Philip Scheier writes (“An insult,” letters, Feb. 29) that J Street “claims it is pro-Israel, a claim rejected by all Israeli leaders, including Bibi, along with most observers, who have all turned down many invitations to address the J Street lobby.”
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sees things differently. He is speaking at the J Street “Making History” conference March 24-27, and I’ll be there to hear what he has to say because I care about a safe future for my friends and relatives in Israel, and because as a Jewish educator I want my students to have a positive connection with Israel, consistent with humane Jewish values.
The unresolved conflict with the Palestinians is causing increased international isolation for Israel and stress on Israel’s democracy. The choice is urgent: A historic two-state compromise, or a de facto single state that will mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, or as a democratic state.
That’s why a minyan of Israel’s political, military and intelligence leaders endorse the same two-state solution that J Street supporters like myself advocate to Congress and the White House. Leaders such as Adm. (Ret.) Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shin-Bet and the Israeli Navy; Colette Avital, former deputy speaker of the Knesset, consul general and ambassador; Shlomo Ben Ami, former foreign minister and public security minister; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Shlomo Gazit, former head of IDF intelligence; Dave Kimche, former director general of the Foreign Ministry; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amos Lapidot, the former commander of Israel’s Air Force; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former chief of the IDF general staff; Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Israela Oron, former deputy National Security Council adviser, former chief of the IDF Women’s Corps; Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz, former head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank; and Danny Yatom, former head of the Mossad. I can name dozens more.
Mr. Scheier’s concern for Israel will be better served if, rather than attacking, he joins with these Israelis in supporting pluralistic and civil debate on how American Jews can best work for Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish democracy, offering opportunity to all its diverse citizens.