Clay Evans (Opinion, October 23, 2005) naively fell prey to pro-Palestinian propaganda, which seems always to include distortions and untruths about the State of Israel. This happens to many well-intentioned and ostensibly caring folks. Fortunately for us all, most of them don't write opinion columns in newspapers.
It is simply untrue that "You cannot be a citizen of Israel unless you are a Jew," and it was irresponsible of Mr. Evans to repeat that. (For those who are unaware, 20% of the citizens of Israel are Arab, most of them Muslim, which is about as non-Jewish as you can get).
With high emotion Mr. Evans writes, "If the United States attempted to impose a religious test for citizenship, or declared an official state religion, I'd be in the streets, ready to fight." This no doubt gives the writer a warm and fuzzy feeling of self-righteousness. I would warn that such a feeling can become addictive and may, over time, take precedence over reason.
The facts are that the United States has no such religious test, Israel is not the United States, and Israel has no such test either. So given that the issue raised was based on absolute falsity, where does one go with all that noble intent? I have a couple of suggestions.
In August, ten thousand Jewish men, women and children were forcibly expelled from their homes in the Gaza strip. To this day, most remain homeless, jobless, separated from their former neighbors and friends and from their own belongings. They are still responsible for the mortgage payments on the houses from which they were removed, the ones their government then bulldozed.
Now there’s an injustice to which one might attach some noble intent, even action. Or, if that doesn’t light your inspirational fire, what about the greatest destruction of synagogues since Nazi Germany? In their first act of freedom from "occupation," Palestinian mobs burned the synagogues and yeshivas in Gaza. The silence of well-meaning American liberals was deafening.
One last bit of advice. The next time you envision yourself "in the streets, ready to fight" for a noble cause, make sure (beforehand) that your cause is not only noble, but real and true.