Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rockets Hurt Arabs More Than Israelis

This letter was published in the Waterbury Republican-American on January 17, 2009. The title was chosen by the editor.

This is in response to the Jan. 14 letter by Judith and Peter Haddad, 'Goals of Israelis, Palestinians need not be incompatible.'

The Israeli Declaration of Independence, issued at the time of Israel's reestablishment, states: 'We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.'

As the Haddads point out, Hamas was elected in Gaza. (Actually, it was elected by all the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.) The Hamas charter states: 'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.'

To be fair, it must be noted the Palestinian Arabs didn't really have a peace party as an alternative.

Hamas' electoral opposition was the 'moderate' Fatah led by Mahmoud Abbas.

The first goal listed in the Fatah constitution is the 'complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.'

The two movements also agree on methods, with Hamas' charter stating: 'Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.' Fatah's says, 'Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.'

The Haddads are right: The goals of the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs need not be incompatible, but they are. As long as Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian Arab terror groups continue with their methods and goals, bloodshed and death for Arabs and Israelis is unavoidable.

The Kassam and Grad rocket at tacks and mortar fire aimed at civilians in southern Israel are designed to terrorize and have made normal life unlivable there for eight years.

Yet the Palestinian Arabs, while responsible for the violence, actually suffer more from it than the Israelis.

It is thus in the true best interests of Palestinian Arabs as well as Israelis that Israel succeed in its cur rent effort to eliminate the rocket fire from Gaza.

America can best serve the true needs and interests of the Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to their unsupportable goals, by standing with Israel, today as it defends itself against Arab terror and always as it tries to persuade the Palestinian Arabs to change their goals to become compatible with peace and brotherhood.

Alan Stein

The writer is president of PRIMER Connecticut (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting;

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