NEWTON, Mass.–One might refer to retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters as a military Renaissance man. The strategic analyst for Fox News has authored 29 books and novels, including “Cain at Gettysburg,” which earlier this year earned him the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association.
A Pennsylvania native of Welsh and German descent and the son of a coal miner and unsuccessful businessman, Peters is also a vocal supporter of Israel whose career success has been colored by Jewish formative influences.
“I started reading about Maimonides and other Jewish figures,” he told JNS.org. “And when I was at Penn State [University] becoming a writer, Jewish teachers took extra time with me–they saw something.”
In an Oct. 23 briefing in Newton, Mass., organized by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) in memory of General Counsel David Wolf, Peters urged over 200 attendees to renew “the effort to make Israel’s case to the American people.”
“American soldiers have been out in the Iran and Iraq world, and for the last dozen years, they have heard Arabs say they have no problems with America, but just with Israel,” he told the crowd. “It starts sinking in. They start believing that Jews are using America. It’s not epidemic, not virulently active, but it’s there–the question of ‘Why are we supporting Israel?’”
Peters said the 65,000-member CAMERA’s “work exposing dishonesty wherever it is found in the media is absolutely vital.”
The military expert’s talk was admittedly not one laden with solutions.
“I don’t have answers,” he said. “I’m just trying to lay out the problem–the smart people here have the answers. I don’t have a crystal ball. I have a military experience, a pretty good track record of analysis, but I may get it wrong, too.”
One thing Peters is certain of, though, is the need to protect Israel, which he linked closely to the West. “Israel geographically is in the Middle East,” he said. “But in every other respect, it is about 20 miles off the coast of Florida.”
Peters denounced those who associate Israel with Western imperialism.
“They were fighting with homemade weapons against tanks and modern arms,” he said of Israel’s battle for independence. “There are few David and Goliath stories in history that are so inspiring.”
Israel is hated because it is a success story, and its neighbors share humiliation over watching the Jewish state ascend from a collection of kibbutzim to what it is now, Peters said.
“Who started with less than the original Zionist settlers in Israel, not least of which the starving wretched refugees of the Holocaust?” Peters asked. “What did they have in 1947 and 1948, and look at what Israel is today. What a stunning triumph!”
The Arab world with great pride recalls its ancient empires, but since the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press in the mid-15th century, its lead in scientific thought was quashed when writing was unleashed and