I find that the writer of “Terrorism begets terrorism” (letters, Jan. 19) 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 groups (the 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.