Analysis Misreads Zionism, History

This letter appeared in the Palm Beach Post on March 26, 2014.

Letters to the Editor
Palm Beach Post 

To the Editor:


Ghassan Michel Rubeiz’s analysis of Israel’s desire to be recognized as a Jewish state represents a flawed understanding of Zionism and misreading of Israel’s history (“Jewish-state label a likely peace deal-breaker,” Monday).

The core ideal of Zionism lies in an aspiration for Jewish sovereignty and self-governance in the historic Jewish homeland of Israel, and since 1948, Israel has indeed served as that haven for the Jewish people. To acknowledge Israel’s Jewish identity is to accept its reason for being; conversely, to reject Israel’s Jewish core is to question its legitimacy.

Furthermore, Rubeiz’s argument that the Jewish state element is a “new Israeli demand” ignores the long list of Israeli leaders who have made this issue a top priority. Israel’s great peacemaking prime minister, the late Yitzhak Rabin, whose willingness to compromise with the Palestinians for peace was unquestionable, held firm to this belief in his public statements.

The reality is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position on Israel as a Jewish state, as well his willingness to welcome the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a final status agreement, is hardly a new stance for an Israeli leader to take.

Perhaps if Rubeiz and others had a better appreciation for this view, they could help encourage President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s historical narrative and accept it as a Jewish state.

Real peace can only come when both sides recognize the legitimacy of the other.


Hava L. Holzhauer
Florida Regional Director

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