Monday, August 4, 2014

An Israeli supporter's response to Eno's letter

Many Jews are very opposed to Israel's murderous policies and practices against the Palestinian people. And yet, there are many more who remain loyal to the state of Israel. Included amongst them are many Jewish Americans whose loyalty to Israel is seemingly more than that to the USA.  Peter Schwartz is a Jewish immigrant and child of Holocaust survivors, who has posted a response to Eno's letter in the Independent, UK.

While I have some disagreement with some of his views, I agree with some other points he made. I quote from his writing -

"And I believe that creating the Jewish state of Israel was a historic mistake that is likely to destroy the religion behind it. The actions nation states take to assure their survival are usually in contradiction to any moral values that a religion might espouse. And that contradiction is now very evident in Israel’s behaviour. Israel will destroy Judaism.

First, the history has two important intersecting threads, Zionism and the end of the Ottoman Empire. Zionism began near the end of the 19th century as a response to a millennium of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. An end to the diaspora and a return to the biblical homeland were seen as the only hope of escaping the persistent repression of places such as Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, etc. The British government with its Balfour declaration (1917) and the League of Nations Palestine Mandate (1922) gave impetus to that hope. And of course, the Second World War and the Holocaust sealed the deal.

The murder of six million Jews was seen as sufficient reason to pursue a Jewish state, and the UN granted that wish with the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in 1947....

Until the mid-1970s, Israel was seen as having the moral high ground based on the Holocaust and Arab behaviour. But beginning with the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in the early 1980s, that moral position began to erode."

Schwartz continues, "Israel’s behaviour in Lebanon was the first major example of aggressive action and attacks against vulnerable populations." He is wrong here. It was not Israel's first such aggressive action. Even before Israel's incursion into Lebanon, its leaders had lost moral authority in its execution and treatment of Palestinians dating back, at least to 1949 during her so-called war of Independence, in places like Deir Yassin and scores of villages which were wiped out and Palestinians expelled  en masse.

He continues, "I don’t think there is any honour to go around here. Israel has lost its way and commits horrors in the interest of its own survival."

You can read Schwartz's full response by clicking here.

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