Thursday, June 10, 2010

Washington Post letter: Helen Thomas's controversial voice

In today's (Thursday's) Washington Post: (second letter)

Helen Thomas's controversial voice

As a long-ago graduate of another Bethesda high school who now lives in Israel, I'm glad to hear that Helen Thomas won't speak at Walt Whitman's graduation.

Ms. Thomas's comments that Jews should leave Israel and "go home" to Poland or Germany were no different from hateful comments from others about African Americans "going home" to Africa or Hispanic Americans "going home" to other countries.

Israel was created legally by League of Nations mandate and United Nations vote. Israel has also been willing to live in peace alongside a Palestinian state as early as the 1948 partition plan and as recently as the Gaza withdrawal in 2005. If the Palestinians would accept that Jews are "home" in Israel and stop being fueled to hatred by comments such as those of Ms. Thomas, we could hope to reach peaceful coexistence.

Graduates entering the adult world need to know that freedom of speech comes with responsibility. There is too much hateful speech in our world, and such speech is not an expression of freedom but an impediment to freedom.

Dov Bruce Krulwich, Beit Shemesh, Israel

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

NY Times: The Israeli Commandos and the Flotilla


The Israeli Commandos and the Flotilla

To the Editor:

If the flotilla activists truly wanted to bring peaceful supplies to Gaza, they would have accepted the Israeli military’s offer to relay all supplies to Gaza after checking them for weapons or explosives. But the flotilla activists did not accept the offer.

If the flotilla activists truly wanted to promote peace, they would have accepted the offer of the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive, to pressure the Israeli government to let the flotilla through, in return for the flotilla activists pressuring Hamas to allow letters and food packages to be delivered to Gilad Shalit. But the flotilla activists did not accept this offer either.

And if the flotilla activists really wanted to stop the three-year-old Israeli blockade of Gaza, they would push Hamas to stop the rockets that caused the blockade to be imposed. Then Gazans could return to the freedom that they had immediately after the Israeli withdrawal in 2005, when many hoped peace was on the horizon.

When activists can truly work for peace, maybe peace will come.

Bruce Dov Krulwich
Beit Shemesh, Israel, June 1, 2010