Israel Is Humane, Diverse, Democratic

(La Crosse [Wis.] Tribune) David J. Michaels - As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I know how blessed I am to call America home - but also the importance of Jews' restored ancestral homeland. The birth of Israel represented the fulfillment of a yearning for Jews to be able to return to the center of their religious and historical saga - but also of their right to independence, defense and equality. Israel's aspirations are our aspirations. As a critical partner in the fight against terrorism, a foremost center of technological innovation and a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa, Israel is an indispensable ally to the United States. It is also the rare Middle Eastern country where minorities, including Christians, enjoy fundamental civil liberties and have grown continually. Israel is one of the world's only parties in a conflict whose adversaries seek a country's complete destruction. This is the explicit doctrine of Iran, which has sought nuclear capabilities and supports groups with the same goal. By contrast, Americans, Irish and Indians sought independence from Britain - not its eradication. Israel has made incomparable overtures and sacrifices for peace. It has established peace and partnership with every willing Arab interlocutor, including Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco. But Palestinian extremists have answered every Israeli peace proposal with rejection and relentless violence. Some allege that Israel is guilty of "ethnic cleansing." Yet since 1948, the Arab population in Israeli-controlled land has increased by millions. Israel's values are our values. Its quest for acceptance is vital to the interests of America and our world. The writer is director of UN and Intercommunal Affairs at B'nai B'rith International.

2023-05-25 00:00:00

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