Israel deserves our support

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There's a column on the facing page that we urge you to read. Basically the writer, Michael Freund, asks the question, What have you done for Israel lately?

The column recommends seven steps an ordinary person can take to demonstrate his or her support for the Jewish state.

Many Israelis are looking to us to demonstrate solidarity with them. They feel we have abandoned them because of the cancellation of several teen trips to Israel.

While we support the cancellations because of strong security concerns, we can understand how Israelis might feel. After all, Israelis are living a regular life going to work and school, going to movies and dining at restaurants.

They know where to go and not to go, and what dangers to watch out for. But our young teens wouldn't be as observant. They could easily get in harm's way. It's best if we play it safe for this year.

In the meantime, several adult solidarity trips are being planned this summer to make up for the lack of teen visitors. The Reform movement, which was the first to cancel its teen trip, was also the first to announce a major solidarity trip to Israel.

Not everyone can find the time to go to Jerusalem right now, however. That's where the column on the facing page comes in. There is plenty we can do to help Israel from the comfort of our living room.

We strongly recommend that our readers write letters to their local daily newspapers. While we print many letters to the editor regarding Israel, for the most part the letters you send us on this subject are preaching to the choir.

Non-Jews need to be taught about Israel and the dangers it faces from continued terrorism. They need to be reminded that Yasser Arafat could have had a full peace treaty had he not walked away from negotiations at Camp David.

Try to carve out some time in your week to write a letter to your daily newspaper or take one of the other six steps recommended in the column. Israel deserves our support.