Monday October 1, 2012

In his Sept. 24 letter to The Eagle, Jason Francis wrote that Israel and "Zionists" deliberately provoke international conflict and manipulate Amer ica’s public and private seats of power. These aren’t reasonable opinions -- they are racist blood libels. There’s nothing original about blaming the Jews for anything and everything: it has been happening for centuries and is so idiotic it’s tempting to just not listen.

But history won’t let us do that. It’s not OK to propagate Jewish conspiracies. It is OK to criticize Israel: Israel’s six million Jewish and one million citizens do it all the time. Ironically, Israel is the only Mideast country where Arabs are free to say and do whatever they want.

In answer to Mr. Francis’ relatively rational comments about Israel, it’s impossible to steal what you own or to make peace with those who want you to die. The Jews and the land of Israel never released each other and are inseparably bound by history, and in spite of history. Permission to exist isn’t required.

The West Bank (Judea and Samaria) is the Jewish heartland. Its soil was formed by 200 generations of Jewish bones, blood and experiences. For reasons of demography and compassion, Israel doesn’t want the West Bank and has been looking for a way out since 1967. The Palestinians want to destroy Israel, so the mutually painful occupation endures with no end in sight. The settler movement is the only winner, but it just speaks for a small fraction of Israelis and will be decisively removed or abandoned if there is ever a meaningful reason to do so, same as they were vacated from Sinai and Gaza.

Zionism prohibits dominating others, but the Palestinians must leave Israel alone before they can be left alone, and Israel knows how to wait.

JEFF HERMAN

Stockbridge