I have seldom been as outraged by the half-truths and untruths as in the guest column by William Slavick (Sept. 25). Slavick blames Israel for every complaint that the Palestinians can conjure up.
His first issue is that the "Zionist enterprise" is racist in its determination to establish a Jewish state. The fact that there are more than 20 Arab states in existence, most of which will not tolerate any Jews, is not racist, in his mindset.
Jewish families who lived in many Arab countries for centuries have been forcibly expelled. To the contrary, Israeli Arabs have full rights of citizenship. They not only are elected to the Knesset (the Parliament), but even have a justice on the Israeli Supreme Court.
When polled, most Arabs say that if East Jerusalem were turned over to the Palestinians, those Arabs would move to Israeli-controlled areas where they could continue to have the freedoms they now enjoy.
Israel offered the Palestinians statehood three times in recent years, tendering even more land than was anticipated. The offers were refused by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas each time. Even the original U.N. declaration for two states in 1947-48 was refused by the Arabs and they immediately tried to obliterate Israel.
Slavick complains about settlements beyond the West Bank "Green Line," which is not a border but simply the cease-fire line of the 1967 war. U.N. resolutions pertaining to this line state that final borders must be negotiated. The land referred to as the West Bank was never "Palestinian," anyway. It belonged to Jordan.
Israel ceased building in the West Bank for 10 months under an agreement with the U.S., during which time the Palestinians refused to negotiate. As soon as the 10-month period was over the Palestinians complained they couldn't negotiate when construction was under way.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech to the U.N. last week, urged Abbas to sit down with him in New York and begin negotiations immediately. Again, refusal.
Israel returned Gaza in 2005. Instead of becoming a peaceful neighbor, the Palestinians immediately, and to this day, lobbed missiles into Israel. Within months, Gaza was taken over by Hamas, a recognized terrorist group. Prior to that, Israel turned over the Golan to Lebanon, only to have Hezbollah take over and lob bombs into northern Israel. Can anyone blame Netanyahu for being leery of the Palestinians?
The Palestinian Charter refuses to recognize Israel as a nation. How can Netanyahu negotiate with a "partner" that doesn't recognize Israel and even shows it on maps as "Palestine?" His only "pre-negotiation" demand is recognition of his country.
Joel Goodman, Auburn