Sunday, September 26, 2010

To the Editor: (Woodstock Times)

Admirably, Rabbi Kligler advocates ambivalence, being able to see both sides of a question. Sounds good, high minded, logical, and fair. Often works well when both sides are of equal power. Unfortunately, in Palestine/Israel there are huge discrepancies in military, economic, and political power. The Palestinians are virtually powerless and have been subjected to ongoing brutality, humiliation, and domination by Israel (with the support of US tax dollars) for years.

In some cases the imbalance of power can be so great that it renders the concept of ìambivalenceî absurd and useless. Did the Indians need to see the side of the conquistadors or of the US Cavalry as they were slaughtered mercilessly? Did terrified, kidnapped, enslaved Africans need to see the side of their masters as they were beaten and brutalized? Do tortured prisoners need to see the side of their torturers as they gag and drown strapped to waterboards?  Should the Jews have practiced ìambivalenceî regarding Nazi atrocities ?

Abused and oppressed people (and animals) may strike back at their abusers in desperate, violent, and often senseless acts. The Palestinians, the Indians, the slaves, the prisoners, and the Jews all committed understandable acts of retaliation. Had there been no oppressor there would have been no need to retaliate.

Rabbi Kligler mentions the Jewish Peopleís just claim on their ìhistorical homeland.î I truly hope that should the Indian People ever have the power and political clout to reclaim their historical homeland that they treat us better than the Zionists treated the Palestinians.

Eli Kassirer New Paltz, NY

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