Recent letter-writer Lester LeViness condescendingly informs Journal News readers that they are ignorant, with little or no idea of what the Balfour Declaration is ("Rights" Not Respected, 10/2). He then attempts to prove that Israel has repeatedly violated this declaration with U.S. financial and moral support. His conclusion? The attacks of 9/11 and indeed Muslim terrorism worldwide are a direct result of U.S. support for Israel.
This is a commonly heard refrain among pro-Palestinian propagandists who try to turn truth on its head by blaming the victims for the crimes of the perpetrators. However, presenting readers with a laundry list of baseless allegations of supposed Israeli "crimes" against Palestinians does not make it fact.
It appears that LeViness, not Journal News readers, needs a lesson in history. It was not the Jewish state but the Arab states which violated international declarations and resolutions from the start.
By waging war against the reconstituted State of Israel, the Arabs violated the original UN Charter which required nations to "settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered" (UN Charter, Article 2(3)) and to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state"(UN Charter, Article 2(4).
United Nations Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947 calling for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state was accepted by the Jews of Palestine, but rejected by the Arabs, as was every other attempt at international resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Instead of accepting territorial compromise, the Arabs invaded, killing a full 1% of the Jewish population in this attempt to obliterate Israel.
United Nations Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 which is now cited by Palestinians demanding the "right of return" to what is now Israel carried a paragraph stating that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighborsshould be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date …" However, all the Arab states voted against this resolution because it implied recognition of the State of Israel and made the possibility of return contingent upon peaceful relations with Israelis.
United Nations Resolution 242 which calls for a negotiated "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories" occupied in the 1967 war and the "termination of all claims or states of belligerency … acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area …to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force" was rejected by the Arab states in 1967. They not only denied Israel’s new borders but refused to accept it in any guise in any borders.
The determination to expunge the only non-Arab, non-Muslim nation in the Middle East has not yet disappeared. In July 2000, Yasir Arafat rejected Israel’s attempts to reach a negotiated settlement, choosing to fuel suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians throughout the country. Sadly, Palestinian society has widely celebrated the carnage.
The adverse conditions under which the Palestinians now live have been inflicted upon them by their own leadership, one that has chosen terror and violence over peace.
Originally appeared in the the Journal News (Rockland) on December 7, 2002