I sent the following letter in response to Tony Judt’s op-ed in The New York Times. I follow this with additional commentary:
June 11, 2010
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
In his op-ed, “Israel Without Clichés,” Tony Judt smugly engages in a “little housecleaning,” in order to set the record straight on the “truth” regarding Israel. Additional “housecleaning” is in order regarding his attitude towards the State of Israel. In a 2003 article in the New York Review of Books in 2003, “Israel the Alternative,” Judt advocates the elimination of the Jewish State, calling its Jewish nationalism an anachronism. Instead he advocates a bi-national state of both Jews and Arabs. In other words, the current Jewish State would be involuntarily eliminated and absorbed within its surrounding twenty sovereign Arab states. Nationalism, after all, is parochial and ethno-centric and has no place in the 21st century world. Would he call for the elimination of these ethno-centric Arab States?
As an espouser of universal human rights, why would Judt pressure Israel to negotiate with Hamas, a client of Iran, which has killed thousands of innocents, tolerates no dissent and violently evicted the Palestinian Authority from Gaza?
Judt’s attempt to clarify clichés about Israel by an espouser of her elimination is the ultimate chutzpah.
Max L. Kleinman
In the aforementioned article, the “prescient” Jewish scholar noted that Jewish settlers would die or be killed rather than move from their settlements. Nine thousand such settlers were forced out of Gaza by the IDF without any violence whatsoever. The Israeli people were repaid by thousands of rockets pouring into Gaza, the destruction of world-class agricultural settlements and burning of synagogues. Judt predicted that in 2003, “Unless something changes, Israel, in half a decade will neither be Jewish nor democratic.” Last time I checked, Israel has retained both statuses.
Judt claimed that the “Two-State Solution is already doomed. Seven years later we pray that the proximity talks, which, hopefully, will lead shortly to direct talks will lead to a “Two-State Solution.”
In his New York Times Op-ed, he does not accuse Jews of “running the country,” but denounces the “excessive leverage of the lobby.” He characterizes Congressmen as “rolling over for every pro-Israel motion.” Lobbies are there to be as successful as possible in achieving their goals. That’s the democratic way. I don’t think Judt would be an effective lobbyist with Congress.
Thank G-d the Tony Judt’s of the world have little influence on the American body politic, which is able to differentiate between terrorism and non-violence, the evil of Iran and its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah and Israel, a thriving democracy with flaws like other democracies. Unfortunately, his viewpoint is the mainstream in Europe.
No doubt, Israel blundered badly in its handling of the boarding of the Turkish ship. Recent polls have shown that Americans get the bigger picture. Israel had the right to exercise this blockade, to prevent Hamas from being re-armed. In short, Israel is the “canary in the mineshaft” in the global effort to combat Islamic terrorism. Hopefully, the U.S. and EU can find less confrontational ways to address Israel’s security needs and better meet the humanitarian needs of Gazans. But I wish there was as much pressure applied by the U.N. on Hamas as on Israel to recognize the latter and renounce terrorism. Then, there would be no need for a blockade at all.
It is time to rally around Israel as she faces the worst isolation since the Zionism is Racism resolution passed in the 1970’s.