New York Times Letter to the Editor by Jacob Bender

To the Editor:

Re “Younger Jews in U.S. Facing an ‘Identity Crisis’” (front page, May 20):

I am not one of these younger Jews. I am an older American Jew for whom the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the abiding issue of my life, a place where Jewish power and Jewish ethics collided. There is certainly no argument about which was the winner and which the loser.

But yes, I readily admit to the joy I felt upon first visiting Israel, the pride that I experienced in the great accomplishments of the reborn Jewish state. But as I grew up, and the more I read, I came to realize that the price of that Jewish state was the dispossession of the Palestinian people, the expulsion of thousands from their homes, the depopulation of 400 of their villages, an assault that continues today in the nightmarish bombing and shelling of Gaza.

This was, and is, simply too high a price to pay. And if I must take a stand, I stand with justice.

Jacob Bender
The writer is executive director of CAIR-Philadelphia, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

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