Lori Starr, of the Koffler Centre, is wrong to affirm that the Jews are committed to "the existence of Israel as a Jewish state." In fact, this is the most divisive issue among the Jews ever since the unilateral declaration of that state in 1948.
Prominent Jewish thinkers, such as Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber and Albert Einstein, were opposed to the expulsion of local population and to the creation of an ethnic Jewish state. They were not only morally disgusted but also warned it would lead to incessant violence in the Middle East.
Quite a few Jews, including Israelis such as the former Speaker of Israel's parliament, Avraham Burg, deplore the exclusivist Zionist nature of the Israeli state, which they consider to be the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
Support for Israel as a Jewish state may be a core value for the funders of the Koffler Centre, but this a core value neither for Judaism, nor for many Jews. It is a blatantly political opinion that must be recognized as such.
Yakov M. Rabkin, Professor of History, University of Montreal