Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jabbing Judt

Well, the letters to the editor section of the NYT is full of jabbing Judt material.

I applaud them all:-

A Jewish Lobby? Let's Talk About It

To the Editor:

Re "A Lobby, Not a Conspiracy," by Tony Judt (Op-Ed, April 19):

Why should Jews apologize for having a powerful lobby that advances their interests? The elderly and Latinos have very powerful lobbies; no one accuses them of divided loyalties, starting wars or other conspiracy nonsense.

The reason Americans support Israel is that it is a democracy that shares their values. The United States is a democracy, and Zionists have every right to influence public opinion.

If others disagree, they can form their own organizations. Their inability to do so does not indicate a conspiracy, but a lack of a cogent argument the American people will accept.

Jonathan D. Reich
Lakeland, Fla.

To the Editor:

In his discussion of "The Israel Lobby," the essay by Stephen Walt of Harvard and John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Tony Judt (Op-Ed, April 19) cites David Aaronovitch, "a Times of London columnist who, in the course of criticizing Mearsheimer and Walt, nonetheless conceded that 'I sympathize with their desire for redress, since there has been a cock-eyed failure in the U.S. to understand the plight of the Palestinians.' "

This is nonsense. Americans are inundated with news about the Palestinians; newspapers almost daily print articles about their dire situation. I would argue that it is not American understanding that is lacking.

Americans seem to understand the situation in Israel very well. But unlike the Europeans, who are awash in anti-Semitism, Americans are not inclined to excuse the brutality of the Palestinian attacks.

Perhaps it is the Europeans who have failed to understand the plight of the Israelis.

Ronald Gans
New York

To the Editor:

Tony Judt wears his anti-Zionism lightly, but nobody should be deceived: Mr. Judt would be happier if Israel did not exist at all, as he made clear in an essay published in The New York Review of Books three years ago.

The "uncritical" American support that Mr. Judt unfavorably compares with the virulently anti-Israel attitudes that prevail in Europe has not been uncritical at all. This is immediately apparent on a moment's reflection on the various "reassessments" of American policy under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as President Bill Clinton's heroic efforts on behalf of territorial compromise.

What bothers Mr. Judt is not uncritical support, but any support at all for a small, besieged democracy that he considers a strategic liability.

Yes, the pro-Israel lobby is effective. But it is working in a hospitable environment. This environment is shaped by the fundamental decency of the American public and its instinctive sympathy for a democracy that has repeatedly sought compromise with its enemies and been answered by mass murder, vicious anti-Semitism and a fanatical commitment to its destruction.

Howard F. Jaeckel
New York

To the Editor:

What is Tony Judt talking about?

The issue of American support for Israel is debated openly and vigorously on every newspaper op-ed and letters page, on the Internet and on university campuses across the United States.

Mr. Judt's dislike of the outcome of these debates hardly marks "a failure to consider a major issue in public policy." Joshua A. Brook

New York

No comments: