Letter to the San Francisco Chronicle
in answer to Maurice Englander's Letter of May 7, 2002
(original letter below)
By Stefan Sharkansky
I was inspired to read Maurice Englander's letter to the Chronicle (printed on May 7) where he tells the people of Israel that "[Israel] can survive those terrible suicide bombings, but not the equally terrible Sharon government." and encourages Israel to salvage its "well-earned reputation for a passionate love of justice."
To Mr. Englander I say this: I'm sure that many Israelis would be grateful to know there is someone in San Francisco who has the moral authority to teach the Israelis how to do a better job of selecting a government and surviving this crisis than can the Israelis themselves. So put your principles into action, Mr. Englander. Go to Israel, ride the buses, help the crews clean-up the blood and flesh from the cafe ceilings, attend the funerals, go to the convalescent homes to visit those who are permanently crippled and disfigured. At every opportunity, teach the Israelis what to do differently. Remind them how easy it is to survive these attacks, as long as they do nothing to displease the newspaper readers of California.
If Mr. Englander has the courage to take his message of justice directly to the people of Jerusalem, I will help pay for his airline ticket.
Englander's original letter
CAN ISRAEL SALVAGE ITS REPUTATION?
Editor -- Israel has won all the battles, but one -- the war itself. Now, it must salvage what it can from the ruins of a well-earned reputation for a passionate love of justice.
Two images sere the world's eyeballs: Bully Ariel Sharon using every sophisticated weapon in his arsenal, except the bomb, to browbeat an almost helpless population into utter submission -- and failing. The other is the candle-lit face of Yasser Arafat being commanded in his prison to stop the suicidal assaults upon innocent Israelis when deprived of every means of accomplishing that impossible task. Ninety pages of dubious text implicating Arafat in the attacks stand against the stark ruins of Jenin. No contest.
The Palestinians, rightly or wrongly, will be seen as the victims of Israeli aggression and not vice-versa. No amount of Israeli protest of the unfairness of the world's press can erase those two images. Now it, too, must recognize what all the world knows: The settlements are defendable only at the cost of Israel's very soul. It can survive those terrible suicide bombings, but not the equally terrible Sharon government.
MAURICE ENGLANDER San Francisco