I am responding to Jawad Husein’s letter to the editor in the Dec. 3 JP Gazette, “Palestine suffers a true injustice.” In several ways I agree with Mr. Husein. The Palestinian people have been suffering an injustice for many years. Even before modern Israel, Palestinians suffered under their absentee Turkish landlords. After that they suffered the indignity of European masters. After that we all suffered as the proxy combatants in the cold war.
I agree with Mr. Husein that the Palestinians deserve an independent state immediately and that state should be the pre-1967 borders. I am also upset at any suggestion that Palestinians do not deserve equal rights. Finally, I am ashamed as a Jew that any of my fellow Jews should treat another human being with any less respect and compassion than our God has commanded us to do. The sun shines on us all.
However, I am concerned and, frankly, hurt by the less than peaceful and verifiably inaccurate ideas Mr. Husein chose to put in his piece. He asserts there is a “European-Jewish colonial project in Palestine.” Israel is not a European country. It is not a colony of Europe or the United States. Israel is one of two states created by the United Nations; one Jewish and one Palestinian. The UN’s plan would have granted the Palestinians essentially what they want now; the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. To say that the Jews, after the Second World War, would have accepted to be under the yolk of Europeans is to completely misunderstand us. Israel is our last refuge after two thousand years of exile and as the unwanted guests of Europeans.
Mr. Husein, if, as you say, the Palestinians are the direct descendants of the peoples living in ancient Judea and Samaria then, brother, please let us not fight. Those are my people too. Recent archeology has revealed that Jews may have been Canaanites who chose to adopt monotheism. They then created a mythology to disassociate themselves from other Canaanites. Our branch of the family was expelled in the first century AD for having resisted attempts at rededicating our common holy site, Solomon’s Temple, to the god Jupiter. All we want now is to come home. I appreciate and recognize the Palestinian people’s stewardship of the land and their common claims. I ask only to let us share, in peace, the land of our fathers.