An Open Letter From an American Who Prevented Peace In The Middle East

Watching the peace process unfold between the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis could be described as something along the lines of a romantic comedy combined with serious tragedy. There is really no other way to define a situation where The Secretary of State of the most powerful democratic country in the world says things like “Unfortunately, prisoners were not released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released” (all the prisoners have blood on their hands). A situation where the chief negotiator for the for the Palestinian Authority says things like “The meeting was long and difficult contrary to our expectations”- after meeting with the Israelis and Americans to discuss solving what is arguably one of the more complex conflicts the past nearly 70 years. We also heard Israeli leaders such as Isaac Herzog call right wing parties in Israel “fascist” in front of the largest Pro-Israel lobby in the world (AIPAC), in a speech that attempted to emphasize Israel’s diversity. Really, watching the interaction between those that claim to be lovers of peace the last few months has been nothing short of amusing.

However, this entertaining round of talks came virtually to an end this week after the sides seemed to have reached a stalemate. As John Kerry put it,

700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was sort of the moment. We find ourselves where we are.

After reading our Secretary of State’s statements and after getting over their poetic nature, I stopped, took a breath, and realized that apparently I, Ron Feingold, was directly responsible for the lack of peace in the Middle East.

I was born, and spent my early years, in Pisgat Ze’ev- a neighborhood in Eastern Jerusalem where 40 of the “700 settler units” were being built. My grandparents currently live in neighborhoods called the “French Hill” and “Ramot”, two more areas that are currently being built. And according to Secretary of State Kerry, it was the existence of those neighborhoods that ended this round of peace talks. Specifically, the fact that Jews such as I once lived in places like Pisgat Ze’ev is what has led to the hundreds of suicide bombings, thousands of rockets, countless deaths, and calls to drive the Jews out into the sea that Israel has seen the past 66 years. More importantly it is the the building of homes for Jews such as my family, friends, my old neighbors, teachers, doctors and so many more- that will lead to more calls for annihilation, continued lack of recognition of the state of Israel, more burnt flags, more condemnations, more hate, more deaths and more cries of “Itbach Al Yahud” (slaughter the Jew) being yelled in rallies throughout the globe. In short, According to the Secretary of State of the most powerful country in the world- the mere existence of a Jew in the Jewish Capital has caused war and hate.

The Eastern Jerusalem Neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev
The Eastern Jerusalem Neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev

Kerry’s comments however, were not said in a vacuum, they came after the Palestinian Authority released  a new set of demands last week that must be met in order for the peace process to not go “poof”. Demands that included the release 1200 Palestinian prisoners- including Marwan BarghoutiFuad Shubaki and Ahmad Saadat. Giving the Palestinian Authority complete control of the entirety of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), grant Palestinians the “right of return”, and of course- stop building in Eastern Jerusalem and declare it the capital of the future Palestinian state – so a Palestinian flag will fly over the western wall (in the name of peace of course).

This of course was followed by the vow Mahmoud Abbas gave to the world- that future Palestine will have no Israeli in its borders- it will be Judenfrei – Literally cleansed of Jews.,

pisgat zeev1

My heart sank and my jaw dropped after I realized the damage the mere existence of my relatives and I has done to the stability of the world. Now, thanks to John Kerry I can see clearly. Apperantly, due to the fact that Jews exist in Jerusalem and the rest of ancient Judea and Samaria, we prevent peace and are what leads to war.

As Kerry has said in regards to the potential of ending his peace talks before another another prisoner release:

“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos, “I mean does Israel want a third Intifada?” “Israel says, ‘Oh we feel safe today, we have the wall. We’re not in a day to day conflict’,“I’ve got news for you. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s…”

Well Mr. Kerry, I have got news for you. The idea that the mere presence of a Jew in Judea and Samaria is the reason why there is no peace in the Middle East is ludicrous, absurd, and unjustifiable. The man that goes to AIPAC’s policy conference to speak in front of the largest pro-Israel gathering in the world- and talks about King David- claims that the fact the Israeli government does not want to stop building the city that King David built is the obstacle for peace. Trying to blame the BUILDING OF HOMES in Jerusalem for the lack of peace in the Middle East shows both a incompetency and disillusion on the part of the current administration.

As someone that grew up during the second intifada in Israel I know how nasty the conflict between the two people can get. I know what it’s like to be scared to get on a bus or go to a movie because of fear of an attack. There is nothing I want to see in the world more than peace- but peace will not come with a “poof”, it will come when both sides can coexist side by side. If a Judenfrei Jerusalem is needed for “peace” it is more than insanity to think that the peace will be a lasting one. This letter is not intended to put down anyone who wants peace or believes in its power. However, REAL peace will only come when we learn to stand up to terrorism and hypocrisy on behalf of the truth. Justice, Justice we shall pursue, and only that will give us the REAL peace we want.


Ron Feingold

About the Author
Ron Feingold is the Director of Public Relations and Journalism for Students Supporting Israel- an international organization founded in Minnesota. While presiding over the University of Minnesota Chapter of Students Supporting Israel he also serves as an Emerson fellow for StandWithUs, a Hasbara Fellow, Liason to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as well as the Myron Zimmerman Award winner from the ZOA. Having been trained by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, his work has been published in the Times of Israel, Truth Revolt, Campus Reform, the Minnesota Daily, the MN Republic and more. His political work includes being an intern for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and an intern for Senate candidate Mike McFadden.