Several of you wrote in to say that, based on his spelling and grammar, Rob must not be very bright. My assumption is that English is his second language. Russian is mine – barely. Rob’s English far outshines my Russian.

Another of you wrote to say: ‘Rob’s views are wide-spread enough where they can’t be dealt with by simple ‘Peace, Rob, Peace!’ Takes guns. Arguing with him, though, is useless – no intelligence, just hate. He will only respect force. Israelis understand it, time for American Jews to understand it, too.’

I disagree. Not to say there aren’t terrible closed minds and awful haters out there. But my sense was that if Rob read the column and wrote back – I didn’t know if he would – his tone would be different. Often, when people send heated e-mails, they are, well, not at their best. (I have sent a few of these myself.) Engaging people with respect can sometimes bridge the seemingly unbridgeable.

I’m not saying it was done here, but Rob did read the column and respond:

Thank you for publishing my view. You are saying that Isrealis have been hystorically persecuted and murdered and wars have been raged against them. This is true, and it was nothing good!!! But this is in the PAST. Now Isreal is doing the same thing to the Palestinians. This too is not cool. That of course dos not make others better. We shall be aware that too much of radicalism is no good. Arabs led wars with Isreal becouse it was not a legitimate country at the time and it was installed there by Britain and US. Regardless of the question that Jews always lived in those lands – they did not have a legitimate state there. Now they do. And it is doing well. Except for the radical Jews and businessmen that have no mercy for the Palestinians. I am suspecting Isreal has taken an advantage of them. Those suicidal wrecks are not good. It is a sign that something went wrong. But we won’t find out the truth until both terrorists – Sharon and Arafat – are gone. What I am against is misleading and manipulating the society for religious causes. You said it right: Peace man, peace.


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