Correcting Arab-Israeli history

Correcting Arab-Israeli history

Although I  agree with the letter “Terrorism begets terrorism” (Feb. 7), that you cannot condone terrorism against innocent civilians whether they are Palestinians or Israelis,  I find that the writer presents an incorrect picture of Arab-Israeli history.  

Yes, we should condemn attacks on Palestinians by West  Bank Jewish settlers and the deadly hostilities of Jewish terror organizations that existed prior to the establishment of Israel, but the letter did not tell us that these Jewish groups came into existence in response to the efforts of Palestinian terror groups  who tried to stop Jewish settlers from developing the land. 

Though we are told in the letter that Menachem Begin  was a leader of one of these Jewish terrorist groups (Irgun), it was not mentioned that among the problems the first Israeli government faced, besides defending itself from the invading Arab armies in 1948, was to disband  these fighters. At times, the government had to destroy munitions intended for these groups which the government could have used against the enemies.

Also, the letter did not  mention the negative impact of today’s Arab  demand  for the return to Israel of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants. If Israel is forced to accept this demand, its Jewish population would become a minority.  

For the past 70 years, these Palestinians have been isolated in camps in the West Bank and have been instilled with the expectation that  they will one day return to Israel. 

Unlike the Palestinians, those Jews who were displaced from disputed territories prior to  the establishment of Israel and those who were expelled  from the Arab nations that had invaded Israel in 1948, were integrated into Israeli society which also included Israeli Arabs.

Marvin Elmowitz
West Caldwell

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