I had to read Mr. Cohen’s letter several times to truly understand the mistaken information about the land of Israel’s place for the Jewish people (“Why the Need for a Nation-State?” Feb. 21). If, as Mr. Cohen says, a Jewish state was needed to give us self-awareness and security, why Israel?
Go back in history and you’ll see that Israel belonged to the Israelites — the equivalent of the Jewish people — thousands of years ago. This is well documented by archeological findings along with biblical sources. Even their coined money was named the shekel, as it is today.
The Israelites were driven out of their land against their will by outside forces. There are songs depicting them sitting at the riverbanks of Babylon crying as they remembered their home in Zion, another name for Jerusalem. It is misleading to say, as our enemies do, that it was only the Holocaust that had demonstrated the need for a Jewish homeland. The yearning began a long time ago.
Of course, the Holocaust made it clear that it’s time to go back to our roots in the land of Israel, which Mr. Cohen calls by its Hebrew name, eretz yisrael. It’s a known fact that there were Jews who stayed there throughout the generations and had never left the country. As for the rest of us, where else will the people whose forefathers and foremothers lived there go if not to their own home?
It adds insult to injury to say that any place will do. No one can change history. All one can do is go back and learn it for himself or herself.