Comments about MJ Rosenberg's article, "The Anti-Israel Factor," of February 2nd, from JSPAN Board Members

I generally agree with the piece. I do not accept, and I think it would be wrong for JSPAN to not disavow, Rosenberg's assurances that the pro-Israel zealots do so for the high of self-aggrandizement and the influence they wield, rather than out of any true concern for Israel. I don't accept that to be universally true; I don't believe that even Rosenberg believes that to be universally true, and if he does, he is an idiot. It's a nasty rhetorical point that I don't want to have anything to do with. Otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly with the piece. - Marshall Dayan MJ uses a number of nouns and adjectives to describe his target: “Zealots”, “zealous single-issue voters”, “ideological zealots and bigots”, “single issue crowd”. It’s not easy to make the point MJ is making – that it’s those folks who make it almost impossible for any candidate to enter into any serious discussion about the peace process without risking being slammed by them. I would have been happier if MJ had said (in the 9th paragraph), “For some of them, certainly not all”, it’s not about Israel. It’s just fun and games……….”, and I suppose Ruth could say that. But I , for one, would not insist upon it. I think MJ is making an important point, one that all of us – including Marshall – agree with and which describes our position more fully than we previously have done. - Ted Mann I think we should not be posting this on our web site. While Rosenbergs conclusions may be consistent with JSPAN policy, I don't think that loshon hora is. - Lazar Kleit A very long and somewhat rambling article, some of it a cogent critique of an extremist view. However, there is a troubling tone at the end of the piece. "...a conflict that not only threatens Israel's surival but has harmed American interests throughout the world." It should be stated clearly that the conflict has been manipulated by Israel's rivals (dare we say enemies?) in the Middle East to the harm and detriment of US interests, in order to erode US support for a neighbor state they would like make Poof! Go away. In addition, very importantly, the impulse to orchestrate in advance a solution is foolhardy. That is precisely what our incumbent President did in prematurely pushing for elections in Palestine instead of shoring up the then incumbent government. The result of course is the rule by Hamas, its encouragement and use of violence, and the continuing poverty of the visible Gazans, No one ever talks of those who are well-positioned and affluent. - Adena Potok