Weighing risk and reward
From the July 17 Op-Ed, “Jewish leaders should be vocal in backing Kerry’s mission,” it appears its authors, Ephraim Sneh and Robert K Lifton, learned nothing in the 20 years since Israel signed the Oslo accords in 1993.
Space limits my list of rewards that Israel received in return for giving “land for Peace” and pursuing the “Peace of the Brave,” but consider:
• The Palestinians rewarded Israel for “giving” the West Bank and Gaza to the PLO/Yassir Arafat by sending waves of terrorist bombings, beginning in 1994. Over 1,100 Israelis were killed and 7,500 wounded between 2000-2005. Hamas rewarded Israel for unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza by launching more than 6,000 increasingly powerful rockets into southern Israel since 2005, some able to reach Tel Aviv’s suburbs.
• Israel was rewarded by the United Nations, European Union, academics, universities and “progressives” worldwide by increased vilification and calls for boycott, etc.
The authors also blatantly ignore the two sides’ definitions of “Two State Solution”:
• Fifty-three percent of Palestinians favor a “two-state solution” — assumptions: Israel withdraws to the 1949 armistice lines, Jew-free Palestine, Old City of Jerusalem becomes Palestinian, and five million “Palestinian refugees” settle in Israel. Two-thirds of Israelis favor a “two-state solution” — assumptions: Israel keeps Old City Jerusalem, close-in “settlements,” defensible borders and no Palestinian refugees settle in Israel.
Only Israelis themselves can/should determine whether to accept the Obama administration’s version of a “two-state solution,” and the “rewards” that will inevitably follow. I hope and pray Israel’s leadership learned more in the last 20 years than the authors.
Richard H. Senturia, Director, Citizens for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East
Thank you to everyone who was a part of the Jewish Communities Pride Coalition. Our coalition included nine synagogues and 10 organizations demonstrating that there is strong acceptance here in St. Louis for those who are LGBT and Jewish. The coalition’s presence during the two-day festival and parade highlighted the faith community’s key role overall. Our marchers were noticeable with our more than 200 marchers, our rainbow-ribboned chuppah, our hora dancing and music (earning the Pride Parade award for Best Walking Entry).
We handed out hundreds of rainbow colored Stars of David stickers and friendship bracelets. On behalf of my Co-Chair Richard Isserman and myself, I thank each and every one of our coalition partners, which included Central Reform Congregation, B’nai Amoona, Neve Shalom, Shaare Emeth, Kol Rinah, Shir Hadash, Temple Israel, United Hebrew, Temple Emanuel, Anti-Defamation League, St. Louis Chapter Hadassah, Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, Jews United for Justice, Moishe House, National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section, the New Jewish Theater, Next Dor, Q-Jews, and North American Federation of Temple Youth. We want to especially thank CRC and Rabbis Talve and Fleisher who were our primary supporters with resources and meeting space. We also thank the Light for its coverage.
Michelle Shanker, Co-Chair, Jewish Communities Coalition