Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

The Intractable Middle East

To The Washington Post, Sept. 6, 2010

Regarding George Bisharat's op-ed, "Israel and Palestine: A true one-state solution": For too long, the debate over how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been frozen in time. It would be as if we were still trying in 2010 to end Jim Crow by designating one or two of the 50 states as "black states" or responding to calls to end apartheid in South Africa by partitioning that country.

Palestinians and Israelis are no different than any other groups of humans on this planet. What works for others will work for them: constitutional guarantees of equality and access to political power exercised for the benefit of all in a non-sectarian state that protects the rights of Jews, Muslims and Christians as citizens regardless of their ethnicity. Only by respecting the rights of all can we begin to unravel the decades of bitterness and bloodshed that will otherwise see no end.

Ali Abunimah, Chicago, IL

Israel Colonizing Palestine

To the Los Angeles Times, Aug. 3, 2010

If President Obama and our government really believe our country supports the rule of law, he must speak out against these home demolitions and other stealing of land from the Palestinians.

As a Jew, I have a hard time justifying the actions of the state of Israel to my non-Jewish friends, who clearly see American hypocrisy in supporting such abuses. How can Obama continue to speak about "shared values" between Israel and the United States?

Lillian Laskin, Los Angeles, CA

How Will Muddled the Picture

To The Washington Post, Aug. 24, 2010

Regarding George F. Will's op-ed "Skip the lecture on Israel's 'risks for peace'":

Mr. Will began by enumerating the number of Israelis killed during the second intifada, while ignoring the far greater number of Palestinians killed during the same period. Rewriting history, including the talks at Camp David in 2000, Mr. Will claimed that Israel captured the occupied territories "in the process of repelling the 1967 aggression." In fact, it was Israel that initiated the 1967 war, not the Arab states.

But the most egregious of Will's many misleading statements was that the "creation of Israel did not involve the destruction of a Palestinian state." While technically correct-there was no Palestinian state prior to the creation of Israel in 1948-it is breathtaking in its intellectual dishonesty. A Palestinian "state" may not have been destroyed, but more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were systematically expelled and more than 400 Palestinian towns and villages wiped off the face of the earth. Today we call this "ethnic cleansing."

Will concluded that "patronizing American lectures" about peace are "obscene." The real obscenity is Will's astonishing ignorance of history and his callous disregard for the suffering of millions of human beings.

Amal Jadou, Washington, DC, PLO's general delegation to the U.S.

On the Eve of Mideast Talks

To The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2010

Thanks for printing "Hamas, the I.R.A. and Us," by Ali Abunimah. Only by including all of the representatives of the Palestinian people, including the democratically elected Hamas, can a durable agreement between Israel and Palestine be worked out.

Negotiations need to be based on the equality of both peoples. The United States needs to become an honest broker and stop acting as Israel's lawyer. If we are to impose preconditions that Palestinian parties need to recognize Israel's right to exist, we must also insist on the same preconditions-that the Israelis recognize Palestine's right to exist.

Better yet, we must insist that both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs have the same rights to exist as equal human beings in the Holy Land: that both people deserve liberty and justice for all.

William L. Dienst Jr., Omak, WA

Victims of War

To The Independent, July 28, 2010

It should come as no surprise that Task Force 373, a clandestine special operations unit, has been accidentally killing Afghan women and children. …

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