Israel’s democracy in danger
It would appear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to save Israel is to do so by destroying it.
Netanyahu has engaged in a legal maneuver to insulate himself from ouster as he faces indictment and is attempting to neuter the Supreme Court in deference to his extremist right-wing coalition members.
He is serving to destabilize the country as we have seen in the hundreds of thousands of Israelis repeatedly taking to the streets to express their rage.
Israel’s Arab enemies are certainly licking their chops as they see a country disunited — torn apart by a would-be autocrat and his right-wing henchmen.
One of the hallmarks of our country’s indelible and lasting bond with Israel has been that it is the only democratic ally in the region. As that democracy is in danger of being shredded, relations with the United States and Israel’s donors are endangered.
Summer Lee seems unaware of history of Middle East conflict
Rep. Summer Lee and her woke colleagues seem to be unaware of the history of the conflict between Israel and the Arabs, now the Israel-Palestinian conflict (“Rep. Summer Lee signs letter urging shift in US policy toward Israel,” online, March 30; this issue, Page 1).
Instead of helping the Arabs of Palestine prepare for the self-rule proposed in the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan, Arab states chose to go to war. Although it didn’t prevent the emergence of the modern state of Israel in the Jews’ ancestral homeland, Arab-initiated violence saw Egypt grabbing Gaza and Jordan taking control of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (areas dubbed “The West Bank”).
These illegal occupations continued until 1967 when Jordan allied with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intention of destroying the Jewish state and annihilating her people. Israel prevailed in the Six-Day War, liberating land of historic and religious significance to Jews. Yet, in September 1967, Israel offered to withdraw from newly liberated land in exchange for recognition and peace. The Arab League rejected the offer. No Palestinian leader urged the Arab League to accept the deal so the Palestinians could build their state. Palestinian leaders have also rejected several Israeli and American proposals for ending the conflict.
Following subsequent violence (wars, intifadas, terrorist attacks, missiles being fired at Israeli population centers), Israel signed the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s, affording the Palestinians their first opportunity to live under the administration of leaders of their own choosing. Since 2007, all Palestinians in Gaza have been living under Hamas’ rule. About 95% of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.
Unfortunately, the elected leaders have betrayed their people’s trust, long overstaying their elected terms, enriching themselves by embezzling monies donated for their people’s benefit, and diverting humanitarian aid to efforts to delegitimize and destroy the nation-state of the Jews. The leaders have failed to develop the economies of areas under their administration. Hamas endangers Palestinians by firing missiles at Israeli population centers from Gazan population centers. The PA incites Palestinians to attack and kill Jews, honoring and rewarding those who answer the call.
True supporters of a better life for the Palestinians should be urging Palestinian leaders to begin building the infrastructure required by a viable state and start preparing their people for peaceful co-existence with their Jewish neighbors. The Israeli businesses in the Israeli-administered portion of Judea and Samaria employ both Israeli and Palestinian workers and serve both Israeli and Palestinian consumers. They should be lauded as the first step toward two states for two peoples, a Palestinian state neighboring a Jewish state with members of minority groups having full civil rights in their country of residence.
Toby F. Block