Letters to the Editor: July 24


No Israel Dilemma

There is no Israel dilemma (“Beinart v. Gordis: The Israel Dilemma,” July 17). Israel is a Jewish and democratic state in which non-Jews have full civil rights. And most of those non-Jews are Arabs, who may or may not identify themselves as Palestinians. But that does not mean that Israel has any responsibility for the Palestinians who are living under the administration of either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.

Arab leaders rejected the UN plan that called for dividing 22% of British Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and a second Arab state (the first Arab state being the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which the British has set up on 78% of the mandate’s land). Arab-initiated violence resulted in the creation of two refugee populations — Arabs who fled Palestine and Mizrahi Jews thrust from their homes in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

Some of the Mizrahi Jews emigrated to the U.S. or France, but Israel absorbed and uplifted 800,000 of them. Their descendants comprise the majority of Israel’s current Jewish population. Many positions in Israeli governance have been filled by someone with roots in the Mizrahi community.

In contrast, the Arab League told its member nations to deny citizenship to the Arabs who had fled Palestine and to their descendants. The UN abetted this policy. Palestine refugees (as UNRWA calls them) are the only refugee group that passes the status from one generation to the next, in perpetuity, and the only refugee group that insists that the only solution for their plight is for them to be given the homes they purport their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, lost in what is now Israel. While insisting that the Palestine refugees have a Right of Return to Israel, Palestinian leaders have fed them a constant diet of anti-Jewish invective and taught them that being “martyred” while killing Jews is a ticket to heaven.

In 1993, Israel gave the Arabs of Palestine the chance to rule themselves. And the rulers, sadly, abused their power. Both the heads of the PA and Hamas long overstayed their elected terms, enriched themselves with funds donated for their people’s benefit and diverted humanitarian aid to fruitless attempts to drive the Jews out of Israel.

Palestinian suffering will end only when their leaders stop trying to destroy the nation-state of the Jews, and, instead, work on building a state in which the people they govern can become productive citizens.

Toby F. Block

What About Our Own Atrocity?

Heartbreaking about this atrocity (“Remembering the Srebrenica Massacre,” July 17).

However, we have our own: kids in cages. We don’t talk about this anymore. Many children have not been reunited with their parents. They will be damaged forever.

What is our excuse? I thought we were a democracy. What happened to the soul of this country?

Lana Fink, Reisterstown


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