Letter — History lesson on Israel
I would like to take this opportunity to correct some inaccuracies in a letter published in the Tribune on May 13. In Corrine Cole’s letter, “Speak out against tyranny,” she poses some questions about the history of the formation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Why, she asks, didn’t any one “question the humanity of the new Israeli nation displacing others to gain land. …” The actual facts about the creation of Israel show that in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, issued on May 14, 1948, language is included to say: “WE APPEAL — in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months — to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.” Rather than wishing to displace the occupants of the land, the new State wished to grant citizenship to them and incorporate them into the fabric of Israeli life. In fact, today the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, mostly Arabs, number about 21.5 percent.
Ms. Cole then asks, “Why did the returning (Jews) Israelis find it necessary to form an army? They had just been the victims of fascists and now were they turning to fascism as a solution?” The facts are that the settlers of the modern Jewish community, from the 1880s on, had found themselves to be constantly under attack, with significant Arab uprisings against them in the 1920s, 1930s, and culminating in attack from the Arab-Palestinian enemy, foreign Arab volunteers and Arab regular armies after November 30,1947, the beginning of the War of Independence. All the Arab neighbors of Israel had sworn to destroy the newly created State and launched an all-out attack on the brand-new country immediately after the UN vote on the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land and the Declaration of Independence.
Finally, I must question Ms. Cole’s assertion that Israel has a policy to decimate the Arab people. From where does she draw this conclusion? In fact, the Israeli people so desperately want to live in peace with all of their neighbors that the vast majority are ready to make almost any concession in order to achieve that peace. This is what Ehud Barak offered to Arafat at Camp David in 2000, an offer that was rejected and answered with the unleashing of torrential storms of suicide/homicide bombers.
South Lake Tahoe
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