Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gordis' Push for a Moderate Voice

Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis has written a piece countering what he sees as an unfair effort in the media

to portray Israel as being in the grip solely of the right 


is to ignore signs that more moderate voices may be galvanizing.

He highlights one such voice, a group called Commanders for Israel's Security.

In doing so, he seems to mislead his readers.

For example, the group's billboard campaign he describes in his article was a huge publicity black-eye for the group which was accused of fomenting racism in its use of Arabic and suggesting all Arabs are terrorists.

He does not note that all these commanders have been responsible for all that has happened to Arabs and only in retirement do they seem to adopt leftist positions (which Gordis shies away from terming "leftist").

While mentioning Yaakov Amidror, he declines to add that he is at the heart of a new neo-conservative think tank which is not that in favor of a two-state solution.

But worse, he hides the fact that for decades a similar group was active on the scene with no appreciable affect on Israel's public opinion.  That group is the Peace and Security Association founded in 1988.  And there were previous groups not to mention that Peace Now began with an "Officers' Letter".

That missive was addressed to Prime Minister Menachem Begin.  It was dated March 7, 1978 was signed by 348 reserve officers and NCOs in the IDF. It called on Begin to prefer peace negotiations with a view towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict to a policy promoting settlements beyond the Green Line and the continued control over "around one million Arabs", jeopardizing Israel's Jewish and democratic character. 

Gordis should have given historical background, explained why all these earlier efforts failed and then, perhaps, point out why this new group could succeed or why it will also fail.

He makes an odd claim about Ehud Barak who supports the group, that "he is trusted by Israelis on security matters".  Really? What's the proof?  Why was he the shortest-serving PM on record?  Why can't he get back into politics?

As for the two-solution and support for it, it would be fair to note that no poll has ever suggested another option to the public.  For example, should Jordanian territory be part of the land mass required for peace? Should a Jordanian-linked federation be an option?
Should Egypt be given Gaza?

We simply don;t know what the public really thinks because they have never been questioned and the only relevant poll is the elections which right-of-center parties have consistently won since 1977.

Israeli public opinion and politics are not an easy subject.