Diaspora Jews can be critical of Israel

Diaspora Jews can be critical of Israel

I would like to comment on a letter to the editor, “Don’t criticize from U.S.” (March 23). The writer believes that Jews living outside Israel have no right to criticize the present government. After the Oslo Accords, right-wing Jews in the United States called Yitzhak Rabin a traitor although he fought with valor for the State of Israel. Eventually, this rhetoric led to his assassination. 

The end of the letter includes a quote from Rabbi Meir Kahane, a person the reader apparently admires. After Kahane immigrated to Israel his racism led to the Knesset passing anti-racism legislation and the banning of Kahane’s Kach Party. I wonder if the writer was offended when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to influence the 2012 election or his obvious support of candidate Donald Trump.  

The writer contends that a two-state solution is a threat to Israel’s security. Past heads of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and some retired Israeli officers disagree. Today Israel is ranked the eighth most potent military force in the world. Netanyahu brags that the wall separating the West Bank from Israel has greatly reduced the terrorist threat.

I agree that Jews in the diaspora cannot tell Israelis what is best for them. Although support for a two-state solution has diminished, there are still a large number of Israelis who support it. I would like to see a referendum on the subject.

The present government of Israel is the most right wing in its history. If that is the kind of government the people of Israel want, that is their choice. However, I do not feel obligated to support it. That does not make me anti-Israel or a self-hating Jew. What it makes me is a Jew who does not support some of the policies of the present government.

Marvin Bograd
East Windsor

read more: