Smotrich’s True Character
Your March 8 editorial (“Israel Bonds’ Bad Business Decision”) unfairly judges Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, with an inappropriate journalistic yardstick — taking the measure of the man in terms of guilt by accusation, describing Smotrich as “a misogynist, a homophobe, a racist, a bigot, a Jewish fundamentalist and a hate-mongering ideologue,” with a certainty that bespeaks utter ignorance of the finance minister’s true character.
Many Israelis know him to be a true patriot who dreams of an Israel at peace with itself and with its Arab neighbors; a man who has the will to confront the scourge of Palestinian terrorism and to pursue the Zionist dream of a Jewish state that includes the heart and soul of the Jewish people’s indigenous homeland — Judea and Samaria, with its capital in Jerusalem.
I would have expected WJW to give Smotrich a reasonable period of time to prove himself. I was wrong. WJW has completely ignored the exculpatory fact that Smotrich quickly walked back his inflammatory comment about the village of Huwara [that it should be “wiped out”]. He acknowledged making an inappropriate remark, sincerely apologized and explained that he had meant to say that Palestinian terrorists hiding in the village should be swiftly dealt with to the full extent of the law.
Therefore, contrary to your conclusion, the Israel Bonds corporation was absolutely justified in issuing a respectful invitation to Finance Minister Smotrich to speak at its national leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Sadly, I believe your ill-informed editorial will only serve to further divide the American Jewish community at a time when we all should be supporting Israel’s new government. ■
Marc L. Caroff, Virginia Beach