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Letter: Israel appears to be redefining democracy

Israel appears to be redefining democracy

There’s something disturbing about the manner in which most Americans assess the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Consider the latest event: Two Israelis are being held by Hamas. No honorable man or woman would support such a crime. Yet when we consider the thunderous outrage this unlawful act has provoked among most right-wing Israelis and supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the United States, might we wonder why there is only a faint whisper in response to Israel’s “holding” of Gaza and most of what was once Palestine?

Maybe the penal wall, hard-liner checkpoints, even the elevated illegal Jewish settlements that look down on Israeli Arabs – both Muslim and Christian – are acceptable under some innovative system of government. After all, the modern state of Israel is less than 100 years old. History informs us that dramatic changes have occurred among nations – new and old – for hundreds of years. Might we be looking on as a relatively “new” country redefines democracy?

Netanyahu stands in fierce opposition to President Obama’s attempt at rapprochement with Iran, a conspicuous move toward peace. Sadly, looking back at Israel’s uncompromising support of the brutal and ill-fated bombing of Baghdad, might this objection be better understood as another tenant of this country’s “new democracy”?

Matthew Darby

Amherst