Israelis On The Front Line


I was intrigued by two Oct. 28 Letters to the Editor regarding the Oct. 14 Opinion piece, “On Israel, The Sane Center Must Speak With Passion.”

Rabbi Joel Shaiman shares his zeal for a Palestinian state. But he lacks context by ignoring the fact that Israel, too, seeks a Palestinian state and made exceedingly forthcoming offers in 2000, 2001 and 2008, only to be rebuffed.

Israel and America, since Oslo, have both wanted a Palestinian state in order to end the conflict. Sadly, no Palestinian leader will agree to that. Unfortunately, with Israel at an impasse, Rabbi Shaiman wants to rush headlong in order, as he acknowledges, to nourish the “vibrancy” of American Jews, who won’t face the consequences.

The Steven Greenfield letter appropriately states the writer’s aversion to criticizing Israel publicly. Greenfield finds it “ironic” that Israelis are even more critical. That is not irony. Israelis criticize their government on numerous matters, just as Americans do here. Israelis have that right. They risk their lives as soldiers and daily as civilians.

Israelis are directly impacted by every decision. They must “get it right.” Here, though, these matters often are fodder for parlor debate, divorced from life’s reality. While criticizing Israel is fashionable for some, Jews needn’t do it, as enough others inevitably will.

West Hartford, Conn.