You can’t fight peace |

You can’t fight peace

Dear Editor:

I’ve said for many years that there’s no alternative to peace for the Middle East. I attended a symposium on July 15 that espouses an “alternative to peace.” Simply stated, no peace. After listening to a moderator and speakers rant that peace for Israel will seal its fate and destruction, I asked the moderator if I could make a brief announcement that the founder of “J Street” was holding a reception in Aspen. I was told not to mention J Street at this meeting.

I guess “diversity” is out of the question. Later in the program, J Street was criticized as a liberal tool to divide Jews in America (even though they have 160,000 supporter e-mails). Obama was slammed for his refusal to give Israel a “free pass” on settlements while guaranteeing its security. One Israeli-American speaker criticized Netanyahu to the degree that I thought he was a “peacenik.” As far as the “Two State Solution” is concerned – forget it. Not only is it not credible, but there is no one to be trusted in the Arab world now, or ever. No need to negotiate the impossible.

To add insult to injury to those who attended and were members of The Aspen Institute, a question was asked of Mr. Jacobs, which offended me and our CEO, the peace-dedicated Walter Isaacson, as well as his hard-working staff. OK, here’s the question: “What do you think of The Aspen Institute’s efforts to create businesses, opportunities and loans, etc. in the West Bank?” Mr. Jacobs’ answer: “It’s a waste of money.”

What was that all about? Some way to belittle these attempts to give the Palestinians a life? I am one of the first to join The Aspen Institute Middle East Strategy Group that has done so much in the business field to cut unemployment and give the Palestinians hope for the future. When you are in someone’s home you are not to insult them, or their work. How ’bout an explanation?

If you are wondering if this “all-dayer” of bashing peace was a success, I must admit some people came out of that symposium more convinced than ever that peace is impossible. One person told me there never will be peace between Israel and the Arabs. I said, “Do you really mean never? That’s a very long time.” I was assured he meant never.

After hearing all of these dire predictions for no peace, no way, should I “fold my peace tent” and hide under my bed?

Hell no! I am more determined than ever to work toward peace. Please see I still believe that there is no alternative to peace. It’s heartwarming to know that almost 70 percent of the Israelis favor the “Two State Solution” now and that 80 percent of America’s moderate Jews agree. Thanks to J Street, they are coming out of the “grandstands” and down on the playing field for peace and security for Israel, now – with their money for peace.

Richard C. Goodwin

Snowmass Village

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