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