Letter: What Have the Palestinians Built?

Dear editor:

Kudos to Bruce Ticker for calling out the wrongheadedness of 20-year-old Khymani James. (“Column: Death of a Zionist” boulderjewishnews.org May 2, 2024.) It would be a waste of time to try to change his (or her) views by writing about Israel’s contributions to the world in the fields of agriculture and water management, praising Israel’s quick and effective responses following natural disasters (even in countries which don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist), or even noting that Israel hosts a Gay Pride march every year while Gays risk death in Arab countries. Mr. (or Ms.) James has accepted the “Progressive” diktat that Israel and Zionists are so reprehensible that any good soul should wish for their disappearance from this Earth. It is possible that saying “Death to the Jews” may be protected speech under the First Amendment, but there is a difference between one person making a hateful comment and someone haranguing a group who’ve been riled up by professional activists. WSJ: How Campus Anti-Israel Protestors Were Encouraged and Trained By Outside Activists (reason.com)

Of course, contrary to Progressive drivel, not all Zionists think alike. Both Bruce Ticker and I support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Yet, he denies that Jews have a right to build communities in Judea and Samaria while I support the existence of such communities, considering them a first step toward the only “Two State Solution” that Israel can consider acceptable – Two States for Two Peoples, a Palestinian state coexisting with the nation-state of the Jews, in which members of minority groups have full civil rights in their country of residence.

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990’s, all Palestinians in Gaza and 95% of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria have been living under the administration of leaders of their own choosing. But those leaders have made no effort to build the infrastructure needed by a viable state. In fact, instead of working to develop Gaza’s economy, Hamas spent $1,000,000,000 to build an extensive network of terror tunnels, some extending into Israel to facilitate the abduction and murder of Israelis. Some tunnels were built under residential buildings (which collapsed when Israel destroyed the tunnels underneath them); some tunnels are connected to mosques, schools, and hospitals, embedded so deeply within the populace of Gaza that some civilians are sure to be killed as Israel attempts to destroy the tunnels, despite Israel’s amazing efforts to avoid collateral damage as it attempts to dismantle Hamas before the terrorist organization can keep its promise to inflict multiple October 7s on Israelis.

Gaza’s Underground: Hamas’s Entire Politico-Military Strategy Rests on Its Tunnels – Modern War Institute (westpoint.edu)

Judea and Samaria were divided into Areas A, B, and C by the Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has full civil and security control in Area A and civil control in Area B (where Israel has security control). Israel has full control in Area C, where Israeli businesses employ both Israeli and Palestinian workers and serve both Israeli and Palestinian consumers. These businesses should be regarded as proof that Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace. While some have argued that development of the economies in Areas A and B has been stalled because Area C contains 60% of Judea and Samaria’s resources, the problem should have been remedied via negotiation between Israel and the PA. But PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in his 19th year of his elected four-year term, has chosen to incite the Palestinians in Areas A and B to “violently resist the ‘Occupation’,” honoring and rewarding those who answer the call with lifelong pensions to murderers and/or their families. PA’s ‘Pay-for-Slay’ Payments to Rise by $1.3 Million Per Month – Algemeiner.com  It is Palestinian intransigence (not Jewish communities on land of historic and religious importance to Jews) that has prevented the peaceful resolution of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

Toby F. Block
Atlanta, GA 

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They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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One comment

  1. Bruce S Ticker

    Toby, I appreciate your kind words about my commentary, and I need to set the record straight when you suggest that I deny the right to build communities in Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank. I did not say that. I simply believe it is unwise and plainly dangerous. In fact, I have come to believe that it is Jewish land. However, please explain to me how Israel can acquire this land and simultaneously avoid bloodshed for either side while taking control of this land through expansion and even annexation, as the current administration intends.

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