Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Palestinian Plight

I respond to Mr. Hurwitz's January 19, 2014 letter to the Metro West Daily News entitled "Zionists misunderstood and maligned." I share much of his personal and familial history. Reality, however, must, in my opinion, dictate policy. I have over time softened my often hard line unequivocal support of the State of Israel. I still support the Jewish state but as historical conditions and context change I change. I have met Palestinian people who share their experiences with me and I change. Proximity to Palestinians breeds understanding empathy and I change. We, are all of us human and, as JFK said, we are all mortal and, so, I change.

Assuming all of Mr. Hurwitz's historical analysis in his letter is true, if the issue of Palestinian statehood is not addressed it will continue to be a blinding irritant in one's eye and a cancer that kills all it touches. For future generations and for the security of the Israeli state, let us address it now. The consequences of inaction mean only that the dispute will remain and more faucets of blood will flow on both sides of the issue. Turn the spigots of blood off.

It is my contention that inaction on Palestinian statehood is untenable and will have deleterious consequences to Palestinians and Israelis alike. It will, indeed, fester for Jews everywhere and even for the world entire.

As a humanitarian, too, sharing much of the Jewish history about which the writer iterated I am struck by the suffering, too, that exists for those Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere which they must, in humiliation, endure every day. As a Jew who has experienced the malevolent decadence of antisemitic hatred bringing life to the word ghetto I must be empathetic to all suffering while not unmindful of the sad and difficult history of my own Jewish people.

Standing intractable against Palestinians, will not bring security to the Jewish state. No, it will breed insecurity. If the issue is not addressed fairly it will simply stagnate and the cement of its discord will harden and breed a fatal myocardial infarction etched in hearts turned to stone.

No nation state has a corner on justice as each state is home to the just and the unjust alike. Therefore, I believe in a two state solution and I believe the settlements must cease. I, of course, also believe that the Jewish state must be recognized and the violence against it stopped. Violence must on both sides end. It is only then that peace, however illusive now, can have the remotest chance of fruition. It is in everyone's interest to seek a tenable solution, to be mindful of the interests of the Jewish state while not unmindful of the Palestinian plight.