I am very concerned about the comments Mr. Silverstein makes regarding Israel (“The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not occupy,” Feb. 11). I am concerned about Jews who so strongly support the Palestinians against Israel. Mr. Silverstein claims to be a Zionist, yet his statements tell a different story. He clearly ignores (and I don’t know whether it is ignorance or “IGNORE-ance”) the facts and history of Israel and the Jewish people.
Space does not allow detailing all the historical facts about Israel, so I urge Mr. Silverstein and others to learn and synthesize these facts before speaking about Israel.
Israel has been a Jewish land for 3,500 years, albeit with limited control and numbers for almost 2,000 of those years. With creation of the State of Israel, it was supposed to be the Jewish homeland, with Jordan, the Hashemite kingdom, being a place for Arabs in Palestine; this has never worked as Jordan (along with Lebanon, Syria and Egypt) does not allow Palestinians entry.
In 2005, possession of Gaza was turned over to the Palestinians, in exchange for peace. There has been no peace since then. The Palestinians have violated the rules of war in using schools, clinics, mosques and homes as military bases and weapons launchers. This shows that there is little hope in “land for peace” with current trends in thought in the Arab/Muslim world.
Giving up control of the West Bank means a very narrow corridor, which could easily be blocked, cutting off the northern and southern halves of Israel. Thus it is vital to keep the current borders.
Mr. Silverstein calls for full equal rights for all Arabs and Palestinians living in Israel. This cannot be allowed to happen if Israel is to survive. Israel is first and foremost a Jewish state. To keep it such requires restrictions on non-Jewish people.
I would also point out the irony of anyone living in the Pacific Northwest complaining about Israeli occupation, given that we live on Native lands. I suggest that Mr. Silverstein do some serious introspection regarding his positions, and ensure that he is not taking contradictory stands on things.