Letter to the Editor, December 21, 2017: _______ SHORT TITLE NEEDED _____
By Dana Fine
In reply to Vito LaMura’s recent letter to the editor “Ken Gordon’s Journey to Israel”:
For decades, community leaders throughout the Commonwealth have experienced the rich culture, dynamic history, and innovative high-tech economy of Israel with JCRC of Greater Boston.
JCRC Study Tours offer a unique opportunity to meet the people of Israel and to gain a better understanding of the complexities and challenges facing the country and the region.
Participants travel the length and breadth of Israel, learning from government officials and religious, academic, media and business leaders. Participants meet with Jews, Muslims, and Christians; Israelis and Palestinians; and individuals representing a wide spectrum of political and social thought.
You defame Israel, calling it an occupier and are pro BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement) in your letter.
Learn some facts:
How has the Hamas takeover of Gaza affected the chances for peace? In 2005, Israel totally disengaged from Gaza and four settlements in Northern Samaria in the hopes of creating an opportunity for peace. It redeployed its armed forces, removed 8,000 settlers and dismantled 25 civilian communities, which cost billions of dollars and caused deep national trauma. But, instead of movement towards peace, Israel received a hostile territory on its border. Hamas, an Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization, violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Attacks on Israeli civilians, which had been ongoing since 2000, escalated dramatically. Israeli towns adjacent to Gaza became targets of almost daily Kassam rocket and mortar barrages, cross-border terror attacks were frequently attempted, and the terrorist infrastructure grew at an alarming pace.
Israel had hoped that the Gaza disengagement would lead to a reduction in terrorist attacks, an increase in mutual trust, and ultimately to a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians. The rise of Hamas and the ensuing violence caused the Israeli public to doubt whether its sacrifices for peace would ever be reciprocated.
As any peace agreement will involve Israel making considerable and tangible sacrifices for peace as well as taking considerable security risks for peace, the confidence of the Israeli people is a major component of peace.
The continued presence of a terrorist government in Gaza, and its constant attempts to gain power in the West Bank, severely undermine that confidence. Hamas has brought nothing but violence to the citizens of Israel and nothing but tragedy to the Palestinians.
As events in Gaza have shown, while the terrorists may claim to be advancing Palestinian rights, they have succeeded only in undermining them. Mayhem has reigned in Gaza since Israel left and Hamas staged its coup. Hamas established an Iranian-backed mini terror-state on Israel’s southern border. It imposed its fundamentalist agenda on the population of Gaza, applying the principles of Sharia law, repressing women, abusing individual freedoms, and violently persecuting its opponents.
It is self-evident that the future Palestinian state cannot be a terrorist entity. For this reason, the international community has insisted that the path to Palestinian statehood must follow acceptance of the conditions outlined by the international ‘Quartet’ (the UN, EU, US and Russia), including the renunciation of terrorism, acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements and the recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
As a terrorist organization which, by its own definition, is dedicated to Israel’s destruction, Hamas is absolutely incapable of accepting any of these principles. No one who wants true peace or a better future for the Palestinians could even consider duplicating Gaza’s reality – a violent, fanatical theocracy – in the West Bank.
All those who suggest further Israeli withdrawal in the West Bank must take the lessons of Gaza into account.
BDS does not help the Palestinians, nor does it hurt Israel. I am going to fight for Massachusetts to adopt an anti-BDS stance.