Letter to the Editor 2/27/2014

I read with bewilderment Katherine Howard ’12´s article in the February 19th issue. Howard advances her arguments by appeal to undisclosed authority—an authority she wants her reader to believe is unimpeachable, but which clearly is not.

In the late 19th century, Jews saw an emergency situation in the making, and sought refuge in a place where they had historical roots. Howard might read “The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism” by Conor Cruise O’Brien, which provides substantial detail on the motives of those who migrated to present-day Israel.

Howard also describes Israel as an “apartheid state”—a gross mischaracterization.  Many of those who make this allegation had the benefit of an Israeli education—one of them being BDS co-founder Barghouti, a graduate student at Tel Aviv University. Israel is the only state in the Middle East to grant both Arabs and Jews such educational rights.

Howard further claims that any two-state solution is “dead in the water.” Presidents Clinton and Obama, former Secretary of State Clinton, and Secretary of State Kerry do not think it is dead. Why, if the two state solution is dead, would your government waste its time and money to bring it about?  What Howard really means is that she opposes the two-state solution.

Let’s explore the idea of a single state solution.  Suppose the ruling party were Hama—not unthinkable, given current demographics. Hamas´covenant calls for genocide of the Jewish people.  Muslim Brotherhood rule—in Egypt as well as in Gaza—is an unmitigated tragedy for women, for gays, Copts and other minorities. Instead of building a vital civil society, Hamas prefers to educate children to be suicide-bombers for the purpose of killing Jews. Decency requires that we not be fooled by ideologues peddling seemingly utopian solutions that would, if implemented, create a dystopia. A single state would be a nightmare, not just for Jews. I´m a gay woman and a Christian; I would not choose to live there. Would you, Ms. Howard?

 

—Åse Margrethe Hansen, ’77

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