Opinion | Clashing Views on Israel and Gaza

To the Editor:

Re “Mobs in Streets as Israel and Gaza Are Bombarded” (front page, May 13):

The conflagration now raging on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border, which has now spilled into the streets of Israeli cities, expanding into what is fast becoming an Arab-Jewish civil war, runs the risk of becoming a much wider conflict.

Confrontations in this region have a disturbing history of rapid escalation. What may be different this time, though, is the relative calm in the region beyond the borders of Israel and Gaza, characterized by recent broader cooperation and the establishment of relationships between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors.

But the Biden administration cannot be a mere bystander. Along with the United Nations and perhaps regional leaders, President Biden must quickly intervene with proposals in an effort to restrain both sides.

This has often worked before, even as the world always awaits the next Arab-Israeli conflict in a seemingly unending state of hostility.

Roger Hirschberg
Bondville, Vt.

To the Editor:

The tragic events in the Middle East, with the death and injury of civilians, including children on both sides, is a reminder that extremism is always dormant. The blame game between Palestinians and Israelis dwarfs into insignificance in the face of real suffering on both sides. At stake is the belief in the concept of coexistence, severely shaken by out-of-control inter-communal violence.

The issue of the final status of Jerusalem will have to be settled equitably, overriding the absolutist narrative of both parties.

What’s tragically unfolding before our eyes should make us resolute not to give in to this extremist narrative and unite in safeguarding the future of all our children, whether in Gaza or Tel Aviv, Jews and Arabs alike.

Lu’ayy Al-Rimawi
Peterborough, England
The writer is a former visiting fellow in the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.

To the Editor:

“Palestinians Deserve to Return, Too,” by Peter Beinart (Opinion guest essay, May 13), misses the essence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is about existence.

The Palestinians’ aspiration is not about their own state while living in peaceful coexistence alongside Israel. Rather, it is about their own state replacing the state of Israel. The dichotomy between what their leaders say to their own people, versus what they say for all-too-eager Western consumption, could not be more stark.

There is no question that Palestinians have the right to live in peace, prosperity and honor, but not by means of their oft-declared goal of destroying Israel and its Jewish citizens. All the other issues are negotiable and could have been resolved decades ago.

But for Israelis, the issue of their very existence is nonnegotiable, and understandably so.

Joseph Tesher
Northbrook, Ill.

To the Editor:

Re “The U.S. Should Condition Aid to Israel on Reducing Conflict,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, May 13):

This obvious suggestion about conditioning aid to reduce conflict would actually pack more power than any other. Another suggestion might be to remove aid to Israel and the Palestinians altogether until a peaceful solution is reached. It is an outrage that bombs subsidized by the United States are used on innocent civilians.

Emily Lodge
New York
The writer is the author of “The Falcon Diaries: An American in Jordan.”

To the Editor:

Re “Palestinians Under Siege,” by Rula Salameh (Opinion guest essay, May 12):

Israel was created as a sanctuary for Jews after many years of persecution. As a Jew myself, I hope that it always remains so. But being a sanctuary for Jews does not mean that only Jews need live in the country. Jews and Palestinians can live together in Israel while it continues to be a safe haven for Jews.

The effort to evict Palestinians from their homes has made Israel less safe for Jews. In addition, how can a country born of persecution of its people persecute others in turn? Isn’t one of the cornerstones of the Jewish religion the ethical treatment of people?

And if the country’s ultra-right, ultra-Orthodox population, which has far too much power and influence, thinks otherwise, is there not some way to reduce their power and open their minds to reality?

Susan Jormark
New York

Source: Read Full Article