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Letter: A distortion of history


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bradley Libenson’s column (Monitor Forum, July 4) about Israel and Palestine used selected facts to argue that failure to achieve peace was all the fault of the Arab side.

With close Jewish relatives and friends, I often hesitate to speak but the situation for Palestinians in the occupied territories is getting worse. I must speak out against his false narrative.

There are Palestinian terrorists and Israeli terrorists. Raising the extreme actions of members of just one side of a conflict is disingenuous. And, as bad as many Arab leadership decisions were that impeded peace, equally egregious Israeli policies obstruct a peaceful solution.

People should study history and not accept Libenson’s narrative. If nothing else, think about the colonialist implications of attempted European imposition of a plan to give lands held for generations by Palestinians to a wave of settlers from Europe. Yes, those settlers had historic roots there in the distant past. Does that erase the multigenerational roots of those then expelled from that land?

Expulsions and land expropriations continue outside of the borders effective on creation of modern Israel. The Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank makes establishment of a viable Palestinian state impossible. Within Israel, Arabs who remain are given second-class status, making a mockery of the claim that Israel is democratic. Support of all Israeli actions by this United States administration further undermines any chance of achieving a peaceful settlement. This reality is the reason that many, including many people with Jewish heritage, support the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).

JENNIFER SMITH

Pembroke