The Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami represents congregational rabbis across the ideological and denominational span in Miami.
Independent of one’s views of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington or his government policies, we were appalled by the utter lack of context compounded by blatant inaccuracies in the Feb. 26 Other Views column by Ahmad Abuznaid, It’s not just about breaking protocol.
Abuznaid falsely claims that the Iranian nuclear project is an Israeli issue. It is not. The White House, Congress and regional players in the Middle East all agree that Iran, a regime that funds global terrorism, must not be allowed to become a nuclear power. Israel in Iranian polemics is Little Satan, and the United States is the Big Satan. All analysts agree that a nuclear Iran would precipitate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
One indication of the Iranians’ penchant for global terrorism is their financial and military support of Hamas in Gaza, which is explicit in its charter to destroy the state of Israel. The recent war in Gaza was not a product of Israeli aggression, but the response to the barrage of missiles fired upon Israel. If not for the U.S.-supported Iron Dome program, the Israeli casualties would have been far greater and Israel’s response more serious.
In a war zone, as recent events indicate throughout the Middle East, no country is immune from critique, and that would include Israel. Abuznaid’s critique would find support among many Jewish and Arab Israelis. However, he should be equally concerned with the egregious human-rights violations of the Palestinians upon their own people, which recently included embedding missiles in hospitals and schools and using women and children as shields.
Over the past few decades, Israel has made concessions in its quest for coexistence and peace. Israel did this with Egypt and Jordan, and Israel made far-reaching compromises for peace both under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, compromises rejected by the Palestinians. The so-called “occupied” Gaza Strip was evacuated under the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and settlements uprooted, and in the following year became a staging area for missile attacks against the state of Israel.
The fact that Abuznaid conveniently ignores any context, and includes inaccuracies about Israel, does a disservice to your readers, and does not advance the goals for a just and lasting peace throughout the region.
Rabbi Alan Litwak, president, Rabbinical Association of
Rabbi Frederick L. Klein, executive vice president, Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami