“Three little words” (WJW editorial, March 20) asks: “Will Israeli-Palestinian peace come down to whether the Palestinians will acknowledge that Israel is ‘a Jewish state’?”
Why in the world do we need the Palestinians – or anyone else – to tell us what we already know, that Israel is indeed a Jewish state? Did we ask that of Egypt’s Sadat or Jordan’s Hussein? When Khrushchev signed the Test-Ban Treaty, did the United States insist that he state his recognition of this country as a democratic constitutional republic?
If Abbas signs an agreement with Israel, he will be recognizing what it is by that very action. His obligation will be not words but deeds: to maintain peace with his neighbor and to remove anti-Semitism from both school textbooks and governmental pronouncements. But Israel will continue to be the Jewish state with or without Palestinian declarations.
What the editorial urges stems from a galut mentality, which depends on the non-Jewish authorities to assure us that we Jews can live and work in their lands. Zionism has the opposite aim, to provide the Jewish state and people with a sense of security no matter what others may say – or not say – about us. Those three little words will do nothing to enhance that condition.