Criticize Israel at your own peril

Writing letters to the editor criticizing Israel publicly, in a convincing and daring way, is not something that Israel's supporters will take lightly in this country or in any other country. Not only is such a criticism a rare phenomenon but if it is done, it is usually toned down and the critic shows deference to Israel.

The wrath of Israel's supporters showed when I failed to toe the line. The reader of the letters to the editor will notice a kind of a crescendo in their attack. First, they sticked to the issues at hand while giving misleading facts or saying things that could be characterized, at best, as half-truth. When this failed to intimidate me, they resorted to what they usually do, changing the subject by going, for instance, after the corrupt Arab regimes. When this bait failed also, their attack became increasingly vicious and personal hoping that fear will have an effect. Obviously, it didn't and it won't.

I grouped together the letters that have been attacking me in four clusters. Each attacking letter is followed by rebuttal(s). There are four clusters that illustrate the crescendo I was referring to earlier.See letters.

In the Introduction to his book The Case of Israel: A Study of Political Zionism, Roger Garaudy dealt with the same issue in a telling way. The following excerpt will give an idea about what the criticism of Israel entails. See excerpt.

Needless to say that people are afraid to criticize Israel. If they do criticize Israel, they do it at their own peril. The alternative is to do it, but not publicly, or not to do it at all. The latter case is the one that is more likely to happen. I occasionaly receive letters of support in the mail or phone calls from anonymous people. Last June, I received a short letter without return address and without name and signature. Its content tells the whole story, as to why people refrain from criticizing Israel. See letter.