89. Make peace in Israel

Medhat Credi in "Wake up Cal Thomas" (January 21 letter [88]) attempts to place Israel on the same level as the Islamic Hamas. He seems to be defining Israel as the Jewish equivalent of the Vatican instead of it being the expression of an ethnic-national will (like France). Ben-Gurion, who he cites in his letter, was an atheist who did not want to have anything to do with the Jewish fundamentalists and certainly was not advocating spreading the Jewish religion worldwide, suffocating any secular thought or using the founding of the Jewish state as a means for some religious ambitions. Besides, most Israelis are secular and during the last elections decided to rein in their fanatics.

Hamas wants a theocratic world. While the PLO is a valid expression of the desire for self-determination of the Palestinian people, Hamas uses the issue as a pretext to achieve its aim to make the world safe for their Savonarolas.

I hate to think of a world where religious fanatics run the show. I cannot help but thinking of the bloody deeds of the Iranian ayatollahs, the death threats to writers who fantasize heretical images as well as mothers exulting at the death of their sons in the name of some theocratic-political ambition.

Israel should negotiate peace with the PLO and thereby deprive of a mobilizing issue a movement that has, if successful, the potential of suffocating the human spirit.

Steven H. Waldbaum, Scarsdale

February 1, 1993

For a rebuttal see [90]