As we have seen, the root cause of the Palestine-Israel conflict is clear. During the 1948 war, 750,000 Palestinians fled in terror or were actively expelled from their ancestral homeland and turned into refugees. The state of Israel then refused to allow them to return and either destroyed their villages entirely or expropriated their land, orchards, houses, businesses and personal possessions for the use of the Jewish population. This was the birth of the state of Israel.
We know it is hard to accept emotionally, but in this case the Jewish people are in the wrong.We took most of Palestine by force from the Arabs and blamed the victims for resisting their dispossession. If you run into someone's car, for whatever reason, simple justice demands that you repair it. Our moral obligation to the Palestinian people is no less clear. It is time for all Jewish people of good conscience to apologize and to make whatever amends are possible to the Palestinians in order to live up to the best part of the Jewish tradition - its ethical and moral basis.
Any criticism of Israel is traditionally seen by American Jews as harmful to the Jewish people, even if the criticism is true. But "my people, right or wrong, my people" is no different than "my country, right or wrong, my country". Once we start down the slippery slope where the ends justify the means we have left behind any claim to morality. Besides the tremendous suffering of the Palestinian people, the other tragedy of Zionism is that it has so corroded our commitment to our ethical principles. Along with millions of other American Jews unaffiliated with the major U.S. Jewish organizations, we feel that the Israeli government's habitual belligerence is an embarrassment and that their inhuman oppression of the Palestinians has been the ruination of the moral standing of the Jewish people.
The Israeli government could solve the Palestine/Israel crisis tomorrow. It actually would be in the best interests of its citizens to do so because random acts of terrorism against Israelis would cease if Palestinian demands for a viable, independent state were accepted and compensation for Arab losses made.
The position of the Jewish community in America would also be enhanced, not threatened, if the above program were adopted. We have been thoroughly assimilated into the mainstream of society and hold positions of power and influence in every field of endeavor. We do not need to be in a defensive mode anymore - we can afford to change. At the very least, the American Jewish community needs to let the Israeli government know that we will not support them (literally or figuratively) if they continue to jeopardize the chance for a just peace by further encroachments on Arab territory. And that all human rights abuses must cease at once.
Please write for more free copies of this booklet to the address on the back and ask whatever Jewish groups you are part of to adopt the above recommendations. For everyone's sake. Peace.Part 12