July 17, 2019 | 92° F

Israeli policies react to volatile situation

I am writing in response to the opinion piece "Lieberman influencing Israeli politics," which appeared on Feb. 25. I am not here to condone or defend all of Lieberman's policies, but the people voted for him for a reason. He received 15 seats in the Israeli Parliament because he is not afraid to voice his opinion when many citizens are still living in fear from the continuing violence from Gaza. People were fed up with the current situation: a government that doesn't defend its citizens and a peace process with no serious partners, and he represents a fresh approach to Israeli politics.

There is some logic in Lieberman's policies. The Arab Knesset members that he wanted to ban had ties with terrorist groups such as Hamas and visited countries that are not at peace yet with Israel, such as Syria and Lebanon. Why have people in the government who don't believe the state has a right to exist? I am not saying there is no such thing as dual loyalty. You can be proud of your heritage and still live and feel connected to the country you are living in. There are many Arab Israelis who enjoy living in Israel, but Lieberman is talking about the people who pose a threat to its existence and conspire for its destruction.

The article speaks of "relative quiet," but when 2-3 Kassam rockets are shot at Israel every day since they stopped Operation Cast Lead more than a month ago, I say there is no calm. The Israeli public wants a change and hopes for more peaceful times. Just like America voted for President Barack Obama for change, Israel voted more "right wing" this election because they also needed a change and what they were trying before did not work.

It is easy to condemn Israeli policies from our comfortable homes in America, where we enjoy such luxuries as peaceful borders and don't have to deal with a deep political and religious regional conflict. But before you flat out criticize certain policies, try to understand where they are coming from. Instead of wishing for the government to fail, we should hope that it succeeds and brings peace and security to Arabs and Israelis alike.

Avi Gilboa is a School of Engineering junior majoring in mechanical engineering.

Avi Gilboa

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