Thanks, Phil, for this piece and particularly for sharing Scott Roth's essay with us.
I would like to do a "nutshell" on two Jewish tragedies of the last 100 years. First was the holocaust, not solely a Jewish tragedy any more than 1492 in Spain was solely a Jewish tragedy, but a Jewish tragedy of enormous proportions nevertheless. This was not a tragedy without moral failings, but the moral failings were those of the Nazis, not of the Jews.
The second was the embarkation on the Zionist Project and its follow-up through today, a tragedy of tremendous proportions for most of the Jewish people (and of course for Palestinian Arabs, Lebanese, some others). This was a tragedy of vast moral failing, all of that failing on the part of Zionists, almost all Jews.
As between these two tragedies, the holocaust -- no fault of Jews -- and the Zionist Project -- only the fault of Jews -- I count the second tragedy as far the worse, because I imagine (wrongly?) that in the long run morality and clear thinking will be particularly important to Jews.
This is a wonderful letter and I hope it is read in every synagogue and made the subject of polite and respectful discussion.
Is it timely? Well, only in the sense that the present events in Gaza are rather riveting. Otherwise, it would have been almost as timely almost any time.
This morning (or yesterday, 5/15) NPR had someone say that Gazans were protesting the birth of Israel (or creation of Israel). What a horrible distortion! Gazans and other Palestinians don't care if anyone creates a country for themselves -- but they do and did care if those "creators" created their country by stealing Palestine, dispossessing most of the people, killing, looting, and then for next 70 years persecuting the Palestinians.
Think if your neighbor said he wanted to celebrate his birthday party. Would you mind, object, cry foul? Certainly not. But when you found out that his method of celebration was to burn your house to the ground, then, THEN, you'd object -- not to the celebration or to the birthday but to the burning your house down.
It is the same, and NPR is so guilty it makes me sick,.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of Israel, roughly the beginning of the Nakba (1947-present). today I called my NY senators (Schumer, a whole-hearted supporter of everything Israel does) (Gillibrand, probably a bit less whole-hearted) and my Representative (Velasquez) and told their staff persons how I felt -- I unloaded on them. Iran war, Gaza killings, long-continuing land-seizures, refugees, etc. I told them I was Jewish but that almost my only locus of Jewish feeling was my horror, my revulsion, my anger, at what Israel has done for 70 years and how the USA has aided and abetted.
Now you have given me a idea -- to phone them again and tell them to stop with Nakba-denial.