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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Speaking out on Carter - An open letter to Deb Reich

Dear Deb Reich,
As editor and director of Mideastweb for Coexistence, I have been accused more than once of being a self-hating Jew. Therefore I can sympathize with your statement:
"P.S.: My new slogan: I am not a self-hating Jew. I'm a self-loving human."
Name calling is really ugly isn't it? It hurts.
I am not worried about such epithets, because I know they are absurd. I live in Israel, and the epithets generally come from self-appointed Zionists abroad. I have tried  to make sure that all my public statements for peace or for Israel or against the occupation are non-inflammatory, and are based on solid irrefutable facts. By trying to tell the truth and understand the truth in a calm way, we can help people think rationally and bring them together. If we use scare words and falsify reality, we are contributing to the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy.
In your letter about Carter published in the Baltimore Chronicle, January 22,
you wrote:
 The paramount priority right now is to put a stop to the phased genocide taking place at this moment in the West Bank and Gaza. The eventual "cleansed" (of Palestinians) state that the Israeli army and successive governments of Israel are in the process of achieving for us will be an abomination to any morally normal person, but by then it will be too late.
Without in any way justifying the occupation, I submit that there is not a single word of truth in the above. Isael withdrew from Gaza and would leave Gaza alone if Palestinians were not smuggling weapons, shooting rockets and kidnapping soldiers. There is an argument between left and right in Israel. The left insist there are about 3.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, whereas the right insist there are only 2.4 million. If there are 3.6 million, or even 2.4 million, there is no evidence of genocide in any sense of the term, and nobody is being "cleansed." The Israeli right claim, with considerably hyperbole, that the 8,000 Jews removed from Gaza were "ethnically cleansed." There is not much truth or constructive thought in either proposition.  
You wrote:
My job is not to fix what the other party is doing wrong, but what my group is doing wrong in my name, and with my tax dollars.
You will not "fix" anything by disseminating falsehood and gratuitously inflammatory statements. It is not your business to fix what is wrong with the Palestinians, but it is your business to recognize the clear and present danger to Israel from terror, and the open and announced genocidal intent of the Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as the evils of the occupation, and to make it clear to Palestinians that they will not destroy Israel. It is your duty to defend you home from attack - physical or verbal. If there is no Israel, there will be nothing to fix.
Carter's book, which you praised without reading, is apparently replete with falsehoods, beginning with the title. A state that is about to appoint an Arab minister (actually the second one to serve) cannot be an apartheid state. Apartheid was a regime for separating citizens of a country, not for administering belligerents in occupied territory. Carter's book mislabelled maps, made false setatements about UN Resolution 242 and about the negotiations in 2000 and built a generally false case against Israel.
I hope that you love truth and peace more than you love yourself, and will in future work for peace and for an end to the occupation in suitable ways. The end does not justify the means. If you want to love yourself and sleep well at night, stick to the truth.
Ami Isseroff  

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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