Letter: Now is a time to differentiate our rhetoric from our destroyers’

I was disheartened reading Matt Sostock’s opinion article about Jewish Voice for Peace. I too am a Jew who is devoted to peace, universal human rights, and the dignity and security all peoples in the Middle East.

The path to those ideals is through reconciliation, peacemaking and negotiations, not through tactics that hold only one party responsible for a long-standing and complex conflict. 

JVP dangerously ignores the critical role that Israel plays in Judaism and the life of the Jewish people. 

As a student of history, I believe in Israel’s right and necessity to exist. As history repeats itself, one need not look further than current events to be reminded of this truth.

Not only are we experiencing – here in Wisconsin and around the world – an alarming rise in Anti-Semitism, but we are seeing that hatred expressed through one of the only socially acceptable forms of anti-Semitism – anti-Zionism and anti-Israel rhetoric.

It is absolutely legitimate to be critical of Israeli policy, but far too often, the rhetoric of JVP mirrors that of organizations that seek Israel’s destruction, thereby endangering Jews around the world and in Israel.

Given this fine line between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism, it’s time for the Jewish community to support each other and support the State we’ve built.

Support does not mean we claim perfection, but it does mean we sound less like our enemies and more clearly like a friend.

Rabbi Hannah Greenstein

Milwaukee

 Rabbi Hannah Greenstein is the vice president of outreach, Israel and overseas at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.