I have repeatedly been informed by members of the Jewish community in St. Louis that I am a “self-hating Jew” who seeks the destruction of Israel, and takes the side of terrorist groups because of my repeated attacks on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This raises the question as to what constitutes being a “good Jew” and what constitutes belonging to those who “hate Israel.” There is a difference between the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and the nation of Israel. They are NOT synonymous. The nation of Israel emerged from a war, a war that was initiated by Arab nations, not the Jewish people of Israel. From day one of its existence, the nation of “Israel” included Jews, Christians and Muslim citizens. It definitely was a much needed place for Jews who had experienced horrible torture and brutality during WWII. It, for most, was the only place that would welcome their presence. Jews had inhabited the Turkish province of “Palestine” for hundreds of years, and the UN decision to create a state of Israel was the correct one.
The original leaders of the state of Israel had a vision that included Jews living in harmony with Christians and Muslims. Israel leaders such as Golda Meier endeavored to negotiate return of the West Bank, to Arab control, but were unable due to inept Palestinian leaders. Prime Minister Rabin and later Prime Minister Olmert offered Palestinian leaders opportunities to gain control of the West Bank only to be rejected. Jewish leaders DID work for reconciliation and peace with Palestinians. That is historically accurate. It is the arrival of Benjamin Netanyahu which has altered the situation. He represents those in Israel who, speaking bluntly, hate Palestinians, refuse to acknowledge they have rights and refuse to work for peace who I oppose.
If one loves Israel, then one must work for creation of a Palestinian state and peace between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. My dream is creation of a Middle Eastern Union that includes Israel and Arab nations. Peace for Israelis will only emerge from such a new institution just as peace for French and German people arose from creation of a European Union. Enemies CAN come together. If one loves Israel then one must support negotiating with Iran for a peaceful outcome and working with President Abbas to initiate a Palestinian state, and then a Middle Eastern Union.