Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas celebrates in Ramallah… (Nasser Shiyoukhi / Associated…)
Several readers responded to Venice resident Gary Dalin's Dec. 5 letter to the editor defending Israel for withholding Palestinian tax revenue. Dalin wrote:
"Despite the fact that the charters for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas call for the destruction of Israel, out of its humanitarian nature Israel provides their power, water, currency, ports and many other vital services. The only service now being withheld is Israel's no-interest lending."
Here is a selection of the responses:
Its supply of crucial services lies not in Israeli generosity but in its malevolence toward Palestine. Israel denies Palestinians the ability to govern independently and supply those very services themselves. Israel neither recognizes nor respects Palestine's borders, having blockaded its seaports, erected a security wall and built settlements within its territory.
If these are the signs of support for a two-state solution, one wonders what Israel would do to abort a nascent Palestinian state.
Dalin believes Israel has treated the ungrateful Palestinians humanely.
In 1947, the United Nations awarded 55% of Palestine to the Jewish minority and the rest to the Muslim-Christian majority. Both sides were dissatisfied. In 1948, the Jews settled the matter by seizing 78% of Palestine after being invaded. In 1967, the Israelis completed their conquest by starting a war with Egypt, Syria and Jordan on the pretext that those states were about to attack Israel.
Most of the civilized world supports a two-state solution based on Israeli boundaries described by the internationally recognized 78% of Palestine it seized in 1948.
Palestinian leaders recognize they will never have their own state without the active participation of the United States. Unfortunately, considering the sway Israel has over our politics, the likelihood of this happening soon is remote.
I am a veteran of three wars. I am no foreign policy pro, but I do claim to have witnessed the foreign policy brilliance of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and George Marshall. I believe this is how they would have handled today's Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
They and their Israeli allies would not alienate the rest of the world. They would develop another Marshall Plan for the Mideast, bringing hope to the Israelis and the Palestinians. Working together, the U.S. and Israel — just as European leaders did with us after World War II — would assist with the Palestinians' goal of bringing prosperity to their citizens, the kind of reform that doesn't stoke desires to bomb your neighbors.
There are good and bad people in all societies. Give the good people in Palestine the opportunity to take down the bad among them.
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