Terry Crawford-Browne`s hatred of the Jewish state is easy to ignore; but his ignorance deserves comment (End of “error” may be about to dawn, Cape Times, March 17).
Quite remarkably Crawford-Browne misunderstands the entire nature of the Israeli election as well as the make-up of American Jewry.
The vast majority of American Jews were not offended by Netanyahu`s address to Congress; J-Street, which is bitterly opposed to Netanyahu, wants a two-state solution; employing the Israel lobby, as the late Christopher Hitchens (no great friend of Israel) pointed out, is nothing other than a version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; the Balfour Declaration did not “purportedly” give legitimacy to a Jewish homeland in Palestine; Jews agreed to the principle of partition as recommended by the Peel Commission in 1937; Jews accepted a United Nations partition of Palestine in 1947 in which Jerusalem was to be an international city; and Jews were willing to accept a tiny portion of the mandate for the Jewish state.
Jews also accepted an Arab state, something that was not reciprocated despite the UN vote. It was the Arabs and Palestinians who showed no recognition of historic Jewish ties to the land and the unique horrors Jews experienced over centuries, culminating in the Holocaust, which was supported by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
Crawford-Browne practices the worst sort of history informed by a presentism that creates an optical illusions to suit his prejudices.
Rather than appreciating the complexity of a tragic conflict, he distorts the past and feeds Cape Times` readers with simple lies and distortions.
His observation of Jews supporting the Palestinian Right of Return in the US as representative of a significant movement is laughable.
To be sure, Jews by and large want a two-state solution. Other than a symbolic return of refugees, they are opposed to the return of all refugees, which would, after all, negate the two-state solution.
Crawford-Browne is obviously unaware of a recent Gallup Poll in the US in which support for Israel reached a level higher than ever before.
Perhaps Crawford-Browne`s blindness and crudeness has something to do with the failed Arab Spring and the radical Islamist groups which seem never to bother him.
Instead he applies his great moral outrage to Israel alone. This blinkered view shields him from the nature of the neighbourhood in which the Jewish state thrives.
To be sure, Israel has warts and is not perfect, but to talk of an apartheid state is crude and simplistic.
Yes, many intellectuals (Jewish and non-Jewish) in the US and elsewhere are tired of occupation (as am I and many Israelis), but this does not signify any sense of liberating Israel from Zionism.
Zionism remains the civil religion of most Jews and the Zionist movement one of the great beacons of national revival in the 20th century.
Whoever forms a new government in Israel will not waver from the notion of Jewish peoplehood and the need for Jews no longer to kowtow to the likes of Crawford-Browne.
Milton Shain is Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town