Friday, October 31, 2014

J.Post October 29: The 'Palestinian state' folly

Sir, - The article by Michael Cohen submitted as a "Letter from America" with the title "Why a Palestinian state is essential" suffers from an obvious major flaw. While it very well may be an accurate expression of why America views a Palestinian state to be essential, it completely fails to appreciate the genuine existential concerns of the people of Israel, while at the same time reveals a gross lack of understanding about the realities of the PA-Israel conflict.

Since Michael Cohen lists himself as a Rabbi and a college teacher of conflict resolution, I unfortunately feel compelled to criticize the thesis of his article in relation to these two professional areas. One of the primary duties of a rabbi has always been to identify with the plight of the Jewish people, seek their welfare, and fight on their behalf. Rabbi Cohen expresses no empathy at all with Israel's fragile security situation, but with unmitigated chutzpah dares to suggest that his understanding of Israel's defense requirements is superior to that of Israel's democratically elected prime minister.

As a rabbi and conflict resolver, Cohen must understand that Israel is surrounded by implacable enemies and unrestrained fanatical hatred. The PA has never ceased its promotion of terrorism in words as well as in deeds. It heroizes the most vile acts of terrorism and constantly uses every vehicle at the UN and elsewhere to demonize Israel by invoking old blood libels, and obscenely accuses Israel of Nazi atrocities. It actively promotes terrorism in its schools and mosques. It joins itself with Hamas, whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel, who has 'tsunamied' Israel with thousands of deadly rockets, and who has taken the lives of tens of our most precious sons. 

Must not everyone of sound mind and principle decidedly appreciate—despite Cohen's derision—Israel's insistence on maintaining its 'present very narrow and rigid security definition' for its very survival?

Petach Tikva