I can understand Shai Robkin’s desire to open a dialogue with young people on their own turf (“The Answer on Campus: Liberal Zionist Education,” Oct. 28). However, I feel that his emphasis on “liberal Zionism” reinforces the mistaken notion that policies of Israel’s “right-wing” government are the cause of the hostility Israel faces.

The inconvenient truth is that Muslim leaders were inciting their people to attack Jews even before the modern state of Israel declared its independence. Liberal Zionists had to establish the self-defense units that eventually developed into the Israel Defense Forces.

Arab terrorists were carrying out attacks in Israel, within the boundary that eventually came to be designated as the Green Line, during the nearly 20 years that Jordan and Egypt illegally occupied what we are now told is “Palestinian land.” The Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War were both launched by Arab states when Israel’s government was in the hands of liberal political parties.

Leaders from the “right-wing” parties (Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon) were responsible for the most dramatic moves toward peace in Israel’s history. Begin signed the peace treaty with Egypt, and Sharon oversaw the withdrawal from Gaza. Unfortunately, neither event brought real peace.

Relations with Egypt remained frosty, with anti-Jewish invective continuing to spew in Egypt after the treaty was signed. Worse, Egypt permitted the Sinai to become a conduit of arms into Gaza, something that is only now being halted because terrorists from Gaza are attacking Egyptian troops.

The Gaza withdrawal has been reciprocated by thousands of rockets being fired at Israeli population centers (from Gaza population centers — a double war crime), and cement intended for the construction of homes and schools in Gaza has been diverted to the construction of tunnels under Israel to facilitate the abduction and murder of Israelis.

While Hamas is open about its refusal ever to recognize Israel, the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas urges his people to violently resist the occupation and has refused multiple Israeli proposals for the establishment of a Palestinian state. He tells the world that his people are frustrated at the lack of progress toward peace, neglecting to mention in the Western press that he does not intend to grant the Palestinian “refugees” citizenship even if a state is established.

His plan is to destroy the Jewish character of Israel by flooding the nation-state of the Jews with people who have been raised to blame Israel for the fact that they have been refused rehabilitation by their own leaders.

Apologists for the intransigence of the Palestinian leadership are enabling the continued abuse of the Palestinian people by that leadership.

— Toby F. Block, Atlanta

No Luxury in Welfare

People like Laurie Weinstein who believe that Democrats have carried social issues “too far, enabling people who do not work to be supported by government programs,” clearly have never been forced to live on Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, welfare or food stamps (“Jews’ Voting Habits Hard to Break,” Nov. 4). My husband and I would much prefer to be working and not living on his disability income.

A chronic illness forced him into “retirement” in 2003 at age 52. I lost my career job in 2008. At this point, his illness prevents me from working for the most part, so in addition to caring for him, I give back by running a support group and being active with the organizations that support people like us.

I promise you that our standard of living has suffered tremendously as a result of our situation (which neither of us caused). Ms. Weinstein, I hope that you never have to experience wondering how you will pay your bills for your extravagant life: one car, no iPhones, no Netflix, no big fancy house, no vacations, etc. It is impossible.

I am proud to say I am a Democrat and have chosen to vote for a person who shares many of my values. Someone who does not encourage bigotry and violence. Someone who isn’t a serial adulterer and liar. Someone with empathy.

Go ahead and remain in your ivory tower. Your lack of empathy is exactly what is wrong with today’s Republican party.

— Jan Rabinowitz, Atlanta

 

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