LETTER: Israel belongs to Israelis, but what kind of nation will it be?

In response to Mr. Thalhofer’s letter on the Matisyahu concert (“Israel belongs to Israelis,” March 14), it should be pointed out that there is significant resistance within Israel, aside from ultra-orthodox groups, to the militarized settlement of the West Bank by Israeli settlers, and even greater resistance among Jews who live outside of Israel.

The concern arises from demographic realities, should Israel unilaterally decree the absorption of the entire West Bank. That is, higher birth rates among Palestinians living in that region — their ancestral home — means that the Israeli Jews would find themselves eventually outnumbered. Even today, although Arabs within Israel are free to pursue

professions as doctors, politicians and judges, they do not have equal rights alongside their Jewish compatriots. An op-ed piece in the New York Times on March 19 by Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, eloquently makes this case: Israel may remain a Jewish nation or a democratic one, but not both, which is the same argument made years ago by President Jimmy Carter in Peace Not Apartheid (2006). A two-state solution, which they both endorse, would resolve this issue by creating a Palestinian nation, as hard as that goal now appears.

Israel does indeed belong to the Israelis: the only question is what kind of nation it will be, and where its borders will lie. Borders are not set by military conquest or occupation, or we should have to recognize that Russia’s borders now extend to the Crimean peninsula and eastern Ukraine. The bloody history of the Arab-Israeli conflict is filled with well documented atrocities on both sides, but a humane and permanent solution can only be found by looking to a future of reconciliation and self-determination for both peoples rather than a pointless revisitation of past horrors.

— Peter Dorman




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

Truth, Honor, Dignity, Compassion, Courage, Love

Too few people are trying, for one reason or another, to understand what those six words mean.

Newspapers are community

The Beachcomber may not be the best deal, but it is the “deal” that we have on the island.

Time is running out to flatten “human curve”

The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented reduction in pollution, congestion and other maladies.

If you have the means, stimulate Vashon

Please consider donating some or all of your stimulus money to VashonBePrepared to help our own.

Vashon nonprofits shine on Voice of Vashon

“We aim to be the nonprofit that supports all other island nonprofits.”

Making the best out of circumstances

The faculty at Chautauqua have done a great job during these tumultuous days.

Renew car tabs online

Customers are encouraged to renew their license tabs online.

Unity Rally canceled

The Indivisible Vashon leadership team has decided to cancel the August 8, 2020, Unity Rally.

Support full-day ECEAP

I am witness to significant improvement in children participating in the program.

Support Ace Hardware, but stay away if you’re ill

We are here to support you; please support us.

Thank you, Vashon, for driving less

As my dad used to say, “Life could be like this.”

Make payments with community in mind

A suggestion for how to use federal COVID-19 payments.