I am glad that Mr. Brak read my article, “The Crux of Israel and Palestine”, ‘with interest’. I feel it would be prudent of me to allay any concerns he had regarding me and my piece, and respond to some of his claims.
One, I am sorry that you thought you might glean some insight into possible solutions to what you rightly see as a ‘complex problem.’ I made no suggestion that I would try to offer solutions because that was never the intention of the article; it was an explainer. As I say at the at the end of the article, I also do not see the problem as a solvable one, so trying to offer solutions on paper would be wrong of me, and a waste of space in this newspaper.
Two, I take issue with the disparaging claim that I am ‘deleteriously anti-Israeli.’ I draw a very clear line in this article between the actions of the IDF and the Israeli government, and between Israeli civilians – because they are different things. I begin my article by saying that I am biased ‘towards Israelis caught in between,’ as well as Palestinian civilians.
It is sad for all civilians in this conflict. It is a shame you missed this distinction. Given that I have recognized my bias towards Israeli civilians, I cannot be ‘deleteriously anti-Israeli.’
Three, you say that if I had first-hand knowledge of the region, I would understand that Israelis only want to live in peace. I never made any claim that they do not, yet this implies that I did.
I do have first-hand knowledge of the region, having travelled there, and I have Palestinian and Israeli acquaintances. But I would not need first-hand knowledge to realize this anyway because all humans want to live well and in peace.
Four, your next paragraph implies that I think Israelis relish military service. I made no mention of the moral worth of military service at all. I happen to think it’s a tragedy that any country should feel the need to rob its citizens of their liberty in such a way.
Five, you say we need a truly ‘honest’ view of what lead to the creation of Israel. Citing the holocaust as the reason is either dishonest or incorrect. Zionism began in the 1880s, and it was the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that lead to the creation of the state of Israel – it would not have been possible without it. Indeed, David Ben Gurion and other Zionist leaders openly discussed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine in the years beforehand, as his famous 1937 letter would attest.
Jewish immigration existed right up until and through the time of the holocaust, and had increased during the 1930s.
I at no point suggested that it was initiated from ‘a Jewish zeal to dominate and control a region.’ The article is not about why Israel was created, nor the morality of its creation.
Six, you imply that I have denied that Jews do not have a legitimate claim to a place in the world and a right to defend themselves.
Again, I at no point say or suggest they do not have a legitimate claim, so either this implication is wrong or is completely irrelevant. I happen to believe that Jews have every right to a homeland, particularly as a group persecuted as much as they have been.
I will always welcome criticism of my pieces, it is the only way for me to improve as a writer and a thinker.
I felt the need to respond because your response paints a wildly false picture of the article I had written. That may be my fault though for not conveying my point more clearly.