This New Jersey Jewish News article, “Gaza combat leaves Zionist Left conflicted,” solicits opinions from New Jersey residents who are known activists in our pro-Israel/pro-peace camp. It concludes with a lengthy quote from one of our past presidents, Larry Lerner, who remains active on the PPI board:
Larry Lerner, a Warren resident, is a board member of Partners for Progressive Israel (formerly Meretz USA). While he said he believes “there is no justification for what Hamas is doing,” and that “Hamas doesn’t give a s–t about its own people,” he is nonetheless highly critical of the Israeli government.
“I think there was a failure on the part of the Israeli intelligence community” to grasp the extent of the tunnels Hamas had been building in Gaza,” he said.
“Why is Israel bombing all over the place?” Lerner asked. “Somebody has got to break the cycle, and I think the side that has got to break the cycle is Israel. They talked to Hamas when they wanted to get [kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit] out, didn’t they? How are you going to work out a ceasefire unless you talk to them?”
Asked whether he believes the two-state solution is doomed, Lerner said, “Yes and no. It is doomed if the parties continue on their present path. It is a failure of leadership. Hamas is killing itself. Their supporters in Syria are gone. They don’t have support from their own people.”
As a veteran peace activist, he said, “It is a very sad thing for people like me who have been in support of Israel for all these years. I don’t see that Netanyahu has any idea of what he is trying to achieve. He is locked in to the settler movement, and he is reflexive about whatever Hamas does.”
Lerner added, “It has got to be settled soon because the international community is trying to force everybody to the table.”
Read the entire article online at: http://njjewishnews.com/article/24142/gaza-combat-leaves-zionist-left-conflicted#.U-dv4oVsXcF