I would like to respond to the Sept. 6 column titled “Honoring Rachel Corrie.” Many of the claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are inaccurate.
Rachel Corrie was a member of a radical group called the International Solidarity Movement. One of its founders, George Rishmawi, admitted in 2004 to using human lives as means to an end. “When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore,” he said. “But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”
The author of the column writes, “Since 1967, Israel has demolished 25,000 Palestinian homes and internally displaced over 160,000 souls.” Those houses belong to terrorists. The State of Israel destroys those homes to save the lives of Israelis, Jewish and Arab alike. When an insurgent ponders the effects that his/her violent actions will have on his/her family, he/she will reconsider.
Arab Israelis are not, as claimed, “second-class citizens.” They can vote in Israel. There are Arab Israelis serving on the Supreme Court and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Also, Arabic is an official language in the State of Israel.
Terrorism and playing the blame game are directly responsible for the Palestinians’ condition. In Gaza, Hamas actively advocates for the annihilation of Israel. Even though there have not been any Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip since the Jewish State dismantled them in 2005 and entirely withdrew its military presence from the zone, Hamas continues to fire rockets constantly. Over on the West Bank, meanwhile, Fatah’s leadership continues to blame Israel for its problems while refusing to negotiate with the Israeli government.
Those factors have contributed to the status quo. In multiple instances (most recently in the previous decade), the State of Israel offered Palestinian leadership their own state. They refused. To solely blame Israel when Palestinian leadership has stubbornly steered against a path for peace is irresponsible.