In a letter published in Hebrew July 10 in Ha’aretz, Yishai Goldflam, editor-in-chief of Presspectiva, CAMERA’s Israeli site, rebuts a July 7 Op-Ed by Yael Sternhell of Hebrew University. (Her Op-Ed appeared in Hebrew and English.) CAMERA’s translation of Goldflam’s letter follows:
A Distorted Comparison
In response to “Empathy toward the Palestinian side invokes hatred and distrust” (Ha’aretz, July 7) [In Hebrew, “On the correct side of History”]
Yael Sternhell compares the 1960s African American civil rights movement with the Palestinian bid to declare the establishment of a state in September.
This is a distorted comparison detached from reality. The Palestinian movement for self-determination in their own territorial sovereignty is not similar to the African American movement for equal rights within the American sovereignty. Unlike the Palestinians, the American blacks of the 1960s did not have a territorial conflict with the American government. They also did not have an autonomous authority which glorified murderers. They did not hold elections in which the majority voted for a terrorist organization seeking to destroy the United States. They did not shoot missiles at Memphis and did not send suicide bombers to murder families in Mississippi pizzerias.
The correct comparison is with Israeli Arabs. Unlike the blacks of the 1960s, they do have equal rights in the State of Israel.
[With respect to the Palestinians], the conflict is not only territorial, but also has deep religious roots which long precede the “occupation.” Unlike in the United States, the conflict here will not be solved by way of marches, speeches, and the release of balloons. Rather, it will be resolved with the emergence of a Palestinian leadership which chooses to lead its people towards a genuine reconciliation with its Israeli neighbors.