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The future of the Israeli-Palestine dispute
Paul Simon objects to comparing the holocaust with Jenin. "By Palestinian admission the estimate of those killed went from "thousands" to 58, even before the UN team arrived. 23 Israeli soldiers were also killed. That in no aspect compares with the Holocaust just as Ariel Sharon should not be compared with Hitler". I have never heard Jenin compared with the holocaust, which would be absurd. It has been compared with Oradour. The figures involved are still not clear. Sharon has done his cause harm by blocking access to a EU commission, and, while many find him odious, the comparison with Hitler is silly, even physically.
Robert Crow says:"The mistake was not the creation of Israel. It is the transformation of Israel from underdog to overlord. The pendulum has swung too far. Had Israel displayed a reasonable amount of compassion for those it displaced, it would probably now have the secure borders and acceptance that it says it wants. Instead, the West Bank has become Israel's lebensraum and the IDF has become the wehrmacht. This is not irreversible, but Israel -- if it really wants peace -- must have leaders like Rabin and Peres rather than like Sharon and Netanyahu".
Certainly Israel deserves better leaders, but the basic question remains. With Jewish fundamentalists believing that God gave them the land as far as the what is now Iraq, the creation of the state of Israel was asking for trouble. The British government realized that and offered the Jews a home in East Africa, but they refused it. In addition to forcing a very large number of Palestinians to flee, without compensation, from their homes, they have built settlements in Palestine territory as strong points in the occupation policy, often with money provided by wealthy American Jews. We would all be delighted if Israel and Palestine would live in peace together. Madeleine Albright, herself Jewish, a few days ago dismissed as "balderdash" the idea that they could not. Her choice of this undiplomatic word suggests that she did not wish to engage in a serious discussion of this topic. Would that she were right!
Ronald Hilton - 5/4/02