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LEO MEDNICK: Have a good vacation in Israel, Henry

The annual Holocaust Memorial service in Charlottetown remembers the more than six million murdered Jews  during the Second World War. From left, Rosalie Simeone, Leo Mednick of the Jewish Community of P. E. I. and Kim Dormaar. 
(Guardian File Photo)
The annual Holocaust Memorial service in Charlottetown remembers six million murdered Jews during the Second World War. From left, Rosalie Simeone, Leo Mednick of the Jewish Community of P. E. I. and Kim Dormaar. (Guardian File Photo) - The Guardian

Jewish community on P.E.I. mainly resisted getting into shouting match over justice for Palestinians

It seems the wolves of the peace in the Middle East movement can't let anyone going to Israel (Re: Henry Srebrnik's letter on the Mandelbaum Gate) have any different perspective other than through their own ideological dark glasses.

There's a lot of history in Israel, old and new, that has been distorted by these ideologues. Our Jewish community on P.E.I. has mainly resisted getting into a shouting match with those on the Island demanding justice for the Palestinians by blaming Israel for all the woes that have befallen the Palestinians.

Israeli Jews are not the same as Canadian, American, or French Jews. We have a tendency to absorb the culture of the society that we live in which is probably why we have survived for all these centuries.

Israeli Jews are a tough bunch but they live in a part of the world surrounded and intermingled with the Arab countries that for most part would wish they would just go away. Israelis know their Arab neighbours and know that the Arabs that would like to make peace are in the minority and would be killed if they tried to normalize relations with Israel (Anwar Sadat).

This is why offers to establish a Palestinian state encompassing nearly all the land the Palestinians wanted was rejected a number of times in the past by their leaders.

Regarding BDS, imagine, if you will, a future 100 years from now. A future where perhaps there is a Palestinian state. Would they allow Jews to establish communities in the Palestinian state? Would they allow Israeli companies to setup operations in Palestine giving jobs to Palestinians and having Jews and Palestinians to work side by side? Will there be joint projects to help provide the Palestinian state with infrastructure and will there be tourism allowing Israelis to visit Palestinian state land that have historical significance to Jews?

"Begin with the end in mind" is a well known quote by Stephen Covey (author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). To get to peace you have to know what the end result will be. The BDS movement is totally an obstacle to getting to a peaceful end.

I was saddened when the Israeli beverage company SodaStream was forced to leave the West Bank where they provided needed jobs to Palestinians and allowed them to work alongside Jewish Israelis building personal friendships and understanding.

The Peace for Palestinian movement on P.E.I. is just another group muddying the waters trying to promote peace but actually bolstering those with hardline views.

Let the Israelis and Palestinians work it out. They are more similar than you think.

And Henry, have a good vacation and tell us about it when you come back.

- Leo Mednick of Charlottetown is past president, P.E.I. Jewish Community

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