One of the pleasures of the internet is that one makes new friends at long distance (to replace at my age) the dear friends that one has been startled to learn have left this world.  The other side of this coin, however, is that one can be targeted by angry ones whom one has offended.

One of the most precarious topics now is discussion (criticisms) of the Israeli occupation and its effects upon the Palestinians.  Defenders of Israel remember the past attacks on Israel — from without and within — which echo the events of the Holocaust for those who are defenders of Israel, right or wrong.  One can understand and sympathize entirely with  this defense both of a religion and a people.  As one who has studied theology, I am all too aware of the several millennia of ‘pogroms’ launched by the blatant anti-Semitism of one of the most powerful early Christian spokespersons, St. Paul — named Saul until his conversion experience.  “The Jews killed Jesus!” was a cry echoing all too often at the gates of the ghettos and his Letter to the Romans is even more viciously anti-Semitic, if subtle, than that blatant charge which some contemporary Christians claim may not be of his authorship.

Whatever, one is bound to face attacks if one criticizes Israel’s actions.  These can be the charge of anti-Semitism or ugly personal attacks of various kinds.

I guess one should expect such things.  The scenario over there is two trains rushing towards each other at full speed on a single track.  It is not easy to gain attention under these stressed circumstances.  But I think those of us who give a damn had better keep trying.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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