By: Josh Greenberger  | 

Letter to the Editor: Josh Greenberger

To the editor,

The signing a statement of dismay over President Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel by Jess Olson, Associate Professor for Jewish History at Yeshiva University, is a disgrace and an affront to all Jews.

Olson makes the fallacious argument that "the decision by the Trump administration has likely inflicted a mortal injury to the possibility" of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. "Mortal injury" to what? With the Palestinians' showing time and time again that peace is not even on their agenda, Olson's statement is like saying that hitting a dead horse lessens the chances of the horse winning the Kentucky Derby.

Olson says that Trump's decision "has likely put the dream of the world community's support of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital even farther out of reach."

This is more of a pipe dream. The UN, throughout its corrupt history, has managed to get enough support from the world community to single out Israel for condemnation more than any other nation -- all before Trump's decision! The world community is obviously nowhere near supporting Israel for anything. How would not declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel change this? The only time in modern history that Israel got widespread respect and support was in 1967, when it won a miraculous military victory over its enemies.

We have to stop deluding ourselves into thinking that giving up what belongs to us will yield world support. Let the world show us their support first, then we can think of what we're willing to give up.

Ironically, Olson says Trump's "decision [was] made in haste, with inadequate consideration of the broader implications." What's interesting is that this is exactly what Olson has done. Olson's signing that statement of dismay, despite his claim that he believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital, sent a message to the students of an Orthodox Jewish University that it's okay to lend support to the anti-Semites who use anti-Israel rhetoric to camouflage their anti-Semitic sentiments, and that it's also okay to disagree with the Torah.

For Yeshiva University not to see fit to take a strong stance against Olson's action in order to undo his shameful offense to the Jewish people and its values, would be tantamount to Yeshiva University being complicit in Olson's inappropriate behavior.


Josh Greenberger


*This letter has been updated since being posted.