To the editor: UC Hastings law professor George Bisharat’s piece is an anti-Israel screed cloaked in the garb of democratic progressivism. The Jewish state of Israel exists on the land of historic Israel, not on Bisharat’s “historic Palestine.”
Furthermore, Palestinians are not disenfranchised by Israel. They are disenfranchised by the Palestinian Authority, which has refused to hold elections since 2006. Hamas, whose tyrannical leadership controls the Gaza Strip, has no interest in free elections.
Palestinians are also disenfranchised by their own refusal of multiple generous offers of peace and their own state.
Finally, Bisharat’s despicable attempt to smear Israel with the apartheid label falls flat. Israeli Arabs have fully equal rights with Israeli Jews. Palestinians who have long demanded their own state are not, by their own choice, citizens of Israel.
Bisharat’s distortions are a thinly disguised attack on the world’s only Jewish state.
Daniel H. Trigoboff, Williamsville, N.Y.
To the editor: Out of 120 Israeli parliamentarians, 17 are Palestinian — that’s hardly “apartheid.”
Furthermore, the Israelis were not taking land from another people when they established their state; rather, they were returning to their homeland after their 1st century expulsion by the Roman Empire.
How many people remain “refugees” for 71 years? At the founding of Israel, Arab states expelled more than 800,000 Jews. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and apathy, Jews established a vibrant, technologically and scientifically advanced society with equal rights for all who reside within Israel proper.
The West Bank and Gaza could have been a state, but according to the Palestinians’ chief negotiator during the 2008 peace talks, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer of territory effectively more than the size of the West Bank was rejected.
One state is a nonstarter.
Jack Salem, Los Angeles
To the editor: Bisharat’s thoughtful plea brings up two issues.
First, using South Africa’s Freedom Charter as a model for reconciliation between the Israelis and the Palestinians is an excellent idea. But who in the Middle East has the moral authority of a Nelson Mandela to make it work?
Second, the great Palestinian intellectual Edward Said argued for the single-state solution, but he never had a good answer to the question of how Jews would fare under Palestinian majority rule.
David Wilczynski, Manhattan Beach