On July 14 Gerald Rosen once again wrote a sarcastic and absurd letter to the editor in the New Mexican (reproduced below) complaining about Ruth Moss’ My View from July 2. We don’t know Gerald Rosen so we can’t speculate on the reason for his hatred of Israel, as demonstrated in frequent writings to the New Mexican. But clearly hatred it is, coupled with a seemingly willful ignorance of the actual history of the conflict. Nor does he want to attribute any cause of the lack of peace to the Palestinian leadership or people, as discussed by SFMEW’s speaker last month, Bassem Eid.
So kudos to Jacob Amir for a dispassionate and accurate letter to the editor of the New Mexican refuting Rosen’s implied historical inaccuracies:
Gerald Rosen (“Breaking Silence,” Letters to the Editor, July 14) ignores the irrefutable fact that, in 1947, the Palestinian Jewish community, under the leadership of the Zionist movement, accepted the United Nations partition plan that called for the establishment of two states in Mandatory Palestine, one Arab and one Jewish. But the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states not only rejected the U.N. plan but started a war against the Palestinian Jewish community one day after the U.N. vote — on Nov. 29, 1947 — in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. They lost the war and brought nothing but disaster to the Palestinian Arabs. What happened to them is something they brought upon themselves with their own decisions and actions. Even Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, admitted recently that the Arab world erred in rejecting the U.N. partition plan.
Had they accepted the plan and had not started the war, there would have been no refugees, their state would have been 68 years old today and thousands of lives, on both sides, would have been spared.
Jacob Amir, M.D., Santa Fe
We would love to get Jacob Amir involved in SFMEW. We’ve noticed his concise and clear letter writing to the New Mexican over the years. If you know him or know how to contact him please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write your own letter to the editor refuting Rosen’s comments. You can find information on how to write an op-ed, and where to submit your letter to the editor on SFMEW’s web page under “Resources,” “How to Write to the SF New Mexican.” Here are some possible points you could use that would not duplicate Amir’s points:
- Israel was not settled solely by “Jewish Europeans” as Rosen asserts. Indeed, over a million Jews from Arab countries were forcibly evicted over the years during and following the 1948 and 1967 wars.The value of Jewish property left behind by these evicted Sephardic Jews is more than double the value of property left by Palestinians who fled Israel.
- The value of Jewish property left behind by these evicted Sephardic Jews is more than double the value of property left by Palestinians who fled Israel.
- Even Palestinians admit that the lack of peace is because of the incompetence of their own leadership. See our report from Bassem Eid’s SFMEW talk from June, 2016.
- Rosen minimizes the effect of Hamas rockets on Israel’s southern border with Gaza, but through July, 2014, over 50 have been killed and 1900 physically injured, with many more psychologically injured over the years because of these “bottle rockets” (as he calls them) which in reality are much more potent than Rosen implies. As a physician he should be ashamed of minimizing this harm to any people, including Israelis.
- In the 2014 Gaza war with Israel, Palestinian rockets killed more Palestinians than Israelis according to Amnesty International: “Amnesty said rocket attacks had killed six civilians in Israel, including a child, but that other rockets aimed at the Jewish state had fallen short and killed at least 13 civilians, 11 of them children, in Gaza.”
- Ruth Moss lives part-time in the Negev, a barely populated region of desert previously inhabited mostly by Bedouins. Rosen’s allegation that she “dispossessed [an] Arab family” is nonsense. Instead he should thank her for helping Israel re-possess the barren land with trees and water reclamation. Israel is the only country in the world where there is more forest rather than less from the last 60 years.
Here is Gerald Rosen’s letter:
Many thanks to Ruth Moss (“What really went on in Israel,” My View, July 3) for “breaking the silence” after Jeff Haas’ articulation of Israel’s perpetual oppression of the living, but not yet expelled, Arabs whose ethnic cleansing was initiated the day after the U.N. partition map (November 1947) and did not satisfy us Jewish Europeans. Without you, we naifs hardly remembered the Zionist mythology while you were away dodging Hamas bottle rockets in an ethnically cleansed area of Palestine, where you maintain a second home, while the indigenous people live in your rubble.
Stay here a while to keep reminding us of your mythology in case our own local Zionists forget to justify the appropriation of the Arab homeland. When you return there, maybe you can give your second home to a dispossessed Arab family (displaced person to you).
Gerald M. Rosen, M.D., Santa Fe
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Hold the date: Sunday, September 25, 1-5 p.m., Israel Advocacy Workshop with ADL-New Mexico in Santa Fe. More information forthcoming.