The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Jewish Press Letters
This week's Jewish Press has three letters about my January 30 column disagreeing with Steven Plaut's vitriolic attack on "the Left" in his January 16 column. Here they are, with my comments:
I agree with op-ed contributor Joseph Schick ('Don't Demonize All on the Left,' Jan. 30) that Steven Plaut in a previous article went too far in his criticism of opponents of Prime Minister Sharon`s security fence. Plaut is obviously correct that there are some ideological "crazies" on the Left who do not have Israel`s best interests at heart and are going to extremes. However, they should not be seen as representing all of the opponents of the fence.
I support Sharon's plan one hundred percent, but I recognize that there are principled people who disagree with either the concept of separation itself or the prime minister`s precise formulation.
In closing, I must tell you how much I welcome the addition of Mr. Schick to your pages; his mind is as sharp as the razor of the same name.
Joshua Kaminer (Via E-Mail)
I appreciate the compliments, though as the first item in my current column indicates, I am skeptical about Sharon's plan. The fact that he revealed his plan to evacuate all of Gaza in an interview with Yoel Marcus, a hostile Haaretz columnist, rather than in a national address does not inspire confidence in his judgment or leadership.
Plaut Knows The Left
I enjoy Joseph Schick's intelligent op-ed pieces, but must vehemently take issue with his criticism of Steven Plaut. Of course there are Israeli leftists who are well-meaning, patriotic citizens, and they and their families have sacrificed much for Israel. But Plaut writes of the large numbers of media and academic leftists who've internalized all the arguments of our enemies and spew them out with barely concealed hatred for anything that smacks of traditional Zionism.
Anyone who regularly reads Haaretz, the paper of Israel's left-wing elite, is all too familiar with this phenomenon - and no one can convince me that most of Haaretz's columnists aren't more sympathetic to the Palestinians than they are to Israel (as P. David Hornik demonstrated so well in his Jewish Press page-one essay last week).
Steven Plaut knows Israel's ugly radical Left as only a professor at Haifa University can. And Plaut knows there's a difference between the old-style Mapai leftists and the unreconstructed Chomskyites who have such an inordinate influence on Israeli politics and culture.
Reuven Chertok Jerusalem
A few of Haaretz's columnists - but not all or even most of them - may be "Chomskyites." Some "intellectuals" and academics are too. But they don't represent the mainstream Israeli left.
Steven Plaut and Joseph Schick both got it wrong. I don`t question Ariel Sharon`s desire to save Jewish lives, but the whole idea of unilateral disengagement makes no sense. Not only does it reward Palestinian banditry and savagery, it also effectively cedes land that belongs to us for absolutely nothing concrete in return.
Sharon`s plan is almost the same as the one pushed by Amram Mitzna in the last Israeli election. Mitzna was overwhelmingly repudiated by the voters, but Sharon has no shame in pursuing the very policy Mitzna championed.
Daniella Klonitzky (Via E-Mail)
I'm not sure what this letter has to do with my piece about Plaut's column. If it related to my column about the Sharon plan, I certainly did not express unquestioned support for the plan. And Plaut is absolutely opposed to it.