To the Editor:
Re "Seeking Balance On Mideast" (August 4):
Nicholas Kristof is off the mark with regard to all three areas he addresses: Why is peace not moving forward? Where does the American Jewish community stand? And why is the U.S. Congress supportive of Israel?
In choosing to blame the absence of peace on Israel, in saying that right-wingers have hijacked the American Jewish community and the Congress vis-a-vis Middle East policy, Mr. Kristof repeats simplistic stereotypes that ignore complex realities.
It is the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who refuse to come to the negotiating table despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed to a two-state solution and territorial compromise. And this after offers by Israeli leaders to the Palestinians in the past decade that could have changed Palestinian life had they not rejected them.
As to American Jews, yes the community cares deeply about many issues and remains quite liberal. But never, including today, has that liberalism in any way contradicted their support for the only democracy in the Middle East, the country that shares values and interests with America, the state of Israel. American Jewish support for Israel remains at the heart of American Jewish concerns.
Finally, the U.S. Congress supports Israel not because of the Israel lobby but because the American people, Congress's constituents, overwhelmingly support the Jewish state.
There is indeed a need for a new beginning in the region, one where finally the Arabs will end their six decade war against the state of Israel.
The Anti-Defamation League