Some Israeli history
Dear Editor:As Pope John Paul II declared, attacking Israel is often just a cover for anti-Semitism. I believe this the only explanation possible in the case of Sue Gray (Aspen Times, July 2). Ms. Gray’s hostility to and ignorance of Judaism is only matched by her ignorance of Israeli/Palestinian relations.To address Ms. Gray’s issues with the Jewish Bible first: I have never, ever heard the Jewish conquest of Canaan in 1300 B.C. cited by either a Zionist or by a rabbi, whether reform, conservative or orthodox, as a justification for warring on Palestinian Arabs. However, from the time the Moslems conquered Christian Palestine in 636 A.D. and up to this day, there certainly have been many Palestinian Arabs who have maintained that the Quran gives them the duty to war on infidels.The Jewish Bible, which Ms. Gray has condemned, is the same as the Christian Old Testament and preaches not only the commandment to love one’s neighbors, whoever they may be, but commands Jews to love the stranger as oneself (Leviticus 19 and elsewhere).As to her “issue” that Israel refuses peace with the Palestinian Arabs – the Israeli government made many formal offers to the Arabs beginning in 1948 and continuing to this very day – offering to support a peaceful Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. The over 1 million Arabs who live in Israel have full citizen rights, can and do vote, have Arab members in the Israeli Parliament, and can and do speak out more freely than they can in any of the 20 Arab League countries, who totally refuse them citizenship except for Jordan. Ms. Gray’s sympathies with homeless refugees obviously does not include the nearly 900,000 Jews driven from the many Arab lands after 1948, from lands that Jews had inhabited for centuries before the Arab conquest of the Middle East. In contrast to Israeli peace offers, the Arab League, always aided and abetted by Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization, has warred repeatedly against Israel. Israel was attacked in 1948 by the modern tanks and airplanes of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, supplied to them by the British and French; blockaded in 1957 by Egypt; blockaded again and attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967; attacked again by Egypt and Syria in 1973. The 5 million Jews that live in Israel today have been opposed since 1948 by the over 200 million members of the Arab League – and every attack on Israel has had the active support of Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization.Happily, there is now real hope for peace from the new Palestinian leadership of Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, who ran for office on a peace-with-Israel ticket in the first-ever free Palestinian election. I believe that the average Palestinian has long wanted peace with Israel. Israel traded land for peace with Egypt and Jordan and is currently proposing the same with Mr. Abbas. As Israel has finally gained peace with Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey, so she hopes equally for peace with the Palestinians.Lawrence LadinSnowmass Village
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