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December 4, 2012

Israel is at fault for lack of peace

Israel is at fault

for lack of peace

Sam Pollak’s column (Commentary, (11/24-25) expresses the sadness of the current situation in Gaza-Israel, but I disagree with his reasoning on its cause and cure. If the Hamas attacks are folly, so has been Israeli policy. Mr. Pollak forgets the scorched-earth policy of Israel – the homes bulldozed, the ancient olive groves pulled up, the control points, water appropriation and the general harassment of the Arab population. There’s also the massive retaliation. In 2008 the Israeli invasion of Gaza killed over 1,300 people against 13 Israelis, a ratio of 100 to 1. The current strife shows a ratio of 22 to 1, which is still disproportionate if not immoral.

A recent editorial in Commonweal magazine points out that although Israel cries Peace! Peace! “…under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israel has never proposed a plausible resolution of the conflict. In fact, at every opportunity Netanyahu has sabotaged progress toward a two-state solution. At this very moment Jewish settlements are being expanded on the West Bank.”

With such provocation, the Hamas folly is not surprising. Add to it a wall that incorporates 10 percent of the Palestinian land into Israel. “Hamas is the only one with a choice,” says Mr. Pollak. This is not so. Israel has a choice to sincerely work for peace. The true key to Israel’s security is resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which Israel is reluctant to do. The picture adjoining Mr. Pollak’s column indicates what lies ahead for Israel if there is no resolution – future Arab generations raised with the desire for vengeance for the wrongs suffered, and a conflict continuing far into the future. Neither the friends of Palestine nor of Israel want that.

John Ryan


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