In light of a January 10 attack on Representative George Miller (D-CA) in the Vallejo Times-Herald by Larry Grossman (http://www.timesheraldonline.com/guestopinions/ci_14160252), an attack that echoes the strident propaganda of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), it's time for some plain talk about
Let me preface my remarks by saying something about myself, for I know what will come my way in the wake of what I have to say.
Sunday night, after reading Mr. Grossman's un-nuanced, one-sided diatribe, I happened to watch again Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List." It's a movie I can't watch without a shiver up my spine, for I know its cobble-stoned streets and bloody fields like the back of my hand. I was the American Consul in
And I can sleep better at night knowing that, thanks to such efforts begun forty years ago, there is, once again, a thriving Jewish community in
Nor do I need any lessons about
But I have also visited
I recall also that cynical and callous onslaught against
To call the Goldstone Report a "kangaroo court" and to accuse the UNHRC of anti-Semitism is a calumny of the worst sort. Richard Goldstone, a Zionist Jew whose daughter lives in
Indeed, we have stood virtually alone with Israel in vote after vote in the United Nations, the last such vote being against a December 18, 2009 UN General Assembly resolution "reaffirm[ing] the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine"…even though that reaffirmation reflects the two-state policy of the United States government. That vote was 171-6. With us – the six in
Israel, however, has been isolated not by Representative Miller, J Street, or the Obama Administration, all of whom wish Israel well, but by the Likud government of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his racist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who have time and again undermined the two-state solution by the continued construction of illegal and provocative settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. In doing so they have, time and again, undercut moderate Palestinian leaders like Abbas and may soon find out that there are Palestinians even more extreme than Hamas.
Unlike Representative Steny Hoyer, who has made annual trips to Israel paid for by AIPAC's American Israel Education Foundation, George Miller has indeed demonstrated his independence, intelligence, and integrity by visiting Israel – and Palestine – with his eyes wide open and beholden to no one save the American people, especially the people of the 7th District. He and
Those policies can only lead to a one-state solution that would lead, in turn, to the demise of
I urge all your readers to support Representative Miller, President Obama, and reasonable Israelis and Palestinians as they seek to head off such a disaster. The time is short and, for Israelis and Palestinians, the success or failure of this effort will be existential.