New Israel Fund’s Sokatch Is Misinformed

January 4, 2013

Daniel Sokatch (“Im Tirtzu Brings a Lie to America,” Dec. 21) either misunderstands or belittles the security problems facing Israel. Israel is on “the losing end of world opinion” more due to the growth of hostile Arab/Muslim third-world economic and political influence than by its actions in Gaza and the West Bank. Mr. Sokatch makes the problem “45 years of occupation” not the 65-year (or even 100-year) warfare Arabs have conducted against Israel and the Zionist movement. The groups supported by the New Israel Fund are not bearers of “challenging truths” but of unpopular (and to me, wrong) opinions attacking Israel when it is vulnerable. Israelis are not “directed by members of the governing coalition” to oppose those whose work contributed to the Goldstone report criticisms. They used their eyes, ears and brains to determine what was happening. Apparently Mr. Sokatch never heard of the old Golda Meir joke about being the prime minister of three million prime ministers. Israelis are not easily “directed” and to claim otherwise is laughable.

Finally, Mr. Sokatch lectures Israelis to “remember” where the “Jewish homeland’s strength lies.” I suggest Mr. Sokatch remember the “founding values” of those Zionists who successfully established that homeland. Among other things, Israel was to be a place where the Jewish people could be “normalized” after years of exile. I believe it has been a smashing success in that regard. Like most normal people, Israelis want to defend themselves and their country from attack. The notion that “universal human rights become imbedded in the conscience” of Israel is a good idea, as are many others (fighting global warming and eliminating poverty and illiteracy). They will all be much easier to work toward, once Israelis can realistically believe their neighbors are not actively trying to conquer and kill them.

Jerry Levin
Baltimore

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