Conrad on Israel and Conflict With the Palestinians
I take serious exception to Paul Conrad’s cartoon (April 27) depicting an Israeli soldier with smoking rifle standing atop a pile of bullet-ridden bodies and declaring that there are no Palestinians with whom to talk peace. In my opinion, it displays a lack of understanding of the complexities and of the ultimate insidiousness of modern warfare. In short, it utterly disregards the fact that Israel is indeed embroiled in a state of war, and has been for the last 40 years.
It is prehaps regrettable but, clearly, the nature of modern war has changed--there are no longer in effect the “gentleman’s” rules which used to govern. Although the character of the war which Israel has been compelled to fight is not very gentlemanly, nor the methods which she must employ very attractive, they are deemed a necessary response to counter the threat of extinction which has been openly and explicitly posed to her by her neighbors for more than 40 years.
When Israel is confronted with hostility and warlike aggression, she must respond accordingly. And when Israel is confronted with peaceful overtures, as was the case with (former Egyptian President) Anwar Sadat, I pray she will continue to respond in kind, as well. But thus far, the problem is not that Israel has killed all those who have approached her with peaceful intent, but rather that those with truly peaceful intent have yet to come forward to so much as recognize Israel’s basic right to exist. Personally, I would consider as an enemy anyone who denied my right to exist as a human being and as agonizing as it is, Israel must do the same.
RABBI DAVID M. FRANK