Monday, January 02, 2006

109. Letter to the Editor V

The letter "Occupation of Palestine started 30 years before suicide bombings" (Dec. 4) argues that the suicide bombings are a result of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Khaled Zayed wrote that the Palestinian violence is the result of the checkpoints Israel has set up. This confuses cause and effect. The Palestinian violence against Israel began with the establishment of Israel. The suicide bombings are the latest form of continuing violence against Israel that has taken many forms since 1948. The Israeli checkpoints are a response to that violence.
Zayed claims that if only Israel would leave the areas it occupied in the wake of the 1967 war, a defensive war on Israel's part, all would be well and then "both sides can live in peace." Omitted is the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed in 1964 with the stated goal being the destruction of Israel. At that time, the West Bank was part of Jordan and the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt.
Israel is obligated to protect itself and its citizens. When terror stops, there will be no checkpoints, because they will not be needed. This will happen only when the Palestinians finally accept the permanence of Israel. Only then will both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, be able to "live in peace."
(Printed in today's Anchorage Daily News. My father helped me write it.)

good letter
The Palestinians that I know want simply to return to the land from which they were dispossessed in 1948 and to be left in peace...

Have you actually been to Israel?
This is in response to anonymous above. I am a Christian who loves the Jewish people and can see the hand of G-d on them as a nation. I am also from Arab descent, and have relatives in the area so I guess I kind of have an objective view. I am rewriting these comments from a paper that someone wrote. There are 20 points in the paper, but I am only listing 4.

Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 B.C. lasted no more than 22 yrs.

In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by the Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. 68% left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since WWII, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

The Jews that I know want simply to occupy the land that that was theirs since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.

FYI Northernmost, great article!
To anonymous #1: Since Amy (i.e. Northernmost), hasn't responded yet, I'll tell you that she did spend a year in Israel as a college student. I've been to Israel eight or nine times. The letter written by anonymous #2 is accurate and to the point.
What Ima said
OK, here's how I see it...
You're an Arab farmer, living on a small piece of land with olive trees and a modest house... going about your daily life, harming no-one and then all of a sudden, it is declared that you are to be included in a new state with a Jewish govt, and by whose authority? Wouldn't that be kind of hard to accept? Wouldn't you be afraid? Suppose the Native Americans took back Manhattan? Or the Australian Aboriginals re-possessed Canberra? Or the Welsh took back London? and so on and so on...
Historically speaking (and correct me please if I am wrong), Moses led the people of Israel to a land already occupied by Canaanites... and, excuse me for saying that the Jewish God 'apparently' promised the land to the wandering tribes... that doesn't much to me as a Buddhist.
All I can say is 'By Whose Authority' if you are not Jewish?
Please understand that I was an ardent supporter of the State of Israel through the 70's, my despair and disillusionment came with the invasion of Lebanon and subsequent right-wing Israeli policies that turned a proud and heroic state that defended the Jewish people into a bullying tyrant, that raised soldiers to shoot children and peace activists and bulldoze innocent people's homes
I would like to see peace... Jews, Arabs, Christians (and Buddhists) living together, respecting each other, but I fail to see how the continuing policy of building walls, harrassing civilians, occupying land, can lead to peace... all it achieves is to raise a generation of martyrs
No, I do not support suicide bombers, nor terrorists, or violence in any shape or form.

Is it not time for people of vision and love to say 'Enough already!' and to reach out in peace? Someone has to be big enough to take the first step

Again, I speak with respect for all people's beliefs and sensibilities and Gods...

Anonymous 1
We would all like to see peace. Too bad we aren't all perfect and truly loving others more than ourselves. If so, I would't have to lock my doors when I leave the house. If so, parents would't get divorced. If so, people wouldn't be starving while others own computers.

When you fix these problems, then you may be able to tackle the problem of wars between nations.
"Crime, divorce, starvation" war, they are all manifestations of the worst of human nature but it doesn't have to be so
We all have the ability to be good, honest, caring people
We can all feel compassion for the rest of the planet
If people were to make a few changes, reach out, listen to the problems of others, take on a few of their burdens, care a little more... then we could start to redeem our race...
It isn't about perfection... that, by it's very nature is unattainable
It's about mindfulness, awareness, caring and compassion
Being nice to the person who serves you in a shop, smiling at a stranger, sponsoring a child, caring for your family and neighbours
Listening to your enemies...
Building bridges and not walls

We are all linked by the spark of life, we all have the power to change the world


Anonymous #1
It's a good letter, but there is one mistake in it: Arab terrorism against Jews in the land of Israel predates the Jewish state. Check out
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