In Dr. Naftali Kaminski's April 19 Forum article ("From Grief to Peace") he begins with the moving story of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician and peace advocate. Shortly after speaking by phone to members of the Jewish community here in Pittsburgh, Dr. Abuelaish's home was hit by a Israeli shell killing his three daughters.
Dr. Kaminski is a voice of reason in an ever-escalating march toward violence. With great clarity he calls into question the sanity of the blind support given, by members of the American Jewish community and the American people in general, for the current direction of Israeli policy.
Too often loyalty is confused with compliance to the party line. In a democratic society, it is our civic duty to speak out when government policies are misguided. Collective punishment is not only unjust, but ineffective. The ill-conceived war in Lebanon in 2006 led to large numbers of civilian deaths and resulted in increasing support for Hezbollah. The recent attack on Gaza will no doubt have the same effect, escalating the circle of violence.
Discourse and dissent are sometimes necessary to make our governments address their direction and policies. I commend Dr. Kaminski for his courage to stand up and speak out for his beliefs. The Jewish American community has long been at the forefront of human rights issues, and it is fitting that Dr. Kaminski calls for a return to these traditional values.
TED W. SOFIS