In Response to: One Jew’s Journey

Letters concerning the right-wing Israeli government’s policies towards the West Bank populations have made me laugh and also cry. There is nothing new about ethnic conflict, just look at Russia vs. Ukraine, and the semi-permanent hostilities among the various ethnic groups in the Balkans, as comparable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which never ends. The parties in these conflicts will never on their own come to a settlement, but as in the Balkans and elsewhere the intervention of great powers can do more. The great powers can find a solution and enforce it, and the conflicting parties may not like the solution but eventually they will learn to go along with it. On their own the bitterness, sometimes religious, sometimes historical, sometimes cultural will never without outside force allow a settlement. Instead of writing letters attacking this rabbi and that organization, it would be more helpful to write letters to governments outside the area of conflict to urge their intervention. Integral nationalism leads to Fascism and war, moderate nationalism, generous nationalism can lead to peace. In America we see what intransigence has led to and we seek, not too hopefully, a solution; no foreign power will intervene unfortunately to save us. But perhaps we can save ourselves by saving others.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.