Not a case of anti-Semitism
July 4, 2002
Jesse Newman attributes support for Palestine around the world entirely to “anti-Semitism.”
But an active, vocal peace movement in Israel, and some Jewish groups (e.g., Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews Against the Occupation), support ending the Israeli occupation and creating a Palestinian state next to Israel.
Neturei Karta International, an orthodox Jewish group, opposes Zionism and opposes the occupation of West Bank and Gaza. And 468 Israeli soldiers (reservists) have refused to serve in the Occupied Territories because they say that occupation inevitably leads to brutality, and that to participate in it is unconscionable.
Are these people anti-Semites?
To criticize the policies of the Israeli government and to advocate the creation of a Palestinian state is not only not anti-Semitic, it is not even anti-Israel – just as criticizing the policies of the Bush government is not anti-American but just an exercise of free speech.
Sharon is not above criticism, any more than anyone else is. I support the creation of a Palestinian state, in part because I believe it is the only way to bring lasting peace to Israel.
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The only way to end the conflict is for large numbers of people to adopt the view that they are both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, at one and the same time, and to actively ferret out the truth of the situation by insisting that both sides be fully heard.
Mehrene Larudee, Aspen visitor