To the editor:
The recontextualizing of Middle East history by Palestinian sympathizer, Dr. Lawrence Davidson imagines a Middle East in which Israeli agression is the source of all pain and an excuse for Palestinian violence. He is correct that current situation is almost unbearably complex, and in many ways, Israeli policies towards Palestinians are demoralizing and dangerous, but his one-sided blame-laying ignores several critical realities and questions:
1. The programs and attacks on Jews by Arabs during the early 20th century were racially motivated and instigated by the penetration of Nazi ideology among Arab leadership. Hamas leaders, and Palestinian leader Abbas have NOT accepted the reality of having a Jewish nation for a neighbor, as Abbas made clear just last week.
2. Israel is a parliamentary democracy and often, unfortunately, a coalition government beholden to extremist minority parties. As such, the tacit policies of the Israeli government often are not the general will of the Israeli people, the majority of whom have indicated on polls that they’d return the land acquired in 1967 in return for a guaranteed and genuine peace agreement.
3. Those who object to Israeli treatment of Palestinians are often Israeli Jews, able to do so because they live in a democracy with free press. Where are the Palestinians who protest the Hamas bombing of Jewish towns and schools? Why do the Palestinians tolerate the basing of armaments in their schools and hospitals when locating weapons there makes those buildings military targets? Is it because Palestinians fear Hamas retaliation if they object, or does Dr. Davidson really imagine that principals, teachers, and parents support those Hamas actions?
4. Palestinians under Yasser Arafat were the recipients of billions of dollars in direct international aid designed to spur education and economic infrastructure development. Arafat and his cronies embezzled large portions of this money and Palestinians are still trying to recover some of it from Arafat’s widow. Palestinian adminstrative corruption is behind much of Palestinians’ suffering.