Looking inward on Israel delegitimization

To the Editor:

With regard to David Bernstein’s Op-Ed on delegitimizing Israel, first I want to say that I agree with his concern. But what concerns me even more is the total lack of self-reflection that articles like this convey. If I were constantly losing good, long-term friends, I would at least ask myself is it something that I’m doing? Is there something that I can do to mitigate this?

Maybe not, but at least I must ask the question. We never do. It’s always some ominous force out there that just wants to get us. It couldn’t possibly be anything we’re doing. This attitude is of equal danger.

I would suggest that Israel’s refusal to freeze settlements, while not the root cause of the delegitimization, surely does not help mitigate it and indeed exacerbates and encourages it. Let us remind ourselves that a settlement freeze is official U.S. foreign policy and has been for decades, including in George W. Bush’s (the best friend Isael ever had in the whole world ever) road map to
peace.

I would suggest, too, that the Republican Party’s recent attempt to politicize and partisanize Israel also is not helpful. We should pay attention to what Peter Beinart says. He may not be entirely correct, but he has a point: If being pro-Israel is identified solely with those on the right, then those on the left are going to be disinclined to support Israel. Israel must remain a totally nonpartisan issue.

Richard Lederman
Silver Spring, Md.

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