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The Survival of Israel

July 28, 1985

Meir Kahane's article (Editorial Pages, July 22) would have us believe that the survival of Israel and the Jewish people depends on maintaining a Jewish majority within Israel. He decribes the potential scenario of an Arab majority voting the Jewish state out of existence. To eliminate this potentiality, Kahane suggests, no demands, that the democratic process be denied to Arab citizens.

Those of us who are familiar with Kahane's rhetoric know that he is willing to use far worse measures, including violence and forced expulsion. Indeed, his hate mongering has prompted Israel to consider a law that would make racism and its irrational hatred, a crime.

Kahane would have us choose between survival and democracy. But he would also have us forget the very essence of Judaism, ethics and social justice. He remembers the persecution and pain that Jews have suffered, but not the moral lessons. "A stranger shalt thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:20). And, "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for the home-born" (Leviticus 24:22).

It is a moral imperative that Jews work for social and political justice for all peoples. For Jews to deny the rights of others counters the very fiber that has held the Jewish people together.

I am very concerned that this letter may appear among a whole batch of letters that were not written out of love for Israel and the Jewish people. The Kahane article may open up the opportunity for those who hate Israel and its people to pour out their own brand of hatred and intolerance.

I am concerned about the company that this letter may be keeping. But, there is a fate much worse than being associated with the very people who hate you and your people. It is the fate of silence. By our silence, we run the danger of allowing people like Kahane to speak for us. Even worse, we allow men like this to act for us.

RABBI MARC STEVEN

DWORKIN

Los Angeles

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