Letters June 21, 2018


Financial resettlement the answer to Palestinian question
Aaron Liebel’s excellent review of Yossi Klein Halevi’s book, “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbors,” provides great insight into the problems fueling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (“Yossi Klein Halevi’s plea for Middle East understanding,” June 14). This article and history convince me that a two-state solution is an impossibility.

When we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes at increasing cost. There were five attempts at providing for Jewish and Arab states. Each was rejected by the Arabs. Israel evacuated the Sinai and southern Lebanon in 1979 and Gaza in 2005, expecting to see progress towards peace. In 2009, President Barack Obama pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement a 10-month pause in expanding existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, expecting some concessions from the Palestinians. All these efforts were for naught and increased the level of hostility by Arabs.

Is Islamic ideology hindering resolution? The Koran calls for treating Christians and Jews with respect as recipients of God’s divine message. Radical Islam believes instead that Islam is a replacement for both religions.

There is only one solution to the conflict: Financial resettlement of the Palestinians to surrounding Arab countries. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, created 70 years ago, was charged with assimilating Arab refugees into these countries. It has spent more than $1 billion and has failed. That money might be better used for resettlement, building cities, housing and industries.



Many Presbyterians are committed to a strong interfaith relationship
As a local Presbyterian pastor who has been and remains deeply involved in Jewish-Presbyterian relations after many years, I appreciate Rabbi Noam Marans’ call for a new path in national dialogue (“The Presbyterian Church has been hijacked by anti-Israel activists,” May 31).

I regret the hard anti-Israel efforts taken by a well-organized faction within the larger denomination. The rabbi is correct that the majority of Presbyterians support a two-state solution with peace and security for Israel and the Palestinian people. He is also right that Presbyterians will not be taken seriously as peacemakers as long as we continue with an un-critical stance against Israel.

The tentacles of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are long; unfortunately, they have found their way deep into the Presbyterian Church (USA). Many of my colleagues and our congregations, locally and around the country, are committed to a strong supportive relationship with Jews and Palestinians in the pursuit of a just peace.
Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
North Bethesda


Krauthammer will be missed
I was saddened and dismayed when I read about the imminent death as announced by him of Dr. Charles Krauthammer (“Shock follows columnist’s prognosis,” June 14). In his frequent op-eds in the Washington Post, Washington Times and local and national newspapers, and his participation in Washington Week, he demonstrated a major knowledge of the political process, featured by his logic and almost clairvoyance.

Certainly in his defense of Israel, his appreciation of the terrorist threat posed by Iran and his view of the aggressive foreign policy of Russia, his voice will be missed.

Currently, there is no individual who can compare with his views and voice, unfortunately soon to be silenced.
New York, N.Y.

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