November 1, 2007
O, Jerusalem! Oy, Jerusalem!
(Page 2 - Previous Page)We look forward to your retraction and explanation.
Sally and Bob Shafton
I want to loudly applaud Rabbi Kanefsky's call to honesty. The majority of American Jews has supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years. Unfortunately, the self-appointed leadership of the Jewish community (as demonstrated in the letter to the editor from Morton Klein in the same issue) has done all in its power to drown out that voice of reason.
Rabbi Kanefsky's courageous stand gives me hope that the American Jewish communal leadership might serve a salutary role in the search for peace in the Middle East.
Dr. Aryeh Cohen
of Rabbinic Literature
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
American Jewish University
No way does the good rabbi suggest agreeing to the division of Jerusalem, short of proof positive that the Palestinians would make such an agreement worthwhile.
It is so important to notice that Rabbi Kanefsky does not argue in favor of dividing Jerusalem, far from it. Rather, he urges American Jews and their organizations (the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, et al) not to tie the hands of the Israeli government in the negotiations.
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky is to be applauded for his clarity in identifying self-destructive elements in the Jewish community. It seems a sad commentary on contemporary American Jewish support of Israel that it gives blanket support to what was an ad hoc arrangement on the part of Israel's leaders in 1967, which was transformed into a virtue by religious messianists.
As Rabbi Kanefsky points out, they have never offered a plausible alternative for negotiation with the Palestinians, difficult as that may be. I stand behind my rabbi, Rabbi Kanefsky, in whatever controversy follows his thoughtful essay.
Rabbi Pinchas Giller
American Jewish University
While I would never otherwise write to your paper to put down another Jew, let alone a respected rabbi in my community, the rabbi has left me with no choice.
Every concession we agree to consider, like the rabbi's openness to dividing Jerusalem, simply becomes the new minimum that will be expected of us to have on the table before the real painful concessions will begin, i.e., the return of all of the Palestinian refugees into Israel -- in other words, the elimination of Israel -- and a renewed realization among the Palestinians that their intifada is achieving its goals, even though we tell them that it does not.
Without emet there is no shalom. I appreciate Rabbi Kanefsky's honesty and courage in holding truth and peace as the highest Jewish values.
Thank you to Rabbi Kanefsky for having the courage to speak and for you having the courage to publish. My prayers that all may, as the rabbi states, have courage enough and fear of God enough to walk together and to create a Jerusalem where the concepts of divided and undivided will have no further need or meaning.
Rabbi Kanefsky is reacting to fear in the Jewish community about dividing Jerusalem. That fear is unfounded, because there is no plan to divide Jerusalem.
What is being discussed is sharing Jerusalem, following the four points from the 2001 Clinton parameters:
1) Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all. It should encompass the internationally recognized capitals of two states, Israel and Palestine.
2) What is Arab should be Palestinian. Why would Israel want to govern in perpetuity the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians?
3) What is Jewish should be Israeli, resulting in a Jewish Jerusalem, larger and more vibrant than any in history.
4) What is holy to both requires a special care to meet the needs of all. No peace agreement will last if not premised on mutual respect for the religious beliefs and holy shrines of Jews, Muslims and Christians."
Not only is there no call for Jerusalem's division, it is specifically ruled out. Congratulations to Rabbi Kanefsky for having the courage to speak out for his deepest beliefs.
La Habra Heights
I was inspired by the courage it took for Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky to write his article of Oct. 26. Sadly, I know he will be vilified by many of his fellow Jews.
This is disturbing. Our Jewish culture prides itself in its support of free speech, open debate and the use of reason to solve problems.
I am saddened that such a well read man, one so talented in his field, does not fully realize what would happen to Israel. Is he not aware of the West Bank today? Giving half of the most beautiful city in the world to the Palestinians would only give them a further stronghold to destroy Israel.
Jerusalem is an open city for all and every religion under the Israeli government, and that is the way it shall have to stay in order for every person, regardless of their religious affiliation, to come and worship freely.
My heart is broken by your article in The Jewish Journal of Oct. 26. You are supporting the dreams of Yasser Arafat to eventually own Israel as an Arab country. This premise is coming true with every piece of land of Israel concedes to the Palestinian Authority.
To look at the issue of dividing Jerusalem, one ought to take into account not only religious but also historical considerations.