The Aug. 1 editorial, “Give War A Chance,” quotes [former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.] Michael Oren as
saying that “military actions are sometimes an important ancillary to
diplomacy.” I agree with that principle, and I fully support Israel’s
right to defend itself against an onslaught of rockets aimed at civilians and
tunnels leading into populated areas.

I think the frustration that many feel about the current situation is that
while military actions can be effective as companions to diplomacy, diplomacy
itself should always be the first and main course of action. And in this
case, Israel hasn’t done all it could have to exhaust its diplomatic options. This is not to say that, in the short term, Israel shouldn’t be acting to
root out terrorist operations aimed at its people. But in the long term
there’s more that it can and should do to resolve the underlying issues at
hand. By engaging in sincere diplomacy that promotes and supports moderate
Palestinian factions, Israel can at least attempt to help pave the way toward
peace, and it can try to avoid the need for more war.

Give war a chance? Sure, but only once we’ve given peace every chance it can
possibly get.

Co-Chair, J Street NYC