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Letter: Israel has not pre-empted creation of Palestinian state

Israel has not pre-empted creation of Palestinian state

A letter published recently presented several erroneous assertions about Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that require correction. First of all, it was mistakenly asserted that Netanyahu and Israel have “pre-empted” the possibility of a Palestinian state by “continuously” building homes and communities for Israeli Jews in Judea and Samaria. Yet virtually all of this construction has occurred within extant Israeli towns there, which take up only 2 percent of Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu has already agreed to cede parts of Israel to the Palestinians in exchange for any territory in Judea and Samaria on which Israelis continue to reside, following a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This in no way pre-empts the formation of a peaceful Palestinian state.

The letter wrongly asserted that “Israeli soldiers [are not] likely to remove” Israelis “from the land.” Yet Israel has a track record of completely uprooting thousands of Israelis, and entire cities in Sinai (1982) and Gaza (2005) in service of seeking peace. Those Israeli towns that lie outside of the areas that are likely to remain under Israeli control certainly will be candidates for similar evacuations, at great social and economic cost to Israel.

Mistakenly, the letter cast doubt on the fact that Judea and Samaria were “liberated” by Israel in 1967. Yet even a cursory reading of history reveals those territories, parts of which were meant for a Palestinian state, were illegally occupied by Jordan in 1949. Jordan never permitted any Palestinian self rule, and only under Israeli aegis have Palestinians had any self government or made any progress toward their own state.

There is nothing inherently contradictory in the possibility that the democratic and Jewish state of Israel can exist next to a peaceful neighboring state of Palestine, when (and not until) Palestinians show they are ready for peaceful coexistence.

Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D.