The decent thing to do | AspenTimes.com

The decent thing to do

Dear Editor:

To understand the conditions under which Palestinians are resisting Israeli occupation, it’s important to have the facts. It doesn’t make sense for letter writers to fabricate information when, in most cases, a simple Internet search will uncover the truth. For instance, the statement that there has never been any “Israeli/Jew/Zionist” terrorism against innocent civilians. Search “Jewish terrorism,” and you’ll find that the Zionist organization Irgun bombed marketplaces, killing Arab civilians. Here are more corrections of misinformation contained in recent letters:

The second Intifada (civilian uprising) wasn’t caused by Arafat’s rejection of a peace offering. It was a reaction to Ariel Sharon accompanied by hundreds of Israeli police, marching to the site of al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and declaring that the Muslim holy site would remain permanently under Israeli control.

Neighboring Arab countries haven’t refused citizenship to Palestinian refugees. The refugees themselves refuse to be assimilated, because they hope, someday, to return to their land in accordance with U.N. Resolution 3236, which reaffirms “the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted.”

When Israel withdrew from Gaza, it didn’t leave “a perfectly functioning infrastructure, a gem of an agricultural establishment.” It destroyed every Jewish home, crop, greenhouse and irrigation system. Gaza’s ills haven’t been caused by Hamas and Fatah. For the past 16 months, in a complete blockade of Gazais borders, Israeli forces have banned or decreased the flow of fuel, medicines and food, causing the Palestinian people sickness and starvation and ruining their economy.

While demanding that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist, Israel has never declared its own borders, paving the way for annexation of the occupied territories, which would leave the Palestinians without the possibility of attaining a nation of their own. Additionally, recognizing Israel would void the Palestinians’ legal right to resist foreign occupation as delineated in the U.N. charter.

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The Palestinians have not rejected all peace negotiations. They accepted the Roadmap for Peace in its entirety, while the Israelis set conditions whereby Israel would retain control over Palestinian territory. Currently, Israel controls water, energy resources, communication and transportation, denying autonomy to the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories. The Palestinians have no citizenship rights because they have no country.

Regardless of how the facts are manipulated to make Israel appear blameless, there is no denying the international community’s denouncement of Israel’s human rights violations. Putting all of the blame on Arafat and the Palestinians is not only deceptive, it’s a dead end.

Peace will never be attained without freedom and justice for all of the area’s inhabitants, regardless of their ethnicity. Israel must be required to end the apartheid and stop the “expansion of their Jewish homeland” into Palestinian territory.

The International Court of Law affirms the right of self determination and the right to an independent state. We, Americans, who believe in law and justice, should support Palestinian’s struggle for freedom and human rights. It’s the decent thing to do.

Sue Gray

Carbondale

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