July 22, 2018 | ° F

Israel provides reason for support

The author of Monday's letter titled "Israel has enough support from United States" made startling accusations against the state of Israel. I feel compelled to respond to this letter because the question of Israel's right to self-defense and right to exist is the most obvious moral question of our time.

The author's worst moral equivalence was the explicit comparison between Palestinians and Jews who were victims of the Nazi genocide. Implicitly, this comparison can be carried to compare Israeli occupying forces in the West Bank and Nazi Gestapo's who rounded up Jews, Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals and other undesirables. This is a sickening comparison because there is no legitimate comparison to be made. The land that Israel currently occupies was never a part of a Palestinian homeland. Between the years 1948 and 1967, Jordan occupied this territory much in the same way Israel currently does. In 1967, after winning a decisive victory in a defensive war against Arab aggressors, Israel liberated Jerusalem and conquered the rest of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. Israel did not want this war to occur, nor has it wished for any war during its existence. Israel has since given up most of the conquered territory in return for the promise of peace. The author makes no reference to Israel's sacrifices, but he does reference the United Nations partition of the Palestinian mandate. Again, he fails to mention that the Jews accepted the partition, while their Arab neighbors rejected it. Is this at all analogous to the Holocaust? No. In fact, in 1941, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni met with Adolf Hitler to plan the Fuhrer's conquest of Palestine. Hitler planned on making the Mufti a puppet of Hitler's vassal state, and the two men planned on establishing death camps in the holy land.

The author writes that the possibility of Israel offering the West Bank to the Palestinians is as likely as the "the United States giving back land stolen from the Native American peoples." That statement is objectively wrong. Israel has twice offered to give 97 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, but Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas both rejected this compromise, which former President Bill Clinton argued was a fair deal. Israel also has unilaterally withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, given up the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace with Egypt, and has made peace with Jordan. Throughout its short history, Israel has proven to be an adept dealmaker with its former enemies. There is no reason why Israel should not be able to make peace with the Palestinians. The blame largely lies at the feet of the Palestinians, not the Israelis.

At the very root of the Israeli-Palestinians conflict is the failure of the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim leadership to accept certain compromises — namely that Israel has a historical right to exist and to defend itself against terrorism and invading armies. Even to this day, the president of Iran pledges to destroy Israel. At this very moment, the terrorist organization Hezbollah is — with Iran's aid — illegally rearming itself on Israel's northern border with Lebanon. Israeli President Shimon Peres has recently disclosed that Syria is supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles to hit Israel. The terrorist organization Hamas still maintains its illegal grip on the Gaza Strip. And yet, the author argues that our support for Israel should be more tepid, and our embrace of these Muslim extremists should be warmer and tighter.

There is a reason why Israel enjoys the support of the vast majority of Congress, and the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation. Americans, like Israelis, are generally moral, law-abiding people who want peace and security. Before "looking for new allies in the Middle East," America should reaffirm its support for Israel by standing up against those who wish it harm, whether they are terrorists in Tehran or bureaucrats in the United Nations.

Noah Glyn is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in economics and history.

Noah Glyn

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