Israel not at fault in Mideast conflict
If there`s hope for peace, it involves speaking truthfully and facing historical facts.
October 19, 2007
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan Whitehouse is a resident of North Waterboro.
— The Oct. 9 Maine Voices column by Susan Pastore, “Quest for peace fuels criticism of Israel,“ can only be described as anti-Israel propaganda.
In spite of the name of the group Pastore represents, Maine Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine, neither justice nor peace will be found in opinions with such obvious bias, misstatements, half-truths, inaccuracies and facts taken out of their historical context.
I am appalled on many levels, first and foremost that your paper would print something so inflammatory and unfair against the Jewish people.
I would not expect a responsible editor to print a column about the supremacy of the Aryan race or the virtues of slavery just because it was to be run on the Forum page.
I greatly fear that with the absence of the correct information, Pastore`s distorted view will be read and believed by your readers.
So, to set the record straight: The British withdrew from Palestine in 1947, leaving the people living there, Jews and Arab Palestinians, at war. The United Nations dictated a partition, creating two states equal in land, one for the Jews and another for the Palestinians.
The fact is that it was the Palestinians who refused to accept the U.N. mandate.
The fact is that is was Jordan and Egypt and other Arab countries who called upon the Palestinians to return “home“ to those countries in order to organize and wage war against the new Israeli state.
Which they did, so certain were they of victory and afraid of the reprisals against them by their Arab brethren if they did not.
The fact is that the Palestinians were set up in refugee camps along the borders of those countries and then never allowed to assimilate. They live there in squalor to this day.
The fact is that in 1948, David ben Gurion, Israel`s first president, begged the Palestinians not to go, but to live together with the Jews as brothers.
The fact is that the Arab states instead passed a resolution in the United Nations denying Israel`s right to exist.
The fact is they have vowed to wash Israel and all its people into the sea.
The fact is they have waged a war of terror to meet these goals, downing jetliners, bombing hospitals, schools and buses, and they continue daily bombing from across the border today.
In addition, I am appalled at Pastore`s demagogic rhetoric, inflaming the reader with phrases like “ethnic cleansing“ and “massacres“ and denials of human rights attributed to the Jewish people.
Such words, such untruths, do not denote a quest for peace. Blame-casting and finger-pointing do not bring about peace. A one-sided Alice-through-the-looking-glass view of the conflict does not bring about peace.
The Palestinian and Israeli conflict is a Hatfield-and-McCoy feud on a grand scale. Every death fuels retaliation.
In a war where Israel is outnumbered 5 to 1, I shudder to think of the fate of the Jewish people without U.S. aid and support, and of the repercussions for the region and the world if the enemies bent on Israel`s annihilation were to succeed.
In the 1967 and Yom Kippur (1973) wars, Israel beat back the Arabs and took over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Time and again, Israel has offered to trade back these lands for only one thing — peace.
And that offer has been met with violence and more violence. In fact, Hamas, the elected government of the Palestinian people, refuses even to accept Israel`s right to exist even after Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza.
My hope for peace starts with my hope that the readers of your paper are fair-minded enough to realize that conflict has two sides and that statements presented as facts are not always so. Your paper should be more discriminating regarding the opinions it chooses to print.
— Special to the Press Herald
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