Federation Executive Director Dave Drimer’s Letter To the Editor Published in Kingston Freeman

Dear Editor:

Israel is not a “rogue nation.”

(“Israel isolating itself from rest of world, Eli Kassirer, August 15, 2021). The region’s only democracy, it’s a nation of laws affording equal protection to Jew, Christian, and Arab alike. Wherever Israel is viewed as a “pariah state,” it’s little to do with Israeli policies and much to do with anti-Semitism.

We’re bewildered by the claim Israel’s “cruel blockade” causes shortages. In 2019, Israel’s water utility broke ground on a pipeline to Gaza, the fourth carrying freshwater from Israel. Food ships six days per week. During armed conflicts, Israel continues uninterrupted electricity delivery, and increases medical aid. There’s some systemic shortages only when Israel is under attack. We agree “governments… need to be criticized when inflicting suffering on innocents…” That’s terrorism. Yet nobody honestly labels Israel a terrorist state. Alternately, Hamas pays stipends to families of terrorists. Children’s TV and theater encourages martyrdom, depicting “heroic” murders of Jews. Search YouTube for “Gaza Kids Put on Play About Stabbing, Killing Israelis” to see for yourself.

Mr. Kassirer encourages Americans to “advocate for changes in Israeli policy that promote peace … ” We ask you look past anti-Semitic rhetoric and seek changes in the Arab world’s policy of delegitimizing Israel’s existence.

Palestinians remain trapped in refugee status by powerful forces who benefit politically from their continued suffering.
When they finally seek self-determination, the road to peace is already laid out. They’ve repeatedly been offered an independent nation (the “two-state solution.”) That path ensures peace with Israel — a committed ally and trading partner — backed by U.S. assurances.

The truth is as simple as that.

David Drimer Kingston, N.Y. Rondavid Gold Woodstock, N.Y.
Mr. Gold is president of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County. Mr. Drimer is the executive director.