April 2008 Archives
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Back in the days I was editing Moment Magazine, our managing editor and I had a nearly ritual conversation every six or eight weeks. An article would arrive from one of our favorite contributors, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, arguing eloquently and persuasively that we, the Jews, were too fixated on the Sho'a, the Holocaust. An excess of remembering can bar the path to imagining. Or however he'd chosen to put it this time around.
That in itself would have been problem enough, but I from time to time compounded the problem by writing my own version of essentially the same argument. So each time the latest Schulweis or Fein would land on the desk of our managing editor, she'd come into my office waving the redundant essay and, annoyed, say, "How often are we going to print this same piece?"
To which my invariable answer was, "Until they [our readers] get it right."
Which is a long way around to lay the groundwork for another go at an issue that keeps raising its head here, in this space.
In our last go 'round, Dan Schneiderman says, "What a ridiculous idea that you can make peace with people who do not want peace with you. You are suggesting that the arabs [sic] live in peace with you when they cannot even make peace with themselves. Come on, knock it off already."
Back in 1978, when Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) was founded, we - dovish type here in America - were overjoyed. At last there was a movement in Israel that embraced and reflected our views.
I was in those days the editor of Moment magazine, and as nearly as I recall, we were the first publication in America to take note of the new movement. And a small group of like-minded people met in New York and decided to send a telegram of commendation to Shalom Achshav's first major rally in Tel Aviv. We played by the rules of the game: Our telegram was in Hebrew and was sent directly to the movement's leaders rather than to the press. (Confession: We knew, or at least supposed, that the Shalom Achshavniks in Israel would have the smarts to release our wire to the press - and, indeed, if memory serves, it was duly noted the next day in the Times.)