This is sent in response to an article critical of the AJC written by Rabbi Wascow of the Shalom Center which seems to be going around the Internet. I offer this response.
I do not know one thing about the American Jewish Committee. I am a skeptic through and through especially if it has to do with politics or religion. I went to the American Jewish Committee web site and I enclose the link to it http://www.ajc.org
It carries the remarks by Larry Lowenthal at his 18th year celebration. You can read the text of his speech. There is really not much to disagree with and there is not much I really can disagree with as far as Rabbi Wascow's email which you sent as well except for one sentence.
To me the proof is often going deeper. Even George Bush's speeches often sound good on their face but delve a little deeper into what this man has really done, who makes up his entourage and if possible what they say in private then it becomes a different story.
I try to look at both sides of issues. There is no question to me that American foreign policy has committed egregious acts. Acts, through which, we reap what we have sewn. It MUST be reassessed and reworked if we are to live on this planet without perpetual and at some point, I think, catastrophic war. There must also be a solution to the Palestinian issue. Personally, I believe in a two state solution too.
However, angels do not exist anywhere. The problem is that religion uncompromising and extreme throws up roadblocks to peace everywhere. There is no arguing with people who think God is on their side, God put them where they are and there is especially no arguing with suicide bombers who kill thousands upon thousands of innocents and will not even argue their beliefs in the first place. There is no criticism of or rapprochement by much of the academic left or albeit in the Muslim world of Muslims who decapitate, burn and slaughter so many even of their own religion. Occasionally one hears a few but certainly not an outcry.
We must wade through, in my opinion, the supernatural hocus pocus sewers that are the monotheistic religions in their pure form. A daunting task. I am not even sure it can be done. Religion in my opinion is the single most threatening force known to man besides nature because it keeps free thought down and closes the door to dialogue and scientific truth. This is true probably of some in the AJC and it is no less true of certainly many in the Islamic world as well.
The sentence in Rabbi Wascow's article that I do not like was: "Indeed, they attacked a Jewish poet, playwright, and historian for questioning the possibility of a two-state solution when the most vigorous underminers of such a solution -- even more vigorous and more effective than murders by Palestinian terrorists -- have been the Israeli government." THAT I have a problem with. Both sides commit atrocities. Palestinians commit horrendous atrocities even against their own people. I venture to ask if Israel were to cease to exist as a Jewish state (a possibility) would there be peace in Palestine? I would not bet my wallet on it.
Many in all of the Islamic world, too, are not kidding when they say they want a second Holocaust and Jews should be driven into the sea. I take them at their word. The Jewish state unless annihilated (a possibility) is a reality. A two state solution is, in my opinion, the most desirable BUT when the left, as they so often do, start using phrases like the Israeli government is worse than terrorists they lose me and incur worse wrath of a lot of Jews. The title of Jimmy Carter's book did the same thing. If he truly wants peace he would not have used the title he did which sold his book but alienated a lot of others. A true mediator looks at both sides and tries at least to treat them equally and not inflame. Rabbi Wascow's title
"F*****T, the AJC" did nothing to advance his cause. It looked on the face of it profane.
There must be quiet dialogue with an attempt to diffuse not ignite. So far, on both sides, I see very few willing to do that.