The saddest thing about Jules Rabin’s predictable criticism of Israel and the predictable angry replies is how little the Israel/Palestine conflict has changed over the years, as more lives are lost on both sides and Israel continues appropriating Palestinian land to expand its settlements.
The only chance for peace in the Middle East remains a two-state, Israel/Palestine “solution,” which will require painful concessions on both sides and strong, sustained pressure from the United States, the sole foreign power with the necessary clout to facilitate progress.
During the election campaign, Mitt Romney, with the connivance of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing, pandered shamelessly to a supposed “Jewish vote” for unchecked Israeli militarism and expansionism.
By cynically protesting love for Israel and falsely charging that President Obama has never been Israel’s friend, Romney hoped to steal the normally heavily Democratic Jewish vote. One alarming pre-election analysis showed that if Romney could reduce Obama’s lead among Cleveland area Jews by 20 percent, he would carry Ohio and win the election.
But although Obama’s support among Jewish voters decreased slightly between 2008 and 2012, and although there is certainly widespread disappointment that the president has done little to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace, Romney still won only about 30 percent of the national Jewish vote.
A large majority of candidates supported by J Street, a relatively new Jewish organization which advocates a peaceful two-state-solution in Israel/Palestine, were elected or re-elected to Congress.
We believe the election results show that among Jews, as well as among Americans in general, Obama has a mandate to press hard and immediately for a settlement that will both provide security for Israel and lay the groundwork for a viable Palestinian state.
MICHAEL and JUDY OLINICK
MiddleburyMORE IN Letters
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1776, as Nathan Hale is hanged by British military authorities for spying, he utters his famous last words — or does he? In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempts to kill President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Patrick McArdle reports and the theft of an $89,000 shotgun, police release a video of the Monday Castleton robbery, O'Gorman reports a lawsuit by a local man claiming his vehicle unlawfully seized, police leave him in cold.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Giles Corey of Salem, Mass., is pressed to death during the Salem witch trials; on this day in 1952, film comedian Charlie Chaplin, while traveling to England, is denied re-entry into the United States by U.S. attorney general.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Dutch father of microbiology Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers the existence of one-celled organisms; in 1967, The Doors are booked to play the Ed Sullivan show; in 1858, freedom fighter Dred Scott dies on this day in St. Louis.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.