Face the facts
In his letter of May 25, A.B. Solomon refers to Israel returning the territories conquered in 1967 as being tantamount to the U.S. returning Texas and California (also conquered) to Mexico. In reality, both would be the noble and just course of action.
Solomon, along with many others, does not want to face certain facts:
1. While Mexico is a large country with abundant natural resources, the Gaza Strip is just that: a densely populated area with desert, olive groves (often destroyed by the Israeli army) and a meager supply of fluvial irrigation frequently cut off — again thanks to the Israeli land masters.
2. This is not the Middle Ages, where territories are conquered, annexed at will and entire populations exiled.
3. Israelis are doing to the Palestinians what the Egyptians did to them 2,000 years ago.
4. It was not God who donated Israel to the Jews. God is not in the real estate business.
As long as Israel has the unconditional support (military and financial) of the United States, it will never give up an inch of usurped land. As long as Israeli prime ministers receive subservient standing ovations in the U.S. Congress, they will never negotiate peace in good faith.
President Obama’s speech declaring U.S. support for a Palestinian state with 1967 borders profoundly displays his character in glaring clarity. It also shows his manipulation of words by omitting facts, which is something of which he is a master.
The fact that he made this speech one day prior to meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu clearly demonstrates Obama’s intentions. Returning to the 1967 border is a death sentence for Israel, our strongest ally. This is what Obama cleverly left out of his speech. Giving back the Golan Heights means giving up their main water supply and their first area of defense against Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Israel in size is one-third the size of Florida. It is a tiny country that has given up too much already.
The so-called Palestinian refugees had the choice to stay in Israel prior to the war in 1948. They were instead led to believe by Arab neighbors that Israel would be defeated and they could return. Israel won the war. The huge Arab countries did not help or absorb the Arab refugees. Instead, they use them to this day as propaganda tools. Even if Israel didn’t exist, the Middle East will never be at peace.
I have heard repeated references to Israel’s indefensible borders by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel currently occupies the Syrian Golan Heights, part of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and the Palestinian city of East Jerusalem. In the recent past, Israel has occupied large swaths of Lebanon, the Egyptian Sinai and the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Given these facts, it would seem to me the only indefensible borders in the region belong to Israel’s neighbors — not to Israel itself.