Home Commentary Letter to the Editor, Feb. 21, 2024

Letter to the Editor, Feb. 21, 2024

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Jewish in Name Only

To the Editor: 

Today, the state of Israel is “Jewish” in name only.

A government that murders indiscriminately; that intentionally creates food insecurity for hundreds of thousands of innocents; that deprives those innocents of water, essential sanitation, and healthcare; and that destroys most of their homes with the intent to displace them is not Jewish, it is a horror.

Jewish, to me, means honoring the sanctity of life and repairing the world. And without exception.

Many Jewish people like me are horrified by the actions of this so-called “Jewish” state. But many remain quiet. Why?

Historic persecutions and the Holocaust have created an embedded fear within the collective Jewish psyche and narrative. I understand this and relate to it. But fear that becomes an engine for racism, a rationale for war crimes, and that undermines the Jewish ethos of kindness, compassion, and justice is also a threat to our security. It must be challenged.

Did we not learn anything of compassion from our stories of exile, inquisition, pogroms, ghettos, and annihilation? Do our cries of “never again” mean never persecution, never slaughter, never the unthinkable again for only us?

Are the Palestinian people not us? Is their thirst not ours? Are their children less precious?

Opening our hearts to these questions feels right. It is a declaration of faith that we must be in the world as the tradition we cherish teaches us.

Anything less is like the state of Israel today, Jewish in name only.

Ron Koss, Montpelier

Letters to the editor represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of The Bridge. Submit your letter by email to editor@montpelierbridge.com. Preference is given to submissions by those who live in central Vermont, should not exceed 300 words in length, and may be edited for brevity and accuracy.