Web Letters | The Nation

J Street Opposes Palestine's UN Bid; US Increasingly Isolated

Now is the time, we must embrace peace

Israel never did what it could do to make peace with its neighbors—the people of the Middle East. Instead, Israel made peace with dictators who oppress their people and Israel’s leaders were happy having good relationships with the tyrants of Egypt and Tunesia. Israel almost made a catastrophic mistake by negotiating with Bashar Assad for the return of the Golan Heights. Israel could never understand why Nelson Mandela wanted nothing to do with it after apartheid ended. It failed to understand that its arming of South Africa and refusing to end close military cooperation with the apartheid regime would be something South African blacks would not soon forget.

A peace between Israel and the Palestinians with two states living side by side in peace would do much to end the deep hatred that millions of people feel toward Israel. Will they start loving Jews and Israel tomorrow? Of course not, but when millions of people don’t see on TV Israeli tanks and Israeli planes firing into Palestinian towns, there will come a time when the hatred turns to apathy.

If Israel had a visionary leader there would be two states living side by side in peace and Israel’s best emissaries to the Arab world would be the Palestinians. Instead, the right wing predominates and absurdly clings to the belief that the Palestinians are all going to move to Jordan or disappear. They do not realize they are taking Israel down a dangerous road that leads over a cliff. All Palestinians are not Hamas or Islamic Jihad, and opinion polls continue to show that a majority of people on both sides favor a two-state solution. Israel will sadly soon have the choice of a one-state solution or apartheid if Israel’s government continues to create conditions on the ground that make a two-state solution impossible.

We Jews who love Israel can see a vision of a better life for Israel and its Arab neighbors. The crime of the millennia was the murder of 6 million Jews, of which one million were children. Today, who is Israel’s second-best friend after America? Germany. If that can happen, then we should never, ever lose hope for a true and lasting peace for Israel and the Palestinians. It’s only impossible if you believe it to be so.

Mark Jeffery Koch

Cherry Hill, NJ

Sep 16 2011 - 4:40pm