Daniel Gordis is a columnist in the Jerusalem Post. Though I have always thought that he writes very well, I have also always had reservations to many of Gordis' remarks and conclusions, His latest article annoyed me enough to respond directly to his Internet site, and I thought you may be interested as well. So here was my response (to which I never recieved an answer):
To: Daniel Gordis:
As you so frequently write in your well-written articles, you display an attempt at understanding both sides of the political issues that have divided us Israelis over the past 40 years. And as you usually do, you end up showing why criticizing our country’s policies regarding the handling of occupied territories and of our enemies in general is essentially a subversive act.
Your article of November 6, “Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You”, is typical as much as it blatantly shows how you wind your literary way from an attempt at understanding to a total condemnation of those who seek something other than the policies of our government. Biblically you write “Are you with us or do you seek our destruction? ……those are our only choices”.
You engineer a fairly nasty literary analogy by equating J Street to Donald Bostrom. Unfortunately it also shows how narrowly you perceive that part of your biblical quote saying “Are you with us…..”. Your concept of being “with us” means agreeing with policies which others see as detrimental to our national interests and to our Jewish heritage.
You are terribly worried in your article that “Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You” by those nations and peoples that are out to get us. It follows symmetrically that it matters not what we say, it shall always be used against us. Logically it should also follow that we can say to each other what needs to be said, we can agree and we can disagree, without worrying about “what will the Goyim think” for they will always use it detrimentally. Actually, though, our ups and downs with the “Goyim” have little to do with what we “say”. It has mainly to do with what we “do”. But here, too, those who want to “get us” won’t relent regardless of what we “do” , so we may as well find ways of doing what we think is right.
Many of us believe that much of our country’s policies and actions in the occupied territories are not “right”, but wrong. Many of us believe that our government is manipulating everything it says and does with the intention of holding on to as much (if not all) of the occupied territories as possible. Many of us believe this is wrong. Many of us think that our government does not want any kind of modus Vivendi which will allow for a separate Palestinian State, and therefore constructs its policies and actions in a way that will thwart that possibility. Many of us think that our government prefers the inevitability of more wars and intifadas rather than the loss of part of our biblical real-estate.
While I consider myself a truly kosher Zionist, while I totally support our need to remain militarily Stronger Than Ever, while I know that my grandchildren will still need to stand guard on our survival, I cannot agree to policies and actions which will teach my grandchildren that the main ingredients of morality and justice are “who can be stronger, fight better, subjugate better and oppress more efficiently”. I see our policies and actions as ones that are polluting our Jewish heritage and our national conscience. You would prefer I be silent for “they will use this against us”. If I speak out, you see me as the enemy who is out to “seek our destruction”. Nevertheless, while you continue to worry about those who will use what we say, I will continue to worry about what we are doing to ourselves.