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Letter to the Editor, Daily Camera: Balanced Narrative Necessary

  • June 12, 2017


This past weekend, the Boulder Daily Camera published a letter to the Editor by Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin responding to an opinion piece by Ira Chernus about the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. The letter may be found in its entirety below.


Re: “The Six-Day War: 50 years later” (Daily Camera, June 4): Ira Chernus commits a multitude of errors, some by commission, some by omission, in blaming Israel along with the United States for the absence of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

On this 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, there is much to be celebrated in Israel’s victory and reunification of Jerusalem. At the same time, it is also a sobering reminder that five decades later the elusiveness of Israeli-Palestinian and full Israeli-Arab peace is a painful reality.

Yet the analysis presented in Chernus’ article as to why the creation of a Palestinian state has not happened is historically unbalanced, unfairly places the majority of the blame on Israel, and encourages a solely Palestinian narrative regarding the main obstacle to a solution.

Nowhere does he reference Israeli initiatives — at Camp David in 2000 and at Annapolis in 2008 — which could have produced a Palestinian state had Palestinian leaders not walked away. Add to that Palestinian incitement against Israel, its funding of families of terrorists, and its refusal to negotiate throughout several U.S. presidential terms, and it should not surprise anyone that a two-state solution, which ADL and a majority of Americans strong support, has yet to materialize.

It takes two parties to make peace. Israel has certainly been imperfect over the years, but at the conflict’s core lies the Palestinian leadership’s continued refusal to accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state and unwillingness to confront the substantive issues at the heart of the dispute.

There is enough blame to go around as to why there is so little progress after 50 years. Chernus’ version of events, however, bears little resemblance to this very complicated reality.


Scott L. Levin

Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League, Mountain States Region