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Letters: Editorial naive about Palestinians

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gestures after delivering a

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gestures after delivering a speech in which he said Palestinians are going to the Security Council with a UN membership bid, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Sept. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

I read with great shock your editorial "The Palestinian Gambit" [Sept. 18]. The Palestinian question is a big fraud perpetrated on the West by the Arab countries; they get better and better at it all the time.

How is it that little Israel has absorbed just about all the Jewish citizens of the Arab world? While the Arab countries attacking Israel in 1948 kept the Arabs who left their homes poor and in camps? How is it that, until the third war initiated by Arab states in 1967, Palestinians who were under the control of Jordan and Egypt said nothing about independent statehood? Even while living in abject poverty and supported by the United Nations with mostly U.S. aid?

If the Palestinians really want their own state, how is it that they refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while wanting no Jewish citizens in their own state? Israel has over 1 million Arabs as voting citizens.

Israel vacated Gaza at a great political and financial cost, and look at the result: daily bombings. Yet the Palestinians want Israel to vacate an area miles away from its biggest city and trust them not to bomb Tel Aviv.

Here is my suggestion for an alternative solution for a Palestinian State: Return Gaza to Egypt and make Egypt responsible, and return the West Bank, subject to defensible borders, to Jordan. Jerusalem is Israeli and always will be. That is not negotiable, no matter what President Barack Obama says. Jordanians used Jewish cemetery headstones to build latrines. That will not happen again.

Rony Kessler, Franklin Square

Newsday is very naive in thinking it has a new way to parse language and split the difference. To think that would satisfy a Palestinian people that danced on Sept. 11, 2001, cheered on Saddam Hussein, targeted innocent civilians by stabbing the Fogel children and shot missiles at school buses, is wishful thinking gone awry. It's irresponsible. The Palestinian elected leadership does represent its citizens, who want destruction of Jews solely because they are Jewish. That is racism.

If the Palestinians truly wanted peace, they would have continued negotiations when they had a generous proposal on the table. It was slightly less than their full demand of all or nothing.

Instead, they proved they have little value for life and civility, and they target civilians and children, which is contrary to American values and should lead to an immediate freeze in all aid. Why should the Palestinians get aid for their people when they are targeting children? Let them take their own money to buy missiles and shoulder-fired rockets.

Since President Obama suggested freezing construction in east Jerusalem, the Palestinians have added that to their demands and refuse to negotiate with Israel. It should be obvious that, despite huge efforts by the United States, Israel and Europe, the Palestinians are not interested in peace with a Jewish state of Israel. It's time for us to cut foreign aid to the Palestinians as long as they behave like al-Qaida.

Edward Stroh, Rockville Centre

There are 21 Arab states encompassing more than 5 million square miles, and 280 million Arabs. There is one Jewish state encompassing 8,000 square miles and 6 million Jews. Palestinians have existed as a distinct people, calling "Palestine" their homeland for about 100 years; the Jewish people have called the region home for more than 3,000 years. Millions of "Palestinians" live on the East Bank of the Jordan River in Jordan.

The Jewish people value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as do Americans. Some Islamists value martyrdom, rigid religious rule and reward in the afterlife. The Jewish state recognizes the fact of a Palestinian presence in Gaza and the West Bank, and the reality that a Palestinian state will exist there. The Palestinians have never accepted Israel's right to exist.

A Palestinian state should be recognized by the world only when Palestinians formally recognize Israel's right to exist in writing and then announce it in Arabic on Al Jazeera, and not one second sooner. The Arabs respect strength and conviction, not billions in aid or appeasement. Peace will reign in the Middle East when tolerance does, not before.

Gary Wohlberg, Fort Salonga


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