OU Rebuts New York Times re: Netanyahu

Posted on March 30, 2009 In Blog

In an editorial, The New York Times baldly set forth how, by their lights, incoming Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ought to be judged to be a “partner for peace.”

If nothing else, the Times’ editorial is premature with Mr. Netanyahu not even having entered office yet, but is faulty in other ways too.

Here is our letter to the editor, which the Times published:

To the Editor:

You assert criteria by which Benjamin Netanyahu, after becoming the Israeli prime minister, can be defined as being “serious about seeking peace.” Those criteria are the same cant that has been recycled for years and lack any creativity that might break the conflict out of its dead-end cycle.

One could view Mr. Netanyahu’s work to forge a broader coalition containing doves and hawks as the best evidence to date of his commitment to creative and pragmatic approaches to Israel’s challenges, which include seeking peace.

We do not know what Mr. Netanyahu will do and what might succeed. But perhaps at the dawn of a new Israeli government working with a new American administration, we should be open to new thinking about how to attack old problems.

Nathan J. Diament
Director of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Washington, March 27, 2009