Whether sponsored by Birthright or J Street, shouldn’t discussions on the conflict focus on facts rather than on personal narratives (“Fast-Protest At Birthright Offices Shuts Down Third Avenue,” April 5 online)? Should tough decisions be based on which side can produce the saddest, weepiest story or on facts and consequences?
Israel’s critics prefer narratives as their goal to win young adults over to their agenda. Facts don’t support their position.
Palestinians, whether Hamas, the Palestinian Authority or Islamic Jihad, call for the destruction of the State of Israel by war or right of return. A piece of paper won’t change that.
A withdrawal to the 1967 lines would involve life and death consequences for Israelis, which the trip attendees won’t hear from Palestinian or Israeli narratives and regardless will not involve the attendees as they would have left for home.
Consider Gaza. Israel withdrew. Hamas took over and fired rockets into Israel. Israel established a blockade (most other nations would have leveled the area, killing thousands). Gazans will tell their tales of woe. Missing will be the rockets and tunnels. Missing will be that families have five or more children, which impoverishes all ethnic and religious groups. Missing will be Hamas’ oppression and redirection of money from the people to Hamas.
Have the young adults, with their families, live near the border for a year before using Palestinian narratives as the basis for Israeli decisions. Or have them stand shoulder to shoulder with the IDF as Gazans attempt to invade Israel.
If attendees want decisions based on the claim that a withdrawal will change Hamas, they and J Street should first put their blood on the line.
Silver Spring, Md.