I have not had the opportunity to read The Nation as much as I would like. I had a little time today and read the article by Laila Al-Arian. Something struck me when I read: "My grandfather was sitting in a cafe with a group of friends in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia when he heard that Israel captured Gaza in the June 1967 war. His face went pale and he fainted from the shock. The Israeli Army's occupation meant Gaza was lost."
If I am not mistaken, Israel was the one attacked and an act of war perpetrated on it in the 1967 war--or is there a different history? Perhaps if the Arab Nations would stop their constant attacks on Israel since 1948, there might be a chance for peace.
I also note that Israel, without a peace treaty with the "Palestinians," left Gaza and forced its citizenry out. It left behind a wonderful infrastructure including greenhouses and water irrigation systems--an economy that had supplied a good part of the world with flowers. What did Hamas do with that infrastructure? Certainly, if they had been determined to work peacefully and support their people, they could have built on what was left behind by the Israelis. Instead, they determined to destroy a good part of the system. As such, they did in their own people.
I also wonder whether Ms. Al-Arian has ever read the Hamas covenant. It is quite lengthy and hate-filled. Take a look at Article Eleven: "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.... Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day.... This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law)."
Do you really believe that there is a negotiating position in the Hamas thought process?
It gets better: In Article 13, they declare that international conferences seeking peaceful solutions are "only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers? 'But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah.' (The Cow - verse 120). There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with."
I am surprised that no reporter I have seen or heard reports on the terms of the Hamas Covenant 1988 nor attempts to deal with it. You can read all of the strange content, including the Hamas charges that Lions and Rotary clubs and the Freemasons are all secret Zionist societies in the covenant, published on the Yale Law site. I suggest that all of the fair and objective reporters take a look and see what Israel is up against.
As to war, it is hell. I think no one who cares wants to see innocents (including Jews and Israelis) killed or wounded. Although not very well reported in the USA, schools in Israeli towns were destroyed by rockets--luckily, the Israelis protect their children. They do not put them in harm's way by secreting rockets and ammunition in schools, mosques, homes and hospitals as does Hamas.
However, when a country has had its civilian population targeted with rockets and stood by for years with remarkable restraint, it must act to protect its people. Would one expect anything less--for example, if a city in the USA were attacked by rockets, what do you think the response of the USA would be? Do you think that for one minute, the USA or any other country would not immediately act to defend its people? Israel should not be held to a different standard.
If you are able to find a partner for peace in the Hamas movement, please let Israel know. Israel will only be too happy to sit and negotiate a peaceful two-state solution--- but, unfortunately for the Palestinans that do not agree with Hamas or Hezbollah, there appears no compromise. We all wish it would be otherwise.
Leonard S. Miller
Fair Lawn , NJ
Jan 8 2009 - 6:01pm