MAY 2006

News & Op/Ed
• From The Publisher
• Better Federal Budget
• Eminent Anti-Semitism
• Israeli Voters
• Watershed
• It's Eisen
• Letters to the Editor
  •• Waskow: Exponent
  •• Dzubow: Rabbis
  •• Shore: Levana
  •• Matkowski: Sandals
  •• Sandilands: Ya'alon
  •• Tapper: Tobin
  •• Comer: Rosen

• Community Calendar
• Pride Mission to Israel
• Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg

In Their Own Words
• Charles Smolover

Living Judaism
• Judaism & Democracy
• Travelogue: Israel

Raising A Mensch
• After Mitzvah Project

Free Subscription

Past Issues
April 2006
March 2006
• February 2006
• January 2006
• December 2005
• November 2005
• October 2005
• September 2005
• August 2005
• July 2005

  About       Free Subscription       Donate       Contact Us        Links   border="0" />    Archives

Get your PJVoice Bumperstickers. Contact publisher @ pjvoice.com 
News and Op/Ed

Letters to the Editor

Waiting to reeducate Palestinians
Thank you for reporting on the speech of Moshe Ya'alon, it was most interesting to hear his views on the Middle East and Israel. I note that Moshe did not make any comment about what he thought Israeli policy should be during the 'pessimistic short term' - or at least you did not report on that. I wonder if Moshe would agree with your nemesis that, in the short term, it appears to be more equitable to "clean out the threat in the region". I note with respect your comment that he should go and live in Israel and be exposed, I assume you are saying, to the threat of retaliation from the Palestinians, Iran, Hezbollah, etc. if Israel should decide to take them on. I lived in Israel for a very short period and plan to go back many times. It doesn't come anywhere near living there, but I would like to comment on my view of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based my years of research into Palestinian suicide terrorism.

In the first instance, I think we would have trouble finding a moderate Palestinian to develop projects with: if there are any, they are hiding under the bed for fear of being executed by one of their own. My view is that most moderates were eliminated by Hamas in the late 80s as so-called 'collaborators'. 'The Road to Martyrs' Square' by Oliver and Steinberg gives details of the numbers killed during the first years of Hamas; they say numbering in the thousands, in what I interpret as a Nazi-style 'euthanasia' program. As a good indication of the Palestinians' reluctance to voice their moderation to suicide attacks - attacks of any kind - against Israelis is Muhmoud Abbas himself. Touted as a moderate by Israelis and internationals, it would be more than political suicide - it would mean his assassination - if he tried to reverse the death worship currently 'enjoyed' by the Palestinians. The externalized superego of Hamas has not only come to represent the collective identity of the Palestinians, but their ideologies have seeped into the fabric of society and become its cultural norm. Advice that most Palestinians agree to a two-state policy is a myth. An indication of this is the election of six women to the Hamas parliament based on nothing more than their identification with Al-Khansah: a women that lost her four sons in battle and thanked Allah for the privilege! How could anyone speak out against such a cultural identity without being 'executed' by their neighbors/family as a traitor. Certainly Abbas knows this all too well, as he sat listening to a sermon on the ideal Palestinian women being the reincarnation of Al-Khansah during International Women's' Day this year. Did he jump to his feet and scream, 'no, no, we must stop this'? Of course not. He sat there and said nothing. - And this is just the tip of the iceberg, evidence of the average Palestinian seeing Jewish blood on their hands as a medal of glory is overwhelming - for those that choose to open their eyes.

I would like to think that a re-education program could work, but I fear that it is too long term a project to be successful - certainly we would not see any change in the Palestinian id during our lifetime, it could take two, three, or more generations to reverse the death worship. And in the meantime, Israel is faced with a continual and growing threat of violence from the Palestinians and those heavy-weights that choose to support them. As they go from strength to strength (Hamas's acquisition of long-range missiles as is the latest rumor), Israel looses its ability to deal with the threat. It would indeed be a shame - I would probably like to use the word 'disgrace' - if Israel became a failed state because it did not act to eliminate the threat..

Israel must protect itself by whatever means it has available to it. And, as opposed as I am to any form of violence, I think reality has to faced. Find another way that would be successful and I will be dancing to the moon; otherwise the suffering will just continue long into the future, and quite possibly spell Israel's demise.

-- Vic Sandilands, Sydney, Australia

Potok responds: Check the article: Gen Ya'alon clearly stated and I reported that during the diffucult short-term Israel has to concern herself with developing coalitions with Palestinians ready to engage in re-education and to talk peace. He noted that this will not be easy or quick, but is necessary for Israel's ongoing existence. Note: This is necessary for Israel's existence. Two: Advice to the government of Israel legitimately may be proferred by those who choose to share and shape her destiny in all facets for the long haul. Three: Concentrating only on the dangers to Israel is something those who live there cannot afford. Israelis need to focus on rasing their children, building neighborhoods and businesses and schools and paying taxes, and making their lives full and safe. Four: A first-name address? 

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice welcomes the submission of articles and letters to the editor  editor @ pjvoice.com. Please include name, address and phone number for identification purposes.  We cannot publish every submission we receive. We also reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity, grammar, accuracy, and style, though we will never intentionally distort the author's intent.

Editor-in-chief Adena Potok editor @ pjvoice.com