Sent through the contact form at the website.
I am writing this with deep sorrow. Here we go again, another round of violence.
For the record: my background is Dutch, with a father whose mother was Jewish. I grew up with love and admiration for Israel. Hearing HaTikvah gives me goosebumps.
I am mentioning this because criticism of Israel is often dismissed as a manifestation of anti-Semitism. And indeed, that old scourge is thriving in certain circles under the PC guise of anti-Zionism. One sees it on forums: one moment the talk is about the evils of international capitalism, next thing everything is blamed on the Rothschild family, ergo blame the Jews. Around and around we go.
The present situation will no doubt provoke the usual posturing of innocent little Israel, besieged by evil terrorists, bravely defending itself.
I am sorry, but I don't buy it anymore. In many ways today's Palestinians are victimized like yesterday's Jews. There can be no security without peace, and no peace without justice.
I am well aware that there has been intransigence aggravated by religious fervor on both sides. But with ongoing targeted assassinations, incursions into Gaza and continued so-called settlements in the West bank Israel has plenty to answer for.
In civil society we do not allow a child abuser to go unpunished because he was victimized as a child.
In the same spirit, Israel cannot keep referring to the all-too real Holocaust to justify its behaviour as an oppressive occupying force.
I wish you wisdom and strength in the coming days. But I warn you that you are rapidly losing international goodwill, even among people who would love to be your supporters.
Ien van Houten-van der Hout,
grand daughter of Esther van der Hout-Rood, great-grand daughter of Moses Marcus Rood and Esther Frank.