To the Editor:
What in the world was Richard Cohen thinking? It has never been more important to encourage the moderates and stand against the extremists in the Middle East, and he is giving fodder to the most extreme elements in the Arab world.
Contrary to what Mr. Cohen said, Israel is not a mistake, nor is it an implant. It is the fulfillment of the Jewish people's unbroken connection to the land of Israel that kept Jews alive and together through 2,000 years of exile. The fact that for too long the Arab world rejected this legitimate right of the Jewish people, even after Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state, is the Arab world's problem, but it is hardly a reason to question the wisdom or right of Israel to exist.
What is particularly strange about Mr. Cohen writing this now is that significant parts of the Arab world -- including Egypt, Jordan, some of the Persian Gulf states and North African countries -- either have treaties with Israel or have come to accept Israel's existence. This is a time when it is not Israel's legitimacy that should be challenged but the threat, through terrorism and hatred, that Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran pose not only to Israel but to the entire civilized world.
David C. Friedman
Regional Director, Washington, DC