I commend Andrew Silow-Carroll for calling out The New York Times for providing a platform for “debate” on whether or not Israel has a right to exist (“It’s 2013. Let’s debate Zionism!” April 25). And he correctly notes that the fact that the Times entertains this debate provides encouragement to those who seek to destroy Israel. But I would urge him to take it a step further.
Weekly, the New Jersey Jewish News prints op-eds and columns that unfairly harangue and hector Israel. Even the beginning of his own column features the same tiresome criticisms that Silow-Carroll calls “honest, often uncomfortable” discussions. He asks if Israel is living up to being called “the only real democracy in the Middle East” or whether Israel’s founders really meant assurances of equal rights for all citizens spelled out in the Jewish state’s declaration of independence. Are you kidding me? Every week without fail we have to read pieces that chide Israel or, like this column, question “whether a ‘Jewish democracy’ can survive when so many Arab non-citizens remain essentially under Israeli control.”
All these pieces ignore several facts. First, Israel, under many parties and governments, has made repeated peace offers first to Arab states and then to Palestinians. Israel has withdrawn from territory. Enough blaming Israel; time to hold the Arabs to account.
Second, Israel is not perfect, obviously. The United States is not perfect. Does that mean America’s promise of liberty is a sham? No human endeavor is perfect because human beings are not perfect. Yet Israel is held to some standard of perfection that is asked of no other nation state on earth. Cut it out.
Third, NJJN is published by our own federation, which is much more than, but similar in some ways to, atrade association. Can you imagine the newspaper of any trade association consistently printing articles that bash and undermine its mission and interests?Why should ours?
Finally, if some Jews don’t like Israel, they should feel free to ignore it. Especially those who Silow-Carroll says “have no intention of moving to Israel.” And our own newspaper should ignore them also, not provide them with a platform. While I applaud the editor’s critique of the Times, physician, heal thyself.