Letters, July 2017 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Letters, July 2017

Editor should recall history

To the editor:

Editor Rob Golub insinuates an equivalency between Israel’s successful self-defense against its probable annihilation in the ‘67 war, and the despondency of the Arab Palestinians due to that event not occurring, while imploring that “we hear the other side” as a means toward ending the conflict. He would do well to recall that Israel has not only heard, but has taken substantial actions toward such an outcome, including:

– Israel’s willingness to relinquish the very lands it acquired in ‘67 in exchange for peace, only to be rebuffed by the three nos of Khartoum: no peace, negotiations, or recognition with/of Israel.

Numerous proposals for an Arab state, all rejected, not even utilized as platforms for negotiations, and some followed by renewed warfare.

Gaza: A goodwill action of returning land and industry, necessitating the displacement of hundreds of Israelis, answered not by any reciprocity of peace-making activity, but by employing the locale for rocket fire, causing destruction and physical injury.

A prosperous, peaceful Arab state could have been created long ago, if that was their true desire. The “anvil” is that of the hardships imposed on their own people by their intractability. What does need to be heard, and heeded, is that any concession will be received as a step toward the goal of eliminating a Jewish state in any form. Perhaps Mr. Golub should be hearing with greater acumen.

Nancy Weiss McQuide


Editor’s note: The writer is responding to the June, 2017 Editor’s Desk, “Israel’s amazing Six Day War isn’t amazing for everyone.”

Making aliyah this summer

To the editor:

In the January 12, 2001 issue of the WJC we wrote a letter encouraging people to visit Israel. We concluded by saying:  “We urge everyone who can do so to go to Israel now…Go for a short visit if you can’t take a long trip. Yes, do it for them, but do it for yourself because you know it is the right thing to do.”

Plus-16 years and many visits later, we have decided that the right thing for us to do is to make aliyah, to actually move to Israel. We will be doing so this summer.

During our many years here we have been active in many aspects of Jewish life in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. These have been rewarding experiences and our lives have been enriched by them. These Jewish communities have a wealth of dedicated, involved volunteers, and it has been our pleasure to know and work with them.

As we start this new phase of our lives we want to say “Thank you, and please come visit Israel.” rena.safer@gmail.com and fredjsafer@gmail.com.

Rena and Fred Safer

Glendale (and soon to be Jerusalem)

Raise Israel higher

To the editor:

Regarding Rob Golub’s story on the University of Wisconsin-Madison student council (June 2017), I’d like to say that criticizing Israel’s policies on the West Bank occupation is not “anti-Israel”; it is trying to raise Israel to a higher standard. One could of course argue about the bureaucratic process and crude student perspectives on campuses today, and it is true, Madison should preface such critical remarks about Israel with statements showing Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. Political correctness however has taken over many campuses and a balance between constructive criticism and outright anti-Zionist and anti-Israel sentiment is difficult to reach today.

We in the Jewish Student Movement that I founded in 1967 at Northwestern University tried this “balance” of criticism and support for Israel and perhaps we failed. History seems to be repeating itself 50 years later. As for the Six Day War, June 5, 1967 has always held a special place for me. I graduated University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that day and celebrated with my first and last acid trip. Such were the crazy days of the radical ‘60s!

I also want to applaud the new format of the Chronicle.

Jack Nusan Porter

Newtonville, Massachusetts (Wisconsin native)

No nation called Palestine

To the editor:

Elana Kahn wrote, regarding the Arab-Israel dispute, that we should “look boldly at the multiple, complex narratives” and reject “simplistic narratives.”  The way to solve problems is not to make them complex, but to simplify them.

Here are some simple facts:

  1. Israel has been a nation for Jews with judges, kings and prime ministers for over a thousand years. There has never been a nation, state, or city called “Palestine.”
  2. “Palestine” was named for Philistines not Arabs.
  3. “Jerusalem” occurs close to 700 times in the Jewish Bible but never in the Koran.
  4. Jews are a separate people with a unique religion, culture and language. There are no separate unique people with their own religion, culture, and language called “Palestinians.”
  5. Jews accepted the first state offered and every offer since in 1919. The “Palestinians” turned down a state four times when offered by non-Arabs, and when Arabs occupied the land (1948-1967), “Palestinians” never asked for a state. The first PLO Charter stated in Article 24: “(The PLO) does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom or in the Gaza Strip.” After the Six Day War, when Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza, Article 24 was removed from the PLO charter.
  6. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Arab Israeli citizens would rather live in Israel than anywhere else, including a future Palestinian state.

One of the reasons the Arab-Israel dispute continues is because our leaders accept false “complex narratives.”

Ivan M. Lang