I acknowledge that Alan Elsner is correct when he points out some of Israel’s social struggles (“Staying in love with Israel,” February 8). However, he should also note that Israel has recently been formally recognized as being the only truly democratic state in the Middle East.
To his credit Elsner graciously points out some of the many factors that have contributed to the jaded attitude of many Israelis in regard to the prospect of peace. Still, he insists “but really, what is the alternative to peace?”
In my opinion, he has lost sight of the overwhelmingly critical factor that dominates the hopelessly deadlocked peace process. History has demonstrated that for over 100 years Muslim Arab culture has ruled out the acceptability of a Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. This attitude was crystallized by the Khartoum proclamation of the “Three NOs” after their defeat in the 1948 Israeli war of liberation. To this very day, they refer to this defeat as the “Catastrophe.” The covenants of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority continue to proclaim their intention to destroy the Jewish state. In this they are viciously supported by the mullahs of Iran for whom they serve as proxies. These enemies continue to pursue Jew hatred and calumny against Israel in children’s textbooks, the press and electronic media. It would take generations for these destructive perceptions to be reversed even if the reparative process were to begin immediately.
The late Ed Koch correctly observed “Turn the three nos into three yesses, and see how quickly Israel would move toward peace.”
I share Mr. Elsner’s longing for peace and his love of Israel. However, I think he is naive when he points the finger of blame for the failure of the peace process squarely at the Jewish state.
Israel should not be expected to make concessions that compromise its already precarious security. It should not be expected to negotiate its own demise.