Letters: Israel, Hamas

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Israel Must Preserve Conditions for Future Two-State Solution
In response to Curtis Pontz’s thoughtful op-ed in the May 13 edition, you had me at “Peace a Dream Until Palestinians Accept Israel’s Legitimacy.” You express confidence “that once the Palestinians accept the Jewish people’s right to their own nation, which means agreeing to share the land of Palestine with the Jews, the great majority of Israeli Jews will fall in line with Palestinian aspirations for nationhood …”

For many years, I expressed the same point of view, describing such acceptance as the Palestinians’ version of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s transformative trip to Jerusalem in 1977. To be honest, though, today I also worry about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s often-repeated pledge that a Palestinian state will never arise so long as he is in power. His Likud Party, the dominant political force in Israel today, is officially opposed to Palestinian statehood. Shouldn’t acceptance of national legitimacy go both ways?

And what of the settlement project, which has relocated hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews into the heart of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)? I am concerned that if the Palestinian Sadat moment comes — whether next month, or next year, or in another generation — there will be no land on which Palestinians will be able to realize their aspirations for nationhood.


That is why I strongly believe Israel would be well served to preserve the conditions for a future negotiated two-state outcome. Without a change in its settlement policy, Israel’s character as a majority Jewish and democratic state is gravely
at risk.

Martin J. Raffel | Langhorne

Hamas’ Goal: Forcing Israel to Respond
No commentator has remarked on the idea that Hamas is responsible for the deaths in Gaza, but here’s a thought: Hamas knows that with their first rocket aimed at Israel there will be a massive response, as Israel has a right to defend itself, and the only way to stop the Hamas rockets it to retaliate.

If Hamas knows that Israel will respond with aircraft and bombs, Hamas could choose to refrain from sending rockets to Israel. By sending rockets, Hamas invites the Israeli aircraft to come to Gaza. Hamas shares responsibility for the deaths in Gaza.

David Broida | Bryn Mawr

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