Letters Dec. 7, 2017


Prerequisites for peace
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

These memorable words, from Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” capture the tumultuous period of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. They could just as well be a commentary on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict that included the rebirth of a Jewish nation amidst a hundred-year Arab war against Zionism and the Jews of Palestine, and the ups and downs of the Middle East peace process.

The Trump administration’s efforts to revive the moribund peace process will play out against this backdrop. The WJW editorial, “A Trump peace plan?” (Nov. 30), casts doubt on this administration’s ability to understand “the delicate diplomatic dance necessary to move peace forward.”

To move peace forward will require a paradigm shift in thinking based on historical realities. The Israeli-Palestinian stalemate is a spin-off of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict — solve the latter to end the former. This is the essence of the so-called “outside-in” approach discussed in “Time for a peace process paradigm change” (Voices, Nov. 23).


The burgeoning relationship between Israel and key Arab states, principally Saudi Arabia and Egypt, provides the opportunity to advance peace. If these Arab states can be encouraged to come to terms with a strong and vibrant Israel, they will be in a position to persuade the Palestinian Authority to abandon its cradle-to-grave incitement that promotes a culture of hatred and violence, and to accept the reality of a Jewish state.

These are the necessary prerequisites for peace and for the realization of President Trump’s grand vision of an “ultimate deal.”
Virginia Beach, Va.

What a difference a year makes
Spot-on and timely article (“Responding fully to anti-Semitism,” Voices, Nov. 30)!

I’ve learned (and I suspect many other Jews have) to listen for “dogwhistles,” and steel myself for whatever spews out next. I always thought (and still do) that there is a primitive core in America that is Puritan-based, a muffled xenophobia compared to the German/Austrian extroverted kind, and I was (and still am) concerned that one day it would spill over and become dominant and open.

That day has arrived, with a helpful assist from our current president. He has a lot to answer for, not the least is slipping the leash on these “deplorables.”

It’s amazing that we fell from being a first-rate nation (with major issues), to being a third-rate (or worse) banana republic in less than a year. If open carry of weapons becomes law, will we see “fan justice” at our football and baseball games, when a referee or umpire makes a call that someone disagrees with? Just like in South America.

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