MY TURN, Greenfield Recorder, June 7, 2024


We are writing in response to Mitchell Grosky’s My Turn: “War will end with Hamas destroyed,” [Recorder, June 2]. As members of the Jewish community, we would like to share our perspective, which is quite different from that of the writer, the Israeli government, the U.S. government and our mass media.

Our perspective is reflected in the following resources, and we would encourage anyone who is open to a different perspective to look into them. There is a pamphlet “The Origin of the Palestine Israel Conflict” Third Edition, available on the web and in print, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, distributed by If Americans Knew.

There are the writings of Norman Finkelstein. Among his many books are “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict” (1995), “The Holocaust Industry ” (2000), and “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom” (2018). There is the book by Thomas Suarez, “Palestine Hijacked: How Zionism Forged an Apartheid State from River to Sea” (2022). There is the work by Raja Shehadeh, “We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir” (2023). These works are filled with historical documentation, including the actual statements of various Zionist officials and leaders over the years.

But to return specifically to our concern about Mr. Grosky’s column, let us just start with the first sentence: “In the wake of so much antisemitism spreading across our country and around the world, I feel an obligation to speak out.” What is the “antisemitism” that he is talking about? Currently “antisemitism” is being equated with criticism of the policies and actions of the state of Israel.

For those of us who are Jewish and have for years opposed Israel’s policies against the Palestinians, this is nothing new. We have been called “traitors” and “self-hating Jews.” We completely reject these characterizations and such use of the concept of antisemitism.

We understand the difficulty that many members of the Jewish community face.

Having been raised to think of Israel as providing the exclusive home and safety for the Jewish people, it takes courage to open oneself to other possibilities.

We would like to see discussion in the community using the resources that we have listed above, as well as many others.

Steven Schiff and Martin Schotz live in Cummington, Liz Kelner lives in Greenfield, and John Berkowitz in Northampton.