Kevin Gaffney’s Oct. 2 letter, “Effects of disenfranchisement,” claims that Palestinian Arabs could “become citizens of their own nation through the United Nations as Israelis did, but that peaceful path has been blocked by, of all people, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, (U.S. President) Barack Obama.”
Such a statement ignores several important facts. Before President Obama was even born, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, in 1947, presented a peaceful path for Palestinian Arabs to have their own state by recommending partition of the British Mandate into Jewish and Arab states.
The plan was rejected by leaders of the Palestinian Arab community and accepted by the Jews. The Palestinian Arabs then joined forces with five other Arab countries to take a rather nonpeaceful path of expressing their displeasure with the resolution: They attacked and invaded Israel.
Gaffney talks of the Israeli “resources needed to support the occupation of a large group of Palestinians.” At least Israel is supporting the Palestinian Arabs. Upon the creation of the State of Israel, it was the Palestinian Arabs’ goal to destroy Israel and every Jewish person living there.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, in its national charter, did not recognize Israel, but sought its destruction “through armed struggle.” The PLO, with the support of several Arab nations, expressed that struggle through war and acts of terrorism.
To conclude that the election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip was free and fair and that Israel’s is not the only “democracy in that part of the world” is an extreme leap of logic. Israel is a country, the Gaza Strip is not. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by Japan, the United States and the European Union, among others.
Hamas leaders have claimed responsibility for terrorist acts against Israel, including suicide bomber attacks in shopping malls, at bus stops and in a restaurant, where dozens of civilians were killed. If al-Qaida were to have an election, and they elected Osama bin Laden as president, would one call that democracy?
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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