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The only way to peace in the Middle East  

Your correspondent A Soudry (Letters, March 10) has a very selective historical memory. When the Israelis left Gaza, far from "leaving behind a viable industry and habitations", they smashed what they couldn't take and by their control of entry and exit points ensured that no viable Palestinian businesses could survive. They merely created another prison, but in this case one in which they took no responsibility for the welfare of the prisoners. In their concentration camps in Israel for Palestinian freedom fighters, they at least provide food and water.

In the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Israel, it is salutary to remember that this very birth resulted from the application of terrorism. As Menachem Begin boasted in 1946 after the murder by Irgun of 98 people in the King David Hotel: "We created the method of the urban guerilla." In the same year, the American Jewish writer, Ben Hecht, wrote: "Every time you let go with your guns and bombs at the British . . . the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts." Since this was in an open Letter to the Terrorists (by which he meant Irgun), supporting the killing of British servicemen, it might behove Mr Soudry to be less triumphalist about plucky little Israel and nasty terrorists.

J W Morrison, 9 Bryce Road Currie, Edinburgh.

A Soudry claims ceasefire offers from Hamas can't be trusted. Hamas at least says a ceasefire must involve an end to violence by both sides. The late Israeli Professor, Tanya Reinhardt, pointed out Israeli governments have said they'll only accept a ceasefire that allows continued illegal Israeli assassinations by missile strike of Palestinians suspected of terrorism, which predictably often kill nearby civilians. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev reiterated this position in March.

Add Comment

Posted by: britfree, camelon on 1:10am Mon 12 May 08

if people cant see after 60 years the dark evil at the heart of zionism. the palestinians will be condemened to their living hell for another generation . any ideology that can only be realized on the back of punishment rapes . emasculation group torture as was well documented in the forties . is a wicked ideology and i for one wish only its defeat

if people cant see after 60 years the dark evil at the heart of zionism. the palestinians will be condemened to their living hell for another generation . any ideology that can only be realized on the back of punishment rapes . emasculation group torture as was well documented in the forties . is a wicked ideology and i for one wish only its defeat

Quote | Report this post

Posted by: fivish, UK on 10:59am Mon 12 May 08

Israel was RE-constituted in International Law. No Arab land was confiscated or taken by force. The Arabs were merely tennants whose freeholders sold the property to the Jewish National Fund. Those Arabs have no rights whatsever to the properties they pine over. What you omit are the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab countries with their properties stolen by the Arab states. Israel has every right to celebrate 60 years of freedom in its ancient homeland. The Arabs need to get over themselves and enjoy the prosperity that the Jews have brought to the land. The Arabs destroy while the Jews build.

Israel was RE-constituted in International Law.
No Arab land was confiscated or taken by force.
The Arabs were merely tennants whose freeholders sold the property to the Jewish National Fund.
Those Arabs have no rights whatsever to the properties they pine over.
What you omit are the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab countries with their properties stolen by the Arab states.

Israel has every right to celebrate 60 years of freedom in its ancient homeland. The Arabs need to get over themselves and enjoy the prosperity that the Jews have brought to the land.

The Arabs destroy while the Jews build.

Quote | Report this post

Posted by: Dave2007, Glasgow on 5:40pm Mon 12 May 08

We can spend the future talking about all the rights and wrongs from the past from both sides in the Middle East dispute, and there will be no progress made which will benefit either side. The palestinians obviously live the way they want to live, or they would do what the sensible ones amongst them do and that is get out and live in the west. Who wants to live in a Refugeee Camp for 60 years. Never mind there is not too much longer to wait, once those very nice Iranians have some operational nuclear weapons they will fire them, you know where, and then there wont be any Iran anymore or much of the Mid-East.

We can spend the future talking about all the rights and wrongs from the past from both sides in the Middle East dispute, and there will be no progress made which will benefit either side. The palestinians obviously live the way they want to live, or they would do what the sensible ones amongst them do and that is get out and live in the west.

Who wants to live in a Refugeee Camp for 60 years.

Never mind there is not too much longer to wait, once those very nice Iranians have some operational nuclear weapons they will fire them, you know where, and then there wont be any Iran anymore or much of the Mid-East.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane, Carluke on 6:12pm Mon 12 May 08

