The two-state solution

Thank you, Dr. Lippe (“At it again,” letters, November 3). Nothing we could have written could have proved our point better than your knee-jerk response to our October 27 column in the Jewish Standard in support of Dr. Meyer and his appointment as CEO of the Center for Jewish History. The column described Dr. Meyer’s impeccable qualifications for his job, and went on to describe the attacks leveled against him and the CJH because of his recognition of the dangers of the West Bank occupation and the two and half million Palestinians who have lived there under military rule for 50 years.

Dr. Lippe is as guilty as Meyer’s detractors, all of whom wish to impose a loyalty test, which is presented as a test of loyalty to Israel but in reality is a test of loyalty only to the dream of a “Greater Israel.”

Do you now or have you ever supported the idea of a two-state solution? Answer wrong, and you no longer are an acceptable part of the Jewish community. This effort, both in the U.S. and in Israel, to blur the distinction between the State of Israel and the Israeli civilian presence and military control of the West Bank, equating them in propaganda though not in fact, is an effort to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel. Today Israel is a democratic Jewish state, but how long will the settler dream allow that to remain true? To annex the West Bank (as Israel did with East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights) and to incorporate the Palestinian population would require Israel either to sacrifice its democratic character by refusing 2.5 million Palestinians citizenship rights or to give them the right to vote and in so doing empowering them to vote the Jewish State out of existence. Not wishing to do either, the proponents of “Greater Israel” choose to “manage the conflict.”

What they really stand for is the perpetuation of an occupation in the West Bank that keeps a growing population living in the murky swamp of military occupation and the corrosive features and costs, both financial and human, that arise from it. And the slow but steady eroding of our Jewish souls as occupiers is not to be forgotten either.

Dr. Lippe has written a letter to the editor against the column we published. He claims that our article was an “extreme left-wing interpretation” and he calls the readership of this paper “an unsuspecting Jewish community.” He calls the distinction between the State of Israel and the Jewish settlements of the West Bank a “subtlety.”

We hold you, dear reader, in much higher regard. In a survey taken in January of this year by Smith Consulting, a respected Israeli pollster, 68 percent of Israelis (both Arabs and Jews) prefer two independent states to annexation. At the same time, a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center finds more than 61 percent of American Jews equally in favor of the two-state solution. This is not a subtle difference. It is anything but.

Dr. Lippe and his crowd would like to pretend there is a border for some purposes but not for others, in the hope that the resulting confusion that this state of limbo creates will add to the confusion and will allow them to silence and suppress their critics.

The team of Simon and Gold, along with 68 percent of Israelis and a matching majority of American Jews, resist the promotion of this confusion and believe the best way to support the Jewish state is to work to end the West Bank occupation.

Hiam Simon,
Englewood,
Dr. Mark Gold,
Teaneck

Crossing the line with guns

Maybe I am missing something. I am watching mass murders on the media daily — I don’t know where such evil has come from.

There is very thin line between rage and violence; to cross that line is evil that cannot be done by someone who is not very disturbed. It is not, clearly, a definable illness. And for money, people such as these, who wish to destroy as much human life as can be destroyed with a round or several of ammunition, are able to purchase weapons to accomplish this. No mess. No fuss. Just get hold of some automatic long-range guns. How is it conceivable that no one notices purchases of such guns? The hiding of such weapons? The rage of these individuals? How is it that individuals are able to obtain weapons meant to be on a battlefield?

It is the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust this week. Krystallnacht. The night of broken glass. The night of fear and great warning in Nazi Germany, when so many windows in homes and stores were destroyed by a bunch of crazy, bloodthirsty Nazis fed hatred by their leaders against Jews. They crossed so many lines. Creating the idea of subhuman beings, the Jews, gave them the right to annihilate as many as they could. In the end, years later, it was 6,000,000 and probably more, brutally killed at their hands.

What does it take to create a mass murderer out of a very angry, irrational person? I don’t know where this line begins or when it is crossed. I don’t know why a nation needs guns to be sold everywhere in the first place with such laxity and freedom. I do know that somewhere today, some very unstable person, with an overdose of hate, is buying another weapon, or many such weapons, to avenge some imaginary crime against himself. He will succeed, because no one will stop him. He will buy the guns. Easily.

The Nazis succeeded because they created the idea of a people so subhuman, impure, and filthy that they had to be wiped off the face of the earth. Okay, maybe the parallel is extreme. But it feels to me that each mass murderer of men, women, and children has in him the need to destroy, annihilate, eradicate from the face of the earth, some unclear and unnamable evil or impurity. It was the Jews for so many years, and still is the Jews throughout the Mideast; but here in America, it has turned elsewhere. The Nazis were not stopped until it was almost too late.

Those men with their automatic weapons can be stopped from killing yet another soul if we find a way to assess them and not profit from the sale of guns.

Sandra Steuer Cohen,
Teaneck