Letters to the Editor
Readers write about Israel-Palestinian relations 60 years after Israeli independence.
Responses to retrospectives on Israel's 60th anniversarySkip to next paragraph
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Regarding the recent article on the 1948 Palestinian war: Thank you for telling both sides of the story in the formation of Israel – the destruction of Palestine.
Sarah Smith Redmond
Rochester Hills, Mich.
Regarding the May 9 article, "A veteran of 1948 recalls Palestinian 'catastrophe' ": My understanding was that the surrounding Arab states told the Arab residents of the newly created Israel to leave and that they would drive the Zionists into the sea and then the Palestinians could return home. After Israel repelled the attacks, they kept the territory they had driven their attackers from. There is a penalty for countries that try to conquer another country and fail!
Regarding the recent article on the 1948 Israeli-Arab war: The article states that "Israel agreed to the partition plan," which is untrue. If Israelis had agreed to the plan, why did they work against it? This may have been a major factor in the decision by neighboring Arab states to attack in an effort to save what was left of Palestine.
Oak Lawn, Ill.
In response to the recent article on the Arab-Israeli war: I can sympathize with the Arabs interviewed for the article describing the fight against the Zionists. However, the article does not describe the previous 70 years of attacks on Jewish settlements by Arab irregulars.
Studio City, Calif.
Regarding the recent article on the 1948 Palestinian war: The Palestinian being interviewed contradicts himself. First he says that the Arabs rejected the partition vote because the Jews got too much of the area, and a bit later he questions why the Arabs lost the 1948 war: "Israel was so tiny then and we were big." Can't have it both ways.
Regarding Alan Dershowitz's May 8 Opinion piece, "Israel at 60: so vilified, yet so deserving of praise": Mr. Dershowitz is entitled to his opinions about Israel's progress and contributions to world society, some of which I share. However, he should check his facts about the Arab-Israel wars, most of which I covered for the Monitor, especially his statement about Israel's refraining from air attacks on Arab capitals.
In the June war of 1967, an Israeli fighter pilot strafed King Hussein's palace in Amman. The king and his staff were unhurt, as he related to me later. During the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Israeli air force bombed central Damascus, hitting, among other things, the Soviet embassy, probably aiming at the nearby Defense Ministry. There were civilian casualties.