Re: Rochelle Kochin’s letter, (“A Moral Compass,” April 15): Thanks.
If Ms. Kochin cannot see any moral wrong in the 1948 displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their ancestral and modern homelands, towns, villages, cities and farmlands then “she must have no moral compass.” And yes, Jews were displaced from North African and Mid-eastern countries, but don’t languish intergenerationally in camps.
Israel occupies or controls the lives of over 1 million Palestinians mired in despair, poverty, serious mental health illnesses (and yes, hatred of Israel). Yet the lack of progress toward the realization of a Palestinian state is a moral bankruptcy for all of us. Both sides (and supporters) blame the other, yet feel smug their side is the only moral side.
Thankfully, Mr. Goldstone’s “retraction” has been refuted by other panelists. I stand firm on my views regarding the stupidity of the winter 2008-09. Contrary to Ms. Kochin’s baseless claim that I have a “blind defense of terrorists,” I have been outspoken in not only criticizing Israel for settlements (in the JTNews since my first teaching trip to Israel, 1999) but in criticizing Hamas and Palestinian terror groups for ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
We who are strongly pro-Israel (including those of us who visit Israel regularly) must continue to publicly air to all Americans that war crimes and crimes against humanity must be publicly spoken of wherever and whenever perpetrated. Comparably, if we remain silent regarding Palestinian war crimes and Israel’s self-destructive West Bank occupation, we defeat the numerous moral and ethical lessons that we engage children, youth and young adults about when we teach the Shoah and its lessons for today’s world and conflict-ridden world.
Lastly, Ms. Kochin questions why the JTNews “found it necessary” to print my letter. Thankfully, the JTNews editors and publisher show great respect for dialogue and an open press. It remains unfortunate American Jewry lags far behind Israel in publicly airing disagreements of opinion about what Israelis call “The Situation.” Here in the Diaspora, that can change.