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I am writing to congratulate Jonathan H. Esensten ’04 on his proclamation of identity in the March 5 Crimson (Comment, “Let’s Repeat The Obvious on Israel”). It’s good to know to whom he pledges allegiance. “I am a Jew.” “I am a Zionist,” he says. Clever! Let me state the obvious to Esensten. It doesn’t necessarily follow that one has to be a Zionist to be a Jew or that one has to be a Jew to be a Zionist. Using his position as executive editor to cram the virtues of Zionism down readers’ throats is a little too much. It demonstrates infectious panic if an apartheid system needs to fortify its discriminatory practices’ gun ships and tanks with “petitions.” Honestly, does Esensten believe his own rhetoric? If Esensten were a Jew first, then he would see that all the petitions in the world do not make murder, torture and confiscation right by any religion whatsoever! Who is doing the most damage to Israel? Is it suicide bombers? Is it world opinion or criticism? No. The “bull in a china shop” behavior that Israel displays is doing the damage to Israel. The “lust” for the neighbors’ property is doing damage to Israel. If Esensten really cared about Israel’s well-being and peaceful existence, then he would be wondering about why Israel has been criticized so much, why it doesn’t exercise good government and equality for all its inhabitants regardless of whether they are of Russian, Ethiopian, French, Yemini or Palestinian descent and why it continues to defy U.N. resolutions that have been on the books for well over 30 years. It appears that Israel has decided to go it alone in this world and is not too hindered or concerned by the world’s will. There is no smoke without fire. Having stated the obvious to Esensten, I wish him peace and clarity of thought.
March 6, 2003
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