 23) provides an excellent description of the violence and its motivation. One should read it.
Unfortunately, the editorial, in its zeal for “political correctness” and politically-driven moral equivalency, misses the point. It fails fully to recognize and appreciate that the attacks on Jews, like those in pre-war Germany, are driven by antisemitic hatred. Moreover, contrary to references twice in the editorial to the attacks having occurred in the “West Bank and East Jerusalem,” many of the attacks have taken place in pre-1967 Israel – for example, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Afula and Eshbal – and, thus, could not credibly be claimed to be a reaction to “occupation,” “settlements” or any other tired and overworked concept or phrase or that nature.
Sadly, the editorial is devoid of any heartfelt sympathy or compassion for either the direct victims of the Arab attacks or for the totality of Israeli society, who are living in fear and are reluctant to carry out normal daily activities. The editorial writer’s real interest seems not to be the loss of Jewish life and the terror inflicted upon Israeli society but the effect of the events on the writer’s political agenda, whether it be a “two-state solution” or something else.
Hopefully, buried or implicit in the editorial’s concern about political effects is a recognition that achieving a secure peace with the Arab population is even harder than had been simplistically thought. The recent attacks, like Hamas’ terror tunnels and rocket attacks last year, are motivated by religiously-inspired hatred that dates back for generations, that is still being inculcated both by radical Islamic clergy and by Palestinian political leaders, including Abbas, Fatah and Hamas, and that will not dissipate overnight despite any political agreements that might be reached or imposed.
Finally, while the editorial cries out for American intervention, the United States does not have a magic wand that can wipe away generations of hatred. It’s unclear what the writer expects our government to do other than to impose a peace agreement on an Arab population that does not want, and isn’t ready for, peace and upon a Jewish population that craves peace but is finally coming to the realization that the only “peace” that will satisfy the Arab world would be the total elimination of Israel as a Jewish state and the removal of all Jews from the Middle East. Nothing that we do can change those harsh realities in the near term.
Mark I. Fishman, Esq.,
President of PRIMER-CT
(Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting)