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The crux of the arguments

Reader comment on item: Two Years of Intifada

Submitted by Fred Hauptman (United States), Oct 1, 2002 at 17:38

Dear Sir,

It is obvious that Israel's enemies have not reconciled themselves to the legitimacy of Israel. You have rightly made this point over and over in your many analytical pieces as well as media debates.

The typical response to your point (of not accepting the right of Israel to exist as the root cause of continuing conflict ) is to ignore your argument and to present the participation within the "Oslo accords" and the continuing , but stalled, "peace process" by the leadership of the PA as proof of good faith bargaining and de facto recognition of Israeli rights and legitimacy (notwithstanding the problematic agenda of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejectionists).

The main argument of your critics (as well as many of the critics and all of the enemies of Israel) amounts to 1) the continuing occupation of land conquered in 1967 2) the continuing settlement activity on these lands. Point #1 can be defended and is being defended rationally, logically and morally by people like yourself and others.

However Point # 2 (as regards the settlement issue) is not being addressed very well by any of the defenders of Israel.

It should be stated often and very clearly that :

A) The land area that was identified as "historical Palestine" by the original League of Nations mandate given to England does not authenticate indigenous ownership or aboriginal rights to any one religion/tribe/nation/ethnic group/nationality etc. The Jew and the Arab, the Turk and the Druze, Christian or Samaritan or nomadic Bedouin. All had claims to live and settle in this part of the world.

B) 1 million Arabs (and other non-Jews) are citizens of the Jewish state (Pre 1967) and live safely and comfortably as such. These Arab citizens have a "legal" , "historic", and moral right to live as citizens of Israel.

C) Those Jews (known as settlers) living in West Bank, Gaza or Golan have the same legal, historic and moral right (even though one day they may have to take on other than Israeli citizenship). Why is it so politically correct to call for their ethnic cleansing?
The Arab propaganda machine has convinced almost the entire planet that unless the West Bank and Gaza are Juden-rein, there cannot be any basis for peace in this region. Are Palestinian Arabs so full of murderous rage that they cannot be expected to live in a civil society with a minority of some Jews as their future co-citizens?
What about all their talk about "historic Muslim tolerance for Jews?

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