What does 'love' mean for Israel?


To the editor:

In the opinion pages of The Riverdale Press, there are those who harshly criticize Israel while at the same time professing their “love” for her.

Analogies are rarely, if ever, perfect. But with this being the month of Valentine’s Day, I am reminded that in abusive relationships, the abuser will shower the subject of the abused with flowers and candy while effusively making pronouncements of affection.

Just recently, many hundreds of an expected 2,000 Ethiopians arrived in Israel, escaping the ravages of civil war in that country. They didn’t even qualify as refugees because Israel rushed to their rescue.

They also happened not to be Jews, but Christians, brought to Israel on a family reunification program on behalf of close to 200,000 Ethiopians previously rescued in operations Moses and Solomon.

We feel great pride for our son who, as a young husband and father — and at some personal risk — played an essential role in this complicated and costly rescue effort.

Previous to 2021, boycott-divestment-sanctions advocates against Israel should be reminded that, last year, 10,000 refugees drowned trying to reach Italy from North Africa where hundreds of thousands more have been in, and an equal number driven into, refugee camps due to the lamentable Assad rule of Syria.

I know nothing of BDS bashers of Israel calling for the demise of that nation, or even its ruler.

In (so-called) communist China, 1 million Muslims have been driven into detention camps to be brainwashed and for slave labor. Why? No call for BDS against Myanmar, where that nation’s rampaging army committed rape and murder against tens of thousands of that country’s Muslim minority, driving hundreds of thousands more across the border to Bangladesh.

One could list countless other examples of nations persecuting their minorities. How does one explain why Israel — one of the world’s few democratic nations — is the one they target where Jews, Christians and Muslims have equal voting rights?

My own educated guess is that one major reason is that Israel is a Jewish state. My respectful request is that such critics of Israel “love” Israel less and stop beating up on her. They point, for example, to the most recent election when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on his supporters to rush to the polls because Arab Israelis were voting by the busload.

The prime minister’s comment was hardly commendable, but it would seem the term “apartheid” is misapplied if Arab Israelis are exercising their equal right to vote.

I suggest that those “lovers” who single our Israel for unfair criticism check Google or the dictionary for any changes in the definition of the word “love.”

Theodore Fettman

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Theodore Fettman,