re Britfree : I agree with you that torture and extreme nationalist versions of Zionism are wrong. On the other hand i can understand why many Jews believed they needed their own state given the history of pogroms and the Holocaust. Zionism at its core - the belief in the right of a Jewish state to exist - is not necessarily evil. There are Israelis who believe in their own state's right to exist but try to defend the Palestinians from oppression. Most people (including me) would think a multinational, secular state of Arabs and Jews, Christians and Muslims would be better - but if Israelis and Palestinians want separate states its up to them to choose. -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------- re Fivish :The UN resolution that established Israel's right to exist in just over half the former British Mandate of Palestine also established an Arab state in just under half the area. In the 1948 war and the 1967 war Israeli forces annexed much more than this (over 70%) and occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Arabs were forced out by massacres and the fear of them, as even ardently Zionist Israeli historians such as Benny Morris admit. Much Arab land had been bought up previously - but that hardly makes forcing people out of the country at gunpoint legal or morally right. There was no 're'constitution of Israel - this was not the re-establishment of the Biblical state of Israel by the UN, but of a new state with different borders. The prosperity of Israel is largely due to foreign subsidies - first from Zionists worldwide and then from the US. Palestinians have little reason to celebrate it since they are denied any share of it except as cheap labour (and recently not even that). Israel has every right to exist but no right to collectively punish the entire Palestinian population (including children) for the actions of a minority, nor to deny Palestinians their own state - or else full citizenship and voting rights in a common state. There were certainly hundreds of thousands of Jews forced out of Arab countries - as revenge for the Arabs forced out of Palestine. This was just as wrong as expelling the Palestinians and two wrongs don't make a right - but thankfully most of these Jewish exiles did well in Israel, Europe or the US - while most Palestinians remain living under military occupation, many in refugee camps. -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------- Re Dave 2007: The Palestinians want their own state - just as the Israelis in 1948 wanted their own state. Why the double standard Dave that says Israelis were right never to give up on getting their state while Palestinians should go into exile? Despite the repressive government in Iran the scare stories about Iran using nuclear weapons are ridiculous. Iran has no nuclear weapons - Israel does. Even if Iran were to get nuclear weapons its governments have never shown any wish for national suicide - and even Ahmadinejad (who as President has almost no power in the Iranian system of government) was misquoted - he never said Israel would be 'wiped off the map' - he quoted what Khomeini and his successors had said since 1979 - that he hoped 'the regime ruling over Jerusalem will be erased from the pages of time' - and later, in an interview with a French TV channel, clarified that he meant in the same way the Soviet Union had ceased to exist - by the decision of its own population - Jewish, Muslim and Christian.

re Britfree : I agree with you that torture and extreme nationalist versions of Zionism are wrong. On the other hand i can understand why many Jews believed they needed their own state given the history of pogroms and the Holocaust. Zionism at its core - the belief in the right of a Jewish state to exist - is not necessarily evil. There are Israelis who believe in their own state's right to exist but try to defend the Palestinians from oppression. Most people (including me) would think a multinational, secular state of Arabs and Jews, Christians and Muslims would be better - but if Israelis and Palestinians want separate states its up to them to choose.
--------------

re Fivish :The UN resolution that established Israel's right to exist in just over half the former British Mandate of Palestine also established an Arab state in just under half the area. In the 1948 war and the 1967 war Israeli forces annexed much more than this (over 70%) and occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Arabs were forced out by massacres and the fear of them, as even ardently Zionist Israeli historians such as Benny Morris admit. Much Arab land had been bought up previously - but that hardly makes forcing people out of the country at gunpoint legal or morally right.

There was no 're'constitution of Israel - this was not the re-establishment of the Biblical state of Israel by the UN, but of a new state with different borders.

The prosperity of Israel is largely due to foreign subsidies - first from Zionists worldwide and then from the US. Palestinians have little reason to celebrate it since they are denied any share of it except as cheap labour (and recently not even that).

Israel has every right to exist but no right to collectively punish the entire Palestinian population (including children) for the actions of a minority, nor to deny Palestinians their own state - or else full citizenship and voting rights in a common state.

There were certainly hundreds of thousands of Jews forced out of Arab countries - as revenge for the Arabs forced out of Palestine. This was just as wrong as expelling the Palestinians and two wrongs don't make a right - but thankfully most of these Jewish exiles did well in Israel, Europe or the US - while most Palestinians remain living under military occupation, many in refugee camps.
--------------------

Re Dave 2007:

The Palestinians want their own state - just as the Israelis in 1948 wanted their own state. Why the double standard Dave that says Israelis were right never to give up on getting their state while Palestinians should go into exile?

Despite the repressive government in Iran the scare stories about Iran using nuclear weapons are ridiculous. Iran has no nuclear weapons - Israel does. Even if Iran were to get nuclear weapons its governments have never shown any wish for national suicide - and even Ahmadinejad (who as President has almost no power in the Iranian system of government) was misquoted - he never said Israel would be 'wiped off the map' - he quoted what Khomeini and his successors had said since 1979 - that he hoped 'the regime ruling over Jerusalem will be erased from the pages of time' - and later, in an interview with a French TV channel, clarified that he meant in the same way the Soviet Union had ceased to exist - by the decision of its own population - Jewish, Muslim and Christian. 

  

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/letters/display.var.2263162.0.The_only_way_to_peace_in_the_Middle_East.php 

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