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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Letter to the Editor: No Absolutes In Israel
The Jewish Advocate
By David Albert, Austin-Texas Chapter
In his June 13 letter, “Don’t blame Israel first” in response to my May 30 article “Bittersweet reflections,” the Zionist Organization of America’s Morton Klein took issue with many of the facts that underpin Jewish peace activism, and the efforts of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the national, grassroots organization of which I am national treasurer.
After more than 60 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is plenty of blame to go around. Both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership have tragically missed opportunities for rapprochement, failing to achieve what their peoples need most: peace and security. Peace is a two-way street which requires cooperation, concessions, and compromises from both sides.
Unfortunately, Klein appears to see the world in terms of absolutes. He places all the blame and responsibility for change on the Palestinians, ignoring Israel's continued expansion of settlements, in spite of its repeated commitment to freeze such construction; its blockade of the Gaza Strip, reducing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to daily hunger; and the tight control it maintains over the lives and livelihoods of West Bank residents.
I do not doubt that Klein loves Israel, but his love has blinded him to the many mistakes that the Israeli government has made and continues to make which have undermined it chances for peace.
Israel’s true friends are those who work to help Israel achieve reconciliation with all its neighbors; a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians will provide Israel with far greater safety and security than the occupation ever has. I support peace because I support Israel.
David Albert, Ph.D.