A letter from Don Lloyd (Feb. 9) is another depressing example of the massive factual error that shapes public opinion on the Israel-Palestine issue.
Facts: The Palestinian Authority is controlled by the Fatah Party, which accepted a two-state solution and thus, de facto, the existence of Israel nearly 25 years ago. The Hamas leadership has been asking for a truce and signaling its acceptance of a two-state solution for several years. As the New York Times recently reported, top Hamas leaders are now moving toward a strategy of nonviolent resistance to Israel’s control of Palestinian lives.
When Israel abandoned its settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005, it retained total control over all traffic into Gaza. That allowed Israel to strangle the economy of Gaza, where the standard of living has been kept tragically low. It’s hardly surprising that Gazans continued to resist, though I would not condone their choice of violent means. In the last couple of years, although the suffering in Gaza has grown worse, there has been little shelling from Gaza to Israel, and it’s virtually always in response to military attacks by Israel upon Palestinians.
there is no longer any Palestinian “terrorism” inside Israel. According to Israeli government statistics, that only one Israeli civilian has died from hostile attack inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders in the last three years.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not protect Israel. Opinion polls consistently show a sizeable majority of Palestinians ready to accept a two-state solution once the settlements are withdrawn, so that Palestine can become a single territorially contiguous state. the settlements prevent the peace that Israelis as well as Palestinians need so badly.
We need a public discussion based on facts so that we can shape a policy that serves U.S. interests. That won’t happen as long as these outdated, now wholly fictional, stereotypes of “terrorists” bent on destroying Israel dominate the conversation.