I found Jay Goldstein’s missive of Dec. 18, which attempts to defend the Jewish state and its record of human rights abuses, to be intriguing. His claim of ownership of Palestine based upon prior occupancy some 2,000 years ago is remarkably disingenuous. If this unique interpretation of real estate law has merit, the Penobscot Indians have an equally valid claim of ownership to all of my land and Goldstein’s, too.
He admits that there are three million Palestinian refugees, but insists they became refugees “to avoid being run over by Arab armies.” Being an old school teacher I’ve heard some interesting excuses in my time, but this one beats all.
And finally, Goldstein lays out the terms and conditions to which the previous owners of this tiny blood-soaked piece of the world must agree before they may return to their own homes: It’s the Jewish way or no way. This simplistic intransigence bodes poorly for any realistic chance for a just peace.
It is a painful fact of history that it is military force or the threat of its use which determines national boundaries, and in that vein the new Jewish state is no better or worse than any other conquering armies. However, do we as Americans choose to indemnify and hold harmless the inhuman activities of this tiny Jewish enclave into Palestine? Shall we continue to subsidize a country with a human rights record of torturing Palestinians, shooting down a Libyan commercial airliner, and generally ignoring the United Nations plethora of resolutions which have tried to deal with the volatile nature of the Mideast?
In the final analysis, is this abuse of humanity any of our business? Do we really care how many young Palestinians the Jews slaughter? What really constitutes “our vital interests” in this part of the world and should it include subsidizing this Jewish state to the tune of some $4 billion a year?
Is it time to conduct “an agonizing reappraisal” (thank you, John Foster Dulles) of our unconditional support of this Jewish state in the light of today and not 1947? I believe that it is.
Robert W. Ronco