Irwin Levine is well-intentioned, but his analysis of the situation is incorrect (“Don’t Give Up on Peace,” Letters to the Editor, July 14). Israel is not responsible for the Palestinians’ suffering; they are being used as cannon fodder in a propaganda campaign and war of terror being waged against Israel.
The 800,000 Jews expelled from their homes in Muslim countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the decade after Israel’s rebirth were quickly absorbed and uplifted by Israel; their descendants now form the majority of Israel’s Jewish population.
In contrast, the descendants of Arabs who fled the 1948 Arab-initiated war aimed at preventing Israel’s rebirth are still living in refugee camps, denied citizenship and economic opportunity in many of the very countries that expelled their Jews.
The Palestinian leadership insists that Israel must take in the “refugees.” But they will not become citizens in any state that the leaders may ever deign to establish, the idea being that either Israel will be destroyed by acts of war or cease to be a Jewish state when it is overrun by millions of people who have been raised in a society that reserves its highest honors for those who have murdered Jews and provides the murderers and/or their families with generous stipends.
Muslim leaders are determined to keep the “refugees” poor and easily manipulated. In 1968, after the Arab League rebuffed Israel’s offer to withdraw from land liberated in the Six-Day War, Israel attempted to improve the conditions in the refugee camps. Muslim nations persuaded the United Nations to condemn the plans and stop their implementation.
In the early 2000s, Salam Fayyad, as the finance minister for the Palestinian Authority, attempted to improve the economy of the West Bank. His efforts were so successful that the Palestinian leaders in Gaza and the West Bank had a mini-reconciliation, during which they agreed on only one point: Fayyad needed to be ousted.
As part of the 2005 unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, American Jews purchased state-of-the-art greenhouses from the farmers of Gush Katif and gifted them to the people of Gaza, in an attempt to jump-start the Gazan economy. Palestinians destroyed all the greenhouses.
Plans to construct a joint Israeli-Gazan industrial park near the border had to be abandoned because the site was so often the target of missile fire from Gaza.
While the world complains of Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza, Israel sends tons of supplies into Gaza every day. Does any right-minded person think that Israel should not try to stop the flow of munitions into Gaza?
Shouldn’t sane people agree that security needs to be stepped up at the entrances to the Temple Mount, from which Muslims have been throwing rocks and firebombs at Jews worshipping at the Western Wall for decades, not to mention the automatic weapons, hidden on the holy site, recently used to gun down two Israeli policemen.
Israel doesn’t need to be lectured about showing concern for the Arab people. Mr. Levine’s comments should have been directed at the Palestinian leadership and that of the broader Muslim world.
— Toby F. Block, Atlanta
Extra Bit of Good
Just a note that Bobby Nooromid (“Jewish Atlanta’s 40 Under 40,” July 14) is also a frequent blood and platelet donor. So while he has been honored with a mention in the AJT, he also has saved a bunch of lives.
— Bob Frohlich, Marietta