An inaccurate view of Israeli history

by
02 November 2006

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From Rachel Montagu

Sir, Dr Harriet Baber may be right about American fear of terrorism anviolent crime< href="/80256fa1003e05c1/httppublicpages/d359eea153e25945802571f000412af2?opendocumentComment, 22 September). Had she confined herself to American examples, shmight have succeeded in making the case for gun control and a differenAmerican foreign policy. Instead, she weakened her argument by an inaccuratview of Israeli history, suggesting that Israel has captured territory for thsake of acquiring bargaining chips.When, in 1948, Israel defended itself against six invading Arab armiedetermined to destroy the newly declared state, it fought for the right texist at all. In 1957, it withdrew from areas captured in the Sinai in 1956. IMay 1967, the Iraqi and Syrian armies were massed on the Golan Heights borderfrom which there had been repeated artillery attacks down into northern Israeland speeches were broadcast threatening to pave the road to Damascus witJewish skulls.That, not the desire for bargaining chips, led to Israels conquest of thGolan Heights. Since 1967, rather than pursue the " everbetter"="" strategy="" imputeto="" it="" by="" harriet="" baber,="" israel="" has="" withdrawn="" from="" the="" sinai,="" agreed="" to="" two-state="" solution,="" withdrawn="" from="" gaza,="" and,="" before="" the="" outbreak="" of="" thal-aksa="" intifada,="" indicated="" its="" willingness="" to="" start="" negotiations="" on="" the="">

The difficulties of making peace in the Middle East are all too manifestMuddying the waters by historical inaccuracy hinders that process.

RACHEL MONTA
The Council of Christians and Jews, 1st Floor, Camelford House, 89 AlberEmbankment, London SE1 7TP

 

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