Letter: Conflict’s two sides
I am writing to respond to the recent spate of anti Israel letters in this newspaper. I would like to remind the reader that every story has two sides and while the narratives presented may be factually correct they do not at all tell the whole story. The state of Israel was proposed by the United Nations in 1947 to rid the British of their intractable problem in governing a land being fought over by Arabs and Jews and to provide a home for the Jewish people as had been promised prior to WWII. The U.N. voted a two-state solution with the land being divided between the Jewish and Arab inhabitants. While the Jews accepted this solution it was immediately rejected by the Arab population followed by the invasion of the new state of Israel by all of the surrounding Arab nations. What followed was 65 years of wars with the surrounding Arab nations attempting to obliterate the Jewish state. Have the Israelis become hardened and embittered by their neighbors’ constant efforts to kill them? Has the need of the Israeli government to spend an inordinate percentage of GNP on weapons depressed the living standards of the citizens? In Israel every young person must serve in the military and most are in the reserve for many more years.
There are always at least two participants in any dispute and in order to end this violence both must be willing to compromise. The Arab inhabitants have shown no willingness to compromise and in fact their stated objective still remains the elimination of the Jewish state.
It is not productive to demonize one side in this dispute, what is important is to recognize each side’s needs and to do what must be done in order to achieve peace.