HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

January 26, 2009
From Our Readers

Comment

Re: The Gazan Hell of January 19, 2009

To James Adler:

I'll try to explain it to you briefly.

The Allies won the war-(WWII) and according to all the rules of war had the mandate over much of the middle east.

The UN decided in November of 1947 to partition Palestine. The Jews accepted the decision and the Arab states did not. Arab states attacked Israel especially after the British left in May 1948 and Israel declared its independence. The Arabs lost that war and .subsequent ones (that they had instigated)..and lost land as a result of their attacks  Israel in gaining new territory had no  choice but to occupy the land it captured.., The Arabs, still, would not accept Israel and did everything it could to maim and murder Israeli citizenry.

It was the Arabs who kept their refugees in refugee camps telling them that soon the Arabs would defeat Israel and the Palestinian Arabs could return to their homes in Jaffa, Haifa etc. The Arab states could have settled their “brothers and sisters” years ago but they preferred to use them as pawns in their continuous war against Israel.

Israel does not want to occupy the west bank or Gaza but it has no choice. The Arab plan, to which you alluded, insists that the refugees be permitted to go back to their original homes (a significant condition which you left out) which from a self preservation point Israel cannot permit. They would be a fifth column.

In exchange for true peace Israel would return to the '67 borders, share Jerusalem and force the settlers to leave the west bank-with minor changes. But Hezballah and Hamas are dedicated to the destruction of Israel and it would be foolish and dangerous for Israel not to protect its interests and citizens.

Gaza's destruction is fully the responsibility of Hamas which broke the cease fire and sent rockets into Israel to kill its civilians. The injuries and deaths of the Palestinian Arabs are a terrible result of the war but it was Hamas who put its own people in danger, using them as human shields. It is they who bear full responsibility. In war that is begun by an aggressor there is no "proportionality."

Israel lives in a rough and tough neighborhood and it is about time that the Palestinians began to recognize that Israel could be its best friend and together they can make the middle east blossom.

Until they realize that Israel intends to live in the neighborhood, hopefully in peace, there will be no peace and no proportionality in that part of the world.

Sim Prystowsky
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania


Links to Other Articles

nytimes.com: Letters - The Celebration, and the Work Ahead

weekly.ahram.org: Letters - Give him time


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