The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

The thrust of Jonathan Freedland’s ar­ti­cle |( Com­ment, July 18) is that Ha­mas is mak­ing war be­cause Is­rael has oc­cu­pied their land for 47 years, con­tin­ues to con­trol the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and, in short, has op­pressed the Pales­tini­ans.

Noth­ing Is­rael has done can jus­tify Ha­mas’s at­tempt to wield power by caus­ing death and de­struc­tion. Just imag­ine for one minute if the ci­ti­zens of Gaza had been ruled by a de­cent govern­ment, one that would have used the homes va­cated by Is­raelis in 2005 to re­house some of their over­crowded pop­u­la­tion. Think how dif­fer­ent it would be if, in­stead of dig­ging tun­nels and im­port­ing mis­siles, they would have used Euro­pean do­na­tions to es­tab­lish busi­nesses and col­leges of ed­u­ca­tion, built ho­tels and parks to make this beau­ti­ful strip of Mediter­ranean coast a haven for tourists. No, this war is en­tirely of Ha­mas’s mak­ing and it is cer­tainly no play­ground spat. John Pos­ner Cop­ers Cope Road, Beck­en­ham, Kent

Jonathan Freedland’s piece largely blam­ing Is­rael for the cur­rent con­flict be­cause it is “the stronger party… the oc­cu­pier for 47 years of Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory, and still re­tains con­trol of the Strip’s airspace, bor­ders and waters…” is just the usual boil­er­plate Arab pro­pa­ganda he likes to churn out, re­gard­less of the chang­ing po­lit­i­cal land­scape and re­al­i­ties on the ground.

He never pro­vides proof for his er­ro­neous as­ser­tion of “oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory” by way of le­gal rul­ings of em­i­nent ju­rists (be­cause there are none), and mis­tak­enly thinks that the 1948 Armistice line (the Green Line) is a le­gal bor­der agreed upon in in­ter­na­tional law.

When the Arabs ac­cept Jewish na­tion­hood in their an­cient home­land, peace will fol­low. Dr Danny Pine Fitzjohn’s Av­enue, NW3

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