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Right On Birthright
Mon, 06/10/2013 - 20:00

In his letter to the editor (“Wrong on Birthright,” June 7), Melvin Faber somehow implies that because conditions in the West Bank are better than on Native American reservations, they are not worth worrying about. This echoes arguments that I have heard saying that Israel’s human rights violations are OK, because they are not as bad as the ones that take place in many Muslim countries.

We as Jews must take pride in holding Israel to a higher standard than that. If we hold the treatment of Native Americans or Saudi Arabian women as our basis for comparison, what right do we have to claim ourselves as a Jewish democracy that values rule of law and human rights?

The opinion piece by Steven Povich and Axel Hufford (“Birthright Only Tells Half the Story,” May 7) was an extremely moderate and measured piece that asked some very good questions.


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The relevant comparison with conditions for Palestinians on the West Bank is not with obscurantist Saudi Arabia or the deplorable injustices inflicted Native Americans, but rather with life in Israel proper or, more egregiously, with the 100+ Israeli settlements built on land stolen from the Palestinians, where settlers enjoy total freedom of movement and live in relative luxury, with their swimming pools and well-watered lawns, while Palestinians are subjected to endless harassment at check points and watch their wells run dry.

It is not stolen land. If Jordan would have never attacked Israel then Jordan would have still owned the West bank. Israel pleaded with Jordan not to enter the 6 day war. You are probably not old enough to remember it. Yes history does matter.

Right on, Matt! Israel can and should hold itself to a higher standard, and that includes fair treatment of its Arab citizens and the Palestinians living under its control. Ultimately, Israel needs to enact a two-state solution, of course, in order to preserve its Jewish and democratic nature.