Letter from Israel: Wake up Obama



Talking with Fr.Jerry this morning about hope, I told him I was not an optimist but I was hopeful. Hope is a theological virtue. It is deep, unfazed by trends or popularity. The  line from Hebrews 11.1 expresses this well:”Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. What we cannot see but believe fervently is that truth is always moving,hidden from sight perhaps, but moving inexorably among us. The spirit (ruah Hebrew) is often faint like the breeze but it is there waiting a fuller incarnation. It is Mandela waiting in jail convinced that what he was  about was just; it was like Gandhi tossed off that train in South Africa. He kept going convinced that what he was about would ultimately bear fruit. It is people like Dorothy Naor (below) who make me believe that  Israelis  will someday cut through their faulty master narrative and biased education and grasp the universal aspects of Judaism instead of their narrow  tribalism.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dear President Obama,

I am an 82 year old Jewish citizen of the United States (where I was born) and Israel (where I reside).  I have a question.

Yesterday I heard you once again iterate as you have often before that Israel has the right to defend itself.  I would not question that.

However, do not the Palestinians also have that right?  How many Palestinians must Israel kill– 3000, 4000, 5000 (now it stands at over 2000 that Israel has killed in this escapade)– before we hear you say that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves?  Why is their right less in your eyes than Israel’s right?

Don’t misunderstand me.  I am not suggesting that their freedom fighters continue to send rockets against the Israeli population.  I oppose violence.  But to hear you state that Israel has the right to defend itself, without a word about the Palestinian right is appalling.

Is it because you—the United States—supply Israel with the tools for killing Palestinians?  Is it because you have been bought by the industrial-military complex, so that you not only furnish the killing tools, but also allow Israel to test them upon a captive people, the Palestinians in Gaza?

As a Jew who has lived in Israel 56 years and has been here for 8 of Israel’s 14 wars/military campaigns since 1948 I want to say that this is enough!

We had so much hope in you when you ran for office.  So much.  You could have made history.

Instead, you have let yourself be bought by those whose interest is wars, because the industrial-military complex makes money off of them.

It saddens me that you will go down in history as a non-entity instead of the great man that you could have been.  It saddens me that you lack the humanity to say that Israel must stop testing its (and US) weapons on a people that has no place even to escape to, that Israel must stop venting its supposed desire to protect its people on the Palestinian people.  Had Israel really wanted security for Israelis it would have made peace, not war, and that long ago.  It has had partners.  It is the Palestinians that have no Israeli partner!

Dorothy Naor
Herzliah, Israel

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Send this story to Rex Murphy and the National Post who simply do not buy this argument. It cannot be more eloquently said.
    Thanks Ted!

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