Letters 2/20


Peace talks need support
To finally end the violence in Syria, we must support the Geneva II peace talks to bring about a negotiated solution to the Syrian civil war. The conference was an important first step to address Syrian suffering. By the end of the first round of talks, the Syrian regime agreed to allow women and children to leave the besieged city of Homs.

However, the U.S. must redouble peace efforts. The administration’s insistence on excluding Iran from Geneva II will only delay a negotiated solution. All parties who play a central role in the conflict must be at the negotiating table.

Additionally, U.S. policy makers must stop fueling the conflict and end the shipment of arms that undermine diplomatic efforts. As an American Jew who cares deeply for peace in the Middle East, I hope the administration and Congress will support sustained talks to allow humanitarian agencies to access all of Syria, secure an immediate cease-fire, and end this bloody conflict once and for all.



Demeaning, insulting
Your statement in “DCJCC Cancels Writer’s Appearance” (WJW, Feb. 13) that the DCJCC’s presentation of The Admission “caused controversy among local right-wing Israel supporters” is not only a breach of objective news reporting, but is also demeaning and insulting to mainstream supporters of Israel, like myself, who are familiar with, and have criticized, the play.

The script of the play, which I have read, is not subtle. It is a polemic, explicitly blaming and justifying ongoing Arab resistance on what the characters call Israel’s “cruel” and “inhuman” conduct from the 1948 Independence War to the present. 

Objecting to the “blame Israel” perspective for the continuing conflict that this play embodies is not “right wing” behavior. Your article would have been more accurate if you omitted the baseless epithet and simply reported that The Admission “has caused controversy among local Israel supporters.”


Moral high ground
Ari Shavit states in, “Ari Shavit’s ‘Promised Land’ still struggles for legitimacy”(WJW, Feb. 13): “Israel’s existence depends on the fact that we have the moral high ground … but for decades, we’ve neglected this, using brute force.”

It is the world, not Israel, which has neglected this moral high ground. Jews must recognize that it is this same worldview that has followed them and their nation for thousands of years. As Jews have painfully seen over and over throughout the millennia, moral high ground does not block bullets and never will. The United Nations is silent when mortars and rockets reign down on Israel from Gaza but only protests when Israel responds. Missiles are fired from Lebanon, and the United Nations is silent until Israel fights back.

During the Holocaust the world was fully aware but silent with respect to the horrors perpetrated against the Jewish people.

This is not a new phenomenon. Expecting world opinion to change based on an Israeli or Jewish action is futile. It has never happened and not likely to in the near future. It is for the benefit of the Jewish people’s survival that they learn this valuable lesson. 


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  1. Jerome Chapman’s criticism of WJW’s use of the term “right-wing” fails spectacularly. Those who are familiar with the reaction to Theater J’s decision to present “The Admission” know full well that opponents of that decision have not merely criticized the planned presentation, but also have resorted to retaliatory tactics that would have made Joe McCarthy proud. The “right-wing” description is more than fair.


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