Please allow me to reply to Len Averbuch’s letter criticizing my previous comments concerning the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
As he suggested, he and I should both seek the truth. The truth is that over the last 100 years, certain Jewish leaders have made comments that have called for the elimination of Palestine. This is a reality. Both sides have attempted to instigate clandestine operations in each other’s country. It is also true that Palestinians have fired homemade rockets, with questionable accuracy, into former Palestine villages now occupied by Israelites. These actions were the pretext for the Israeli action, “Operation Case Lead” which killed 1,300 Palestinians, with the very latest weapons supplied by the U.S., while only eight Israelis died.
To suggest that Israel has never made the first move is clearly false. Any cursory “investigation” of even Israeli sources will reveal the truth — try B’Tselem. Mr. Averbuch said that “Israel does not want land.” For nearly 1,000 years, the territory known then as Palestine was largely populated by agrarian Muslims. Even as late as 1847, 97 per cent of the people were non-Jewish (426,908 vs. 13,942). By 1946, as Jews began to move into Palestine after the Second World War, their population was still only less than half that of the Palestinians (1,339,763 vs. 602,586 Jews).
In 1947, at the urging of British and American Zionists, the UN partitioned Palestine, giving 55 per cent of the land to the Jews and 45 per cent to the Palestinians, even though they had more than double the Jewish population. The indigenous Palestinians rejected the division of the land on which they had lived and farmed for centuries, but to no avail. After a two-year Founding War of Independence, from 1947 to 1949, Israel occupied 78 per cent of Palestine. Continued confrontation has resulted in 726,000 Palestinian refugees and the conversion of 400 of their villages to Jewish control.
So now Israel now occupies over 85 per cent of the area that was once Palestine. I would ask readers to put themselves into the place of the Palestinians. Would you stand idly by, watch your villages and farms destroyed, your access to homes blockaded, family members imprisoned, without reacting? But it has been a very one-sided fight with Israeli/U.S. missiles and fighter jets versus Palestinian weapons consisting of homemade rockets and self-immolation. Please check this website to see what these two countries look like today and what is left of Palestine: www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/mapstellstory.html.
Frank Martens, Summerland