The Opinion piece on attempts to erase references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (“Democrats’ Platform On Israel: Problem Or Opportunity,” June 3) is a considered and thoughtful engagement with a set of thorny and delicate questions.
However, it reflects, in my opinion, a crucial misperception, common in the conversation about Israel — that of interpreting all expressions of hostility towards Israel as if they were genuine attempts to participate in a constructive bona fide discussion of Israeli policy options.
It is patently clear that Martin Raffel’s own piece is a good-faith endeavor to contribute to precisely such a constructive and informed discussion. Yet, it is equally clear that the attempts to blot out references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital are nothing of the sort.
Such attempts should be exposed for what they are — a move to deny the timeless bond of the Jewish People with their historic capital, and by extension, to deny the national, spiritual and cultural heritage of which that bond is an integral part. It is thus an affront to generation after generation of Jewish couples who entered the covenant of marriage with the name of Jerusalem on their lips. It is an affront to generation after generation of Jewish mourners who sought consolation in the invocation of Jerusalem’s re-building. It is an affront to generation after generation of simple humble Jews in every corner of the world who never let Jerusalem out of their hearts.
Those who would strike out recognition of Jerusalem as our capital city are not being “critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians” and they are certainly not trying to suggest realistic pathways to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are moved by the same hateful spirit that spawned the shameful UNESCO decision declaring the Western Wall, our kotel, to be an exclusively Islamic heritage site. Those who seek to stamp out the 3,000-year attachment of our people to our capital care neither for peace nor for justice. Rather than mistaking their moves for sincere policy proposals, we would do well to call them out and maintain a steadfast vigilance in their regard.
Spokesperson Consul for Media Affairs Consulate General of Israel in New York