To the editor:
Many Jews around the world, including yours truly, would beg to differ with Rabbi Shaul Osadchey (Israel Built Defense; Hamas Built ‘Tunnels of Death’ Aug. 8 Capital News) that “the root of the current round of conflict is the unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel.” On the contrary, the root of the problem is the ongoing occupation of Palestine by Israel.
Israel, with one of the strongest armies in the world, occupies Gaza (in spite of its ‘disengagement’ in 2005) and is currently cruelly assaulting a largely civilian population there. For years, it has controlled the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory, not allowing imports or exports, resulting in harsh living conditions. (Is it any wonder that Gazans build tunnels to bring in necessities)?
As for the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Fatah leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas does recognize Israel and what has it gotten them? Expansion of West Bank Jewish settlements, more Palestinians getting their homes demolished and getting kicked off their ancestral homes and lands, expansion of Israeli-controlled territory and the shrinking of Palestine land.
As many Israeli peace activists and journalists say, Gaza’s demands must be met: Lift the inhumane blockade, allow homes and infrastructure to be rebuilt, and allow international trade to take place. It is a question of justice and peace.