Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Congregation Eilat's Rabbi Altshuler Goes to Bat Against an Apologist


Fabricating the history of Israel and Hamas

Margaret Zaknoen's column, "Our double standard toward Hamas" [Opinion, May 18], attempts to justify Hamas' violence by fabricating facts and distorting history.

Zaknoen forgets to tell readers that in 1948, just a few months after the United Nations passed a resolution that would have recognized a Jewish state and an Arab state a resolution Israel accepted and the Arab world rejected in toto Israel, a state of less than 700,000 people, was attacked by seven Arab armies.

Israel won that war for independence and it has had to fight continually since then against neighbors that have tried to destroy the only Jewish state in the world.

The description of an oppressive Israel is ludicrous: Israel, the size of New Jersey with a population of 7 million (1 million of whom are Arabs with full citizenship), is surrounded by 23 Arab nations whose land mass is the size of North America and a half, with a population of over 300 million.

These nations, except for Egypt and Jordan, have not exactly attempted to make peace with the Jewish state. Which side yearns for the other's destruction?

Israel has risked its survival since 1993 and the Oslo Accords, trying to negotiate with a Palestinian entity that refuses to recognize a Jewish state.

Arafat's refusal to gain virtually every inch of land for a Palestinian state in 2000, in exchange for an end to the state of war, is something that no one who wishes to see Israel live in peace with a Palestinian state will ever comprehend.

The tragedy of the Palestinian people is enormous. But it derives from the Palestinians' internecine violence, from Hamas and other assorted terrorist bands that still wish to see the annihilation of Israel, from bands of Hamas murderers who have been consistent in their support of the most extreme anti-American and anti-Semitic elements in the Middle East.

Stuart Altshuler
Mission Viejo
rabbi, Congregation Eilat

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