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Monday, April 22, 2013
Once again, Robert F. Boyd (“There is no peace process,” April 13 commentary) has placed before the readership of The Roanoke Times a one-sided, simplistic view of Israel and its desire for peace. This particular piece, in which he refers to Jews grubbing for money, has such an anti-Semitic bias that it was ill-advised of the newspaper to print.
Whether or not Boyd’s understanding of the Pew survey he cites is correct matters little. As many immigrant groups, Jews came to America with a drive to educate ourselves and serve this country. It is a Jewish value to educate our children, often through post-baccalaureate programs, then to serve through varied professions.
Boyd’s statements are reminiscent of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a 19th century forgery produced to increase anti-Semitism among European populations that eventually led to the attitude that allowed the Holocaust to happen.
I just returned from a week in Israel and know that both Israelis and Palestinians want peace. My lovely Palestinian taxi driver told me of his great respect for Israel and the infrastructure created that allows his children to have a better education. He wants to live in peace, but yes, he wants his own country.
About 70 percent of Israelis have voiced that they would be willing to return land for peace and security. The situation is more complex than Boyd has discussed.
Please allow me the opportunity to explain who Israel really is with this list of its crowning achievements for humanity over the past 65 years.
Israel is a leader in water conservation and clean ecology. An Israeli company is developing a waterless toilet system that will turn solid matter into fertilizer in 30 seconds, keeping the world’s water unpolluted. It has worked with Africans to restock rivers with carp to provide protein for schoolchildren. It was a first-responder to the tragedy in Haiti.
Israel developed a solution to fight pests that attack grain and pulse harvests in Asia and Africa. It created a drip irrigation system that allows deserts to bloom. Tons of aid were sent to Japan in the wake of the earthquake and to South Sudan in the wake of two typhoons.
Virtually every computer and cellphone chip in the world is created in Israel. It is a leader in solar design and will likely be the first country with a nationwide battery grid for electric cars. Israel opens its doors to all gays and lesbians being persecuted in neighboring countries.
About 1,500 Palestinian children have received free heart operations at the medical center in Holon. Israel is on the cutting edge of HIV/AIDS research. Israeli technology was used to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. The list goes on. Israel is unquestionably vital to the good of the world.
I want peace for all children, Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian, African and certainly, after the events in Copley Square, American. If we could say one country is right and one wrong, the solution would be simple. It is a complex region with many great things happening.
Without recognizing the complexity of the problem, recognizing Israel for her worldwide involvement and accomplishments and approaching the situation without a bias (either anti-Jewish or anti-Arab), there will be no solution to the problem of peace. Let no one be fooled by Boyd’s veiled anti-Semitism.
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