Your Turn: Book explains truth to conflict between Israel, Palestine

Firas Abuzaydeh's column on Dec. 3 caused me great concern and, thus, the need to comment.

Mr. Abuzaydeh states that the roots of the conflict between Israel and Palestine provide understanding to the current situation. They do indeed; however, his account is lacking key details.

In his book "Why Nations Go to War," John Stoessinger takes a detailed look at the conflict's roots. Stoessinger notes that the Zionists settled on land purchased from Arab landlords in Palestine and were not illegal aliens as Mr. Abuzaydeh states.

The core of the problem dates back to the Balfour Declaration where Great Britain trapped itself between the Palestinians and the Zionists, to whom they both promised the land. Stoessinger notes that both parties had legitimate claims on the land, and then emotion took over.

Secondly, Mr. Abuzaydeh refers to Palestine as a nation. This is also not true. Palestine is not a nation. The Palestinians have had ample opportunity to achieve this designation, but they have refused (most notably the Oslo Accords).

The Palestinians have long been residents of other nations, but never a nation unto themselves. Interestingly, the Arab nations refused to offer asylum to the Palestinians after Israel was formed, effectively trapping them where they are today.

Thirdly, Mr. Abuzaydeh shows gross negligence by listing dozens of massacres of Palestinians but glossing over similar massacres of Israelis by Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers and terrorists. The massacre of Palestinians is a terrible tragedy but no less a tragedy as when a Palestinian blows up a public area full of Israeli women and children.

Sadly, the attackers are praised as heroes.

Finally, Israel is referred to as an oppressor militarily. A close study of Israel's military history shows every military engagement by Israelis has been defensive or retaliatory to Arab provocation.

The current incursions into Palestinian areas are in direct response to attacks on their citizens from these areas. Israel lives in a land where its neighbors (including the Palestinians) want it destroyed.

Both sides are guilty of spilling blood wrongly.

Peace is contingent on Palestinians ceasing to kill Jews and vice versa.


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