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 Truth About the Occupation

To The Santa Fe New Mexican, Feb. 8, 2016

Regarding a recent news article published in The New Mexican ("Netanyahu: U.N. leader wrong to fault West Bank settlements amid violence," Jan. 29): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was simply speaking the truth when he said it was "human nature to react to occupation." While he also hastened to condemn the recent wave of Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians, he added, "Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of half a century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded by saying, "The words of the U.N. Secretary-General give a tailwind to terrorism," having earlier in the week rebuked U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro for saying Israel's settlement policy raised "honest questions about Israel's long-term intentions." In order to crush the fading hopes for a just and lasting two-state solution, this Israeli government censures those who refuse to countenance illegal settlement encroachments into Palestinian areas. In this Manichean world of sacrosanct, warring narratives, the truth is out but must be beaten back by this fiercely nationalistic state so devoted to delusional thinking.

Barbara Allen Kenney, Santa Fe, NM

Peace Process Is Untenable

To the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Jan. 12, 2016

In their exchange about the Palestinian conflict, neither Vijay Prashad nor Rabbi Justin David mentions the continuing expansion of the Israeli settlements and the Israeli government policy of supporting the expansion. This expansion has reached the point where it makes a viable Palestinian state impossible.

This leaves three choices:

* Remove the settlements or place them under the authority of a Palestinian state.

* Create a new state encompassing all of Israel and the West Bank with Arabs as equal citizens.

* Continue the occupation-with its denial of resources to Palestinians and brutalization of both Palestinians and Israelis.

The first of these is politically impossible in Israel. The second would mean abandonment of the dream of a Jewish state, dear to most Israelis, and also politically impossible. The third continues the unpalatable status quo, which appalls the rest of the world.

There is no way that the peace programs that Rabbi David rightly extols can change this reality. Many of us fear future catastrophe.

Bruce Hawkins, Northampton, MA. The writer is an emeritus professor of physics at Smith College.

The Occupation Is the Problem

To the Oakland Tribune, Jan. 7, 2016

The author of the Dec. 31 letter, "Resolutions real cause of Mideast violence," failed to admit that Israel's hegemony and cruelty of its occupation are the causes of violence.

The Palestinians have been struggling for 48 years against Israel's cruel military occupation. Israel demolishes homes, confiscates lands and uproots olive trees. It violates Palestinians' human rights with blessings from the White House and Congress. The U.S. gives Israel annually more than $3.1 billion of military aid.

The Israelis have tear gas, tanks, jet fighters and sophisticated weapons; the Palestinians do not. The Palestinians' weapons are stones-and recently they have started using knives-because they live in despair.

When I watch on the news our police killing African Americans, I envision the Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian youths and children. In both cases, there is no justice. Some online sites report that U.S. police travel to Israel to learn methods of brutal repression.

The Israeli army terrorizes the Palestinians at their homes and checkpoints. Ehud Barak, ex-Israeli prime minister, said in 1998 that if he was a Palestinian of the right age, he'd eventually join one of the terrorist organizations.

Nabil Wahbeh, Oakland, CA

Respect Is Key for Iran

To The New York Times, Jan. …

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