Israel Endures Terrorist Threats
Editor, Times-Dispatch: Recent letters have implied that Israel is the source of the problems in the Middle East, and is determined to take more land in its quest for domination. These claims are ironic in that Israel contains only one-tenth of 1 percent of the land in the Middle East, while being pressured to give up even some of that. In addition, Israel has only 6 million inhabitants, 20 percent of whom are Arabs. The rest of the region is controlled by nations numbering about 200 million, many who desire that Israel be driven into the sea.
Apparently some have forgotten the bitter lessons of the atrocities of the Holocaust. Out of the Holocaust came the necessity to secure a homeland for the Jewish people. Since 1948, when it became a nation, Israel has had to constantly defend itself. By the way, the Arabs were also offered part of the land by the UN, but rejected the offer and attacked Israel.
Israel knows that the first war it loses will be its last war. Meanwhile, many place Israel under a double standard. These nations insist that Israel bear the brunt of terrorist attacks and give up land compromising its security. In short, they demand that Israel bear burdens that they themselves would not tolerate.
But there is another facet to this issue that these writers may not know of, or wish to believe. According to the Bible and its prophecies, Israel is God’s chosen people and witnesses of His working among the nations. To not support Israel is analogous to defying God. I believe that history bears this out. Paul Gaitanis. richmond.
I’m no Middle East expert, but I know that there are a lot of experts out there. So I’m sure that if the whole dilemma was as easy as simply acknowledging that the Israelis are God’s chosen people, there wouldn’t be that much of a problem and the Middle East would be one big happy place you see on TV as a great vacation getaway.
You see, the Muslim’s in that region of the world also believe that they are God’s chosen people and history has born that out as well. In fact, you could say any group of people who still exist in the present time can write their history to reflect that God was with them 100% along the way and that they should be getting special treatment. Oh, and everyone else will one day go to Hell. (It’s always so much better to be going to Heaven if you can also say that everyone else is going to eternal damnation).
You also bring up the Holocaust. In 1949, Israel became a state, at least in the eyes of the United States of America. Most Middle East states still don’t recognize its existence. While I agree with you that another Holocaust should not occur, I hardly see how criticism of Israel, the state, equates to the persecution of Jews, as a people. One can reasonably argue for or against government policies without making a statement about all people sharing the nationality or religion of those that make up the majority of the country. In other words, it’s just not the same.
Proponents of Israeli policies need to refrain from their favorite knee-jerk reaction of calling anyone who disagrees with Israel ‘anti-Semite’. Name-calling is not only immature, but it’s not likely to accomplish much and does nothing for your cause. I tend to see Israel, in their treatment of the Palestinians as a big bully. In the name of ‘self-defense’ they administer overkill. However, I am neither an ‘anti-Semite’ nor a ‘pro-Semite’. Come to think of it, I’ve never even met anyone who identifies themselves as a ‘Semite’. And my Grandmother was Jewish.*
Also, constantly referring to the holocaust whenever criticism of Israel arises is equally counterproductive. The Jews, even when they were referred to as the Hebrews (not sure when the names changed*), had similar problems througout their existence. Constant reference to their woes, however, only makes them look weak, when in fact they are not. In fact, do not be fooled into thinking that the U.S. support for Israel has something to do with our country’s belief in the Christian Bible (which, by the way, is not espoused by the Jewish faith). While some may, coincidentally, hold such beliefs, the more logical reason is that it makes sense to hold a strong ally in a region filled with people who are generally not favorable to the West. Israel is an enormous military power that holds similar cultural and economic beliefs and we are smart to make them our friend. But not because we’re afraid of being labeled ‘anti-Semite’ and not because we’re afraid of telling Israel, the state, when we think they’re making a mistake. After all, isn’t that what friends do for one another?
*Her parents fled Austria just before WWII, landing in Brooklyn where my Grandmother lived most of her early life. Some liberal Jews may even think that makes me a Jew. My father, technically, is a Jew. I, however, according to traditional Judaism, am not. My mother was not Jewish. For more on some of the questions about the Jewish ethnicity and the name see here.