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Letter: In Response to ‘A Note to my Fellow Jews’

I don’t know which is more shocking: the virulent anti-Israel, anti-semitic ramblings of a misguided radical or the fact that the Port Washington News published such an inflammatory letter filled with what I believe to be distortions and outright lies as it did with “A Note to my Fellow Jews.”

According to its author Michael Mandel, “Palestinian children (are) seized in the middle of the night.” This statement bears chilling resemblance to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a vicious, fabrication of Jews drinking the blood of Christians during Passover, a libel that was the basis for murderous pogroms throughout Europe, and a story still being aired on Al Jazeera TV to incite violence.

Is Mandel aware that this nation of “oppressors” sent relief crews to Haiti?  That Israeli search and rescue crews flew to Japan?  That Israelis were there after the tsunami struck Thailand? That its aid workers pitched tents in New Orleans?

Mandel says the Arab Spring shows weakened U.S. dominance in global affairs.  Here’s another take: Yeminis, Tunisians, Syrians, Libyans and Egyptians risked lives to enjoy the same freedoms as Arabs and Palestinians living in Israel.  He worries about their ”systematic denial of civil and human rights.” Does he also worry about the Iranian awaiting execution because he won’t denounce Christianity?  Or the Saudi woman imprisoned because she drove a car? Or “honor” murders in nations where human rights are held hostage by Islamic fundamentalists?

Is Mandel aware that Israel encourages worship of all denominations? That anti-Israel extremists, communists, and Arabs sit in its Knesset ? That the highest court in Israel has ruled against certain government policies as discriminatory?  This is how a true democracy operates! 

Mandel worries about Israelis cutting off Arab water supplies.  Obviously he is not aware that through efforts of the Jewish National Fund, Technion and Ben Gurion Universities, sea water has become potable for Jew and Arab alike; that irrigation techniques turning desert into farmland enrich both peoples.

So “American tax dollars … bankroll the Israeli government?”  Doesn’t Mandel know that this tiny country  has one of the strongest economies in the world?  That it is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of software and semiconductors?  That its concentration of high-tech industries ranks second only to the U.S.?  That it is the world’s largest producer of generic drugs?

Mandel has humanitarian concerns?  Then he should be overwhelmed at the number of Arabs who receive lifesaving care in Israeli hospitals.  Or how Hadassah forever rid Arab children of the scourge of blindness from trachoma.

If Mr. Mandel wants solidarity and justice for all,” instead of bashing the only  democracy in the Middle East, he should push for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, the recognition of Israel by Hamas and the denunciation of terrorism.

Judith Sloan