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Letter: A different view of U.S.-Israel ties

In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, a

In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, a right-wing Israeli holds a flag and wears a Star of David patch resembling the one Jews were forced to wear in the Nazi Germany period, during a demonstration in Jerusalem. Photo Credit: AP

The letter “Rebalance U.S.-Israel relationship” [April 4] misrepresents the nature of the relationship and the status of disputed territories.

Virtually all of the assistance to Israel is foreign military funding, and 75 percent must be spent back in the United States. Benefits derived from the remaining 25 percent include important investments by Israel to improve equipment such as the F-16 fighter aircraft, innovations such as unmanned aerial vehicles and reactive armor for tanks, and access to Israel’s first-rate intelligence services. The relationship is mutually beneficial.

Israeli settlements are on disputed territory, not on “Palestinian land.” British Foreign Secretary George A. Brown, who helped draft UN Resolution 242, indicated that it was not meant to require Israel to withdraw from all of the territories it had captured in June 1967, but simply to withdraw to secure and recognized borders.

Several Israeli peace offers have been spurned, as have a 10-month freeze on settlement construction and an 18-month “quiet moratorium” in May 2013.

The Palestinians should recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland and come back to the bargaining table without preconditions. Meanwhile, it is in U.S. interests to sustain our special relationship with Israel.

Richard Epstein, West Babylon