On Nov. 19, a Jewish woman in Britain, Mindy Wiesenberger, sent the following letter to [British Foreign Secretary William] Hague. The letter has been published in many newspapers, including The Times of Israel, and I would like to share it with the readers of the Baltimore Jewish Times.
“Dear Mr. Hague,
You have stated that if Israel tries to defend its population through a ground offensive in Gaza, ‘it risks losing the sympathy of the international community.’
“Let me tell you something about the sympathy of the international community, Mr. Hague. My father was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945, having lost his entire family but gaining the sympathy of the international community at the time. After six million Jews had been annihilated at the hands of the Nazi regime, the international community had plenty of sympathy for the Jewish people. There is always plenty of sympathy for victims.
“Israel doesn’t need the sympathy of the international community. What it needs is to defend its citizens.
“When as a tiny country it gained its independence in 1948 it had to absorb 800,000 Jews who were thrown out of Arab lands in the Middle East, and it did so without fuss and with dignity, giving them shelter and a place of security in which their children could grow up to become productive citizens. When Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria tried to destroy Israel in 1948 and again in 1967, they took in hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs, but did they give them dignity or shelter? No, they left them to rot in refugee camps in order to maintain a symbol of grievance against Israel and use them as a political tool against the Jewish state. What has arisen in those camps is a complicated situation, but it is what has led to Gaza today.”