A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter To Prime Minister Netanyahu


By: Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
March 4, 2016



Last week I published an open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the response from many corners has been tremendous. I am sending this again because I have received many requests to do so from readers who missed it the first time around, and at the expense of receiving it a second time, I hope you do not mind.

As always I invite all comments and criticisms, and better yet, any suggestions to the contrary that can guarantee Israel the peace and security that it deserves, and for the Palestinians, a state of their own. Below is an excerpt; for the whole article, read it here or listen to it on Soundcloud here.

Israel’s achievements in science, technology, medicine, agriculture, and many other fields in less than seven decades is nothing short of a miracle. This miracle became a reality due to the incredible resourcefulness, creativity, and dedication of men and women who committed to building a powerful and proud nation that offers a safe haven in perpetuity for the Jews. These unprecedented accomplishments, however, mean little unless Israel can live in peace and all of its citizens can enjoy equality and freedom, which are the pillars on which Israel’s very future rests.

Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu, what is your vision of Israel’s future? Do you know where the country will be in a decade or even less? I challenge you to provide a clear answer. If you truly take to heart Israel’s security and wellbeing, then you must save it from the very self-destructive path that you have paved with fear, anxiety, and bloodshed.
Mr. Netanayhu, you must now choose to live with the Palestinians in peace and prosper together, or live by the sword and violently consume one another. You must never forget that Israeli and Palestinian destinies are irreversibly intertwined.

You must restore Israel’s stature among the community of nations as a true democracy that treats all of its citizens, regardless of sect, ethnicity, or religion, equitably rather than engage in discriminatory policies that will only erode Israel’s standing.

You must reach out to the international community, strengthen Israel’s alliances, and mitigate differences with its enemies. Remember, Israel will always need the political support of the international community and military and political assistance from the US in particular, not the other way around.

You must recommit to the moral principles that gave birth to Israel, starting with an honest public narrative based on Israel’s reality on all fronts instead of engaging in a fictional, self-indulgent narrative that distorts the truth the country and its people are facing.

About the Author: Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.
alon@alonben-meir.com                             Web: www.alonben-meir.com

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