Alper: Cartoon Message | Comment


Dear Mr. Danziger, I appreciate your email and your apologies. And I feel bad about your longstanding antipathy to Israel.

I agree that modern Israelis are different from the Jews you and your father knew. The world loved the Jews as victims, but cannot tolerate strong Jews who survive and prosper. Nor can the world support such a moral army as Israel’s. As hundreds of thousands of people are killed in Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Kurdistan and the Chinese imprison a million Muslims, laser attention focuses solely on the Israelis’ incredible defense against rocket bombardments . Elie Wiesel said long ago that the world cannot forgive Israelis for acting morally in an immoral world.

I don’t understand what all this has to do with your military service and that of your father.

And yes, I have been to Israel, many times. I lived there during the war, volunteered in a bombed-out kibbutz, and sent a condolence appeal to a nation shortly after the Yom Kippur War. My wife and I are the main benefactors of the Israel Guide Dog Center, which provides free guide dogs to Jewish, Christian and Muslim Israelis.

As for my knowledge of Palestinians, I work closely with two colleagues, one Palestinian and the other Arab Israeli, both of whom have stayed at home. And a few years ago, I had dinner in Ramallah with Diana Buttu, former advisor to Yassir Arafat whose guest essay appeared in the New York Times on Tuesday.

So, yeah, I have a bit of first hand knowledge.

I know that we will not be able to reconcile our diametrically opposed points of view. But I urge you to refrain from cartoons that appear to be of a Jew murdering an Arab with the same personal contempt as Derek Chauvin. All it takes is an unstable young white man with a semi-automatic pistol to take a look at your cartoon and decide to avenge this crime by indiscriminately shooting a gathering of Jews, even in peaceful Vermont.

Misguided and petty cartoons can have, and often do, terrible consequences.

Dr Robert A. Alper lives in East Dorset.

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