It’s wrong to call anti-Semite Feinstein’s ‘top challenger’
I don’t know if this was irresponsible or intentionally misleading, but it was ridiculous (even on April 30, more so now) to call Patrick Little Feinstein’s top challenger. He probably won’t even have the most Republican support, but even if he did, it’s clear Kevin de León is Feinstein’s top challenger for the U.S. Senate.
In fact, when you just see the headline without the article, it is probably defamatory toward Mr. de León, who everybody except this publication (for unknown reasons) identifies as the “top challenger.”
Israel: The power of an idea that exceeds the reality
Thank you for your editorial “Seven decades on, Israel is still a work in progress — as it should be.” This underscores the great paradox of Israel at 70: the fact that it is not merely a reality, it is also an idea!
Suggesting that the idea of Israel is even more impressive than its reality might seem counterintuitive. The reality of the modern State of Israel has been achieved against unfathomable odds, overcoming centuries of dispersal, hate and massacres directed at the Jewish people culminating in genocide; repeated all-out wars of attempted annihilation against Israel since its founding; incessant terrorism targeting Jewish children in schools, buses, discos and pizzerias; vicious efforts to rewrite Israel’s history, slander its people and deny its legitimacy; and unrelenting anti-Semitism, which is resurgent today.
And yet, the idea of Israel is even more remarkable than its reality. It has endured for 2,000 years. It unites Jews both around the world today and across generations over centuries. It impels Israel’s defenders to stand up and refuse to yield to ignorance, lies and hate. It obligates Israel to be a moral force for peace, light and truth; an oasis in the desert; a beacon in a stormy night. It compels Israel’s people to ensure equal rights; promote the moral and technological ascent of humankind; pursue advancements in agriculture, medicine and science; and protect the environment. Israel’s existence is the ultimate testimony to the Jewish people’s unconquerable resolve and resilience.
Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, famously wrote of his hoped-for Jewish state: “If you will it, it is no dream.” If he could look back today, he might now say: “As long as you will it, it will remain a dream come true.” That is the power of an idea.
Stephen A. Silver,
A deadly silence about ‘ongoing massacre’ in Gaza
I’m still waiting to read criticism in J. or from any of Israel’s institutional supporters about Israel’s ongoing massacre of unarmed protesters in Gaza. As of May 15, the number of dead passes 100 and the wounded approach 5,000, but JCRC, ADL, JNF and other Jewish organizations remain silent or openly supportive of the IDF shooting demonstrators in the barrel of Gaza.
Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel has a perfect right to “defend our borders” by killing unarmed people hundreds of meters away behind barbed-wire fences. Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan says the Gazan victims are like dead Nazi soldiers and should not be mourned. The 1.8 million people of Gaza, mostly refugees or their children, people who fled the destruction of their villages, now live in an open-air prison. Yet Israel’s leaders and supporters call them terrorists and deny them the right to demonstrate peacefully in the tiny amount of territory they have left.
I ask my friends at J. and in the Jewish community: Is there no limit to the Israeli violence you will support? Is there no line Israel can cross that will cause you to object? I no longer believe there is such a line. If and when Israel imposes a “final solution” on Palestinians, many will still see Israel as the victims and the Palestinians as the villains, simply for trying to exist. Are there any J. readers who think differently?
A sad day for peace, but at least the façade is over
Three things just happened that should make leftist Jews who claim to support the idea of a Jewish state readjust their thinking about who’s who in the zoo.
First, Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Jews for the Holocaust by saying it wasn’t anti-Semitism but the characteristic of irresistible money-lending practices that caused the Nazis to murder 6 million.
Second, at the 10th anniversary J Street conference this week, Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Washington office, called self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” activists “allies with such courage and conviction to stand up for what is right.” The J Street crowd applauded loudly.
Third, the PLO has asserted it will revoke its recognition of Israel’s right to exist, which has been touted for years as the Arab Palestinian “concession” that makes a two-state solution viable.
This triple whammy proves that the Arab Palestinian leadership has been lying all along about its willingness to make peace with Israelis. It’s a sad day for peace, but at least the facade is over. J Street could say they’d been suckered, but with all those well-educated folks among them, that’s hard to swallow.