I am watching the ugliest types of personal attacks on critics of Israel.  I think such attackers — from David Horowitz to Alan Dershowitz — are in fact Israel’s worst enemies!

There is a deadly mess in Israel/Palestine.  Israel is playing the role of occupying force and the Palestinians are the occupied.  Once some decades back a psychologist in this country set up an experiment with college students playing prisoners and prison guards.  It had to be abruptly discontinued because the ‘guards’ began to act like guards and the ‘prisoners’ became increasingly enraged.  Those of us standing on the outside see the same situation operating in Israel — rockets from on high, massive imprisonment (10,000 Palestinians including women and children?), a 3 to 1 killing ratio of Palestinians to Israelis — all the bad things that occupations have always involved when a state in effect imprisons those whom it occupies.  The Allies were smarter than that after WW2.

What first alerted me to the ultimate dangers of this situation was the sudden break that occurred in a human rights faculty seminar of which I was a member several decades back.  This was a group that had worked closely together for nearly a year in once a week sessions.  Then one meeting the subject of Israel came up and the seminar broke down the middle with Jews (and me) defending Israel and non-Jews severely criticizing it.  It was a a time shortly after there had been reports in the press about IDF soldiers smashing the hands of stone throwers under the instructions or at least with the tolerance of Rabin.  This strong and irreparable break made me aware that Israel was under close critical scrutiny as an oppressor nation.  It was not surprising to hear a report of a poll last night on npr to the effect that the U.S. (or at least the Bush government) was third from the bottom of world approval — after Israel and Iran.

It is all too easy to attack critics of Israel as anti-Semites, self-hating Jews, radicals (read communists) or with other nasty personal slurs.  Needless to say Carter knocked himself out as President achieving protective peace arrangements that took the military pressures off Israel on her western borders.  He, as any of the rest of us, can see that Israel has partitioned the Palestinians off into non-viable chunks of land upon which the settler creep constantly encroaches.  Check out that evolution per maps:


Let me mention that the majority of my nieces and nephews have a Jewish parent.  Possibly a majority of my friends are Jewish.  I fought anti-Semitism publicly from my college days on.  I am no enemy of Israel.  But I worry terribly about its long-term survival with its current divided and incompetent leadership — and supporters who are blindly attacking Israel’s best friends.

“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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