Dear Letter to the Editor:
Todd Greenberg’s poem (“surrender“, BJN 11/2/23) is lovely and serves as an accurate depiction of the expectations that accompanied the signing of the Oslo Accords, when Israelis thought that offering to share land (of historic and religious importance to Jews) with Palestinians would see the creation of Two States for Two Peoples – a Palestinian state co-existing with the Jewish state, with members of minority groups having full civil rights in their country of residence. But it was not to be, as Palestinian leaders turned down proposals for the establishment of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine made by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum. While refusing to negotiate, Palestinian leaders told the world they had no choice but to resort to violence, whether it was inciting Palestinians to attack and kill Jews, honoring and rewarding those who answered the call (Palestinian Authority) or firing missiles at Israeli population centers, floating incendiary bombs into Israel to set crops and nature reserves ablaze, and, most recently, committing atrocities against Israeli civilians (Hamas).
Rather than deluding ourselves that our enemies will return our gracious offers of love and peace, we need to follow realistic advice. ‘Those who turn the other cheek get hit with the other fist.’ ‘If your enemy is coming to kill you, rise up and strike first.’ Islamist terrorists who encourage kindergartners to seek martyrdom and entry to Heaven by killing Jews view Jewish willingness to compromise as weakness and the terrorists have no respect for the weak.
Toby F. Block