Serious conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are best served by facts, not inflammatory rhetoric.
Sadly, Jack Batson’s column (“Time to divest to spur Mideast peace,” July 14) misrepresents recent history and demonizes the Jewish state, thereby coming to biased conclusions. He correctly points out that the Palestinians do not have a state. This is not only due to the recent breakdown of the Kerry negotiations, but also because the Palestinian leadership rejected a United Nations proposed state in 1947, because Yasser Arafat did the same in 2000 and because Mahmoud Abbas similarly rejected a proposed state in 2009.
The sticking point in recent negotiations is not territory, as demonstrated in the past by Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai and Gaza regions, but by the ongoing refusal of the Palestinian leadership to accept making peace with, and recognizing, a Jewish state.
Batson claims Hamas’ supposed willingness to agree to a truce indicates an interest in peace. He should read the Hamas charter, which states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,” and, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Hamas leaders have repeatedly indicated verbally, as well as by kidnappings and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, that the elimination of the Jewish state is their goal.
Israelis want peace. The past four prime ministers of Israel, including Netanyahu, have all endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state. Israelis also want to know that any territory they evacuate will not be turned into another haven for rockets aimed at their cities.
Solano County residents would not tolerate an extremist enclave in Sacramento launching rockets every 10 minutes at Vacaville and Fairfield. Local families would not tolerate having to run with their children into bomb shelters at any hour of the day or night, with only 15 seconds of warning. Israelis will not tolerate that life, either.