THE ‘CORE ISSUES’ IN THE MIDEAST CONFLICT
Regarding “Inciting the next generation of suicide bombers” (Insight, May 13):
Editor Robert J. Caldwell identifies the symptom but not the problem. Since the inception of the nation-state of Israel, many writers have concluded that the main reason for Arab antagonism toward the Israelis was that of a deep-seated anti-Semitism. Contrary to this view, Benny Morris, considered a well-respected Israeli historian, states that the Palestinians’ opposition was not that of anti-Semitism but rather a fear of their own territorial displacement and dispossession. This is also the view of other Israeli scholars like Tanya Reinhart, Simha Flapan, Ilan Pappe and Zeev Sternhell.
After the 1967 war, which led to the occupation of West Bank, Gaza and other Arab territories, the Palestinian Arabs who lived in these territories were now opposing a very real occupation that is now in its 40th year. B’Tselem, the respected Israeli human rights organization, has classified the Israeli treatment of Palestinians within the occupied territories as major human rights violations. This coupled with checkpoints that restrict movement, demolition of homes and unreasonable curfews fuels resentment even more.
Writing as San Diego public relations director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, I believe that if we are to see an end to the madness in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we need to look at it through a broader perspective of addressing the real core issues.
EDGAR D. HOPIDA