To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Thank you for publishing the article by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen ("My Jewish state", Jan. 4). Although The New York Times is a very serious newspaper, and Mr. Cohen rightly points out that it is a bit ridiculous to call the Israeli nation a "Jewish State," his article is still confusing and in a way not to the point.

The Israeli nation, established in 1948 with the United States as one of its guarantors, has never developed politically. At center is the fact that the Israeli nation has never written a constitution for itself, and thus has confused itself over all sorts of terminologies, the latest one being a "Jewish" state, again because it has no constitutional political definition of itself. It might be possible, if one wishes, to eat gefilte fish on Saturday in Israel as well as go to synagogue. But Roger Cohen misses the point of the necessity to separate Israeli nationality from religious Jewish affiliations, thereby giving equal political status to its "Arab" citizens.

By the way, the term "Arab" state is likewise misleading: we have an Egyptian nation, a Jordanian nation, a Lebanese nation, etc., all struggling to resolve their own issues of politics and religion. The Israeli nation has similar issues; again it has never written an Israeli constitution to clarify its political goals as well as its religious affiliations.

It is critical, if peace is to be sought, that the Israelis write a constitution for themselves, and thereby make clear their political relationship with the Palestinian nation.


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It is my belief that the Israeli and Palestinian nations can become strategic allies in the Middle East and both, with proper constitutions and an extension of good will, have the potential to develop the entire Middle East into a more hospitable and economic as well as politically workable body of nations.

ELIYHO MATZ

Great Barrington

The author is from Israel