Terrorism is not a legitimate means of resistance
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to Tarek Dika’s letter (Unified Palestinian leadership critical to Mideast peace, 11/15/2004). I find Dika’s opinion to be quite disturbing as an Israeli citizen and a human being. “If you want to end terrorism, you must end the occupation” is Dika’s main argument. Furthermore, Dika’s refers to terror as a legitimate means of resistance. What Dika is suggesting is that Palestinians should continue to target innocent people by blowing up buses, coffee shops or just kill innocent children until the Israeli government decides to give in to his demands. I do not know what Dika’s moral standards are, but as a former Israeli soldier, the last thing I want is another human being killed, no matter his nationality. Both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered a great deal, and no innocent bystander should die because of any political dispute.
This might be shocking to Dika, but the Israeli people do not want their soldiers to be inside Gaza or Ramalla. In fact, our prime minister is leading a one-sided withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and numerous settlements in the West Bank. The reason this withdrawal is one sided is because the former Palestinian leadership had similar views as Dika.
As an Israeli who would like to ride a bus without looking over his shoulder, I could only hope the next Palestinian leadership would choose communication and negotiations to solve its political problems instead of guns and suicide bombers. As long as Palestinians such as Dika continue to support terror, Israel has no choice but to continue fighting terrorism. I can only pray that my neighboring Palestinians do not share Dika’s views. Peace between nations cannot be based on terrorism and intimidation; it can only be based on negotiations and political sacrifice.
The letter writer is the chair of the Israeli Student Organization.
Reader ‘totally misses’ the legitimate issues concerning Arafat’s legacy
To the Daily:
Tarek Dika’s letter totally misses what was wrong with Yasser Arafat and disgustingly calls for terror attacks against Israelis (Unified Palestinian leadership crucial to Mideast peace, 11/15/04). Dika criticizes Arafat for forestalling the “articulation of a coherent vision and strategy” to oppose Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza. This is to suggest that Arafat had not caused enough harm already. Arafat’s legacy rests with his irreversible damage to the Middle East peace process, something noble for which Dika and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality appear to have low regard.
At Camp David during the summer of 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a generous offer to Yasser Arafat in which he proposed putting 97 percent of the disputed territories under control of the Palestinian Authority. Because Arafat was committed to the destruction of the Jewish state instead of coexistence, he turned town Barak’s generous offer and called on Palestinian youths to launch attacks against Israel. Because of this, Israel has had to put its youths in danger by sending them into Palestinian towns to stop terror attacks that have claimed the lives of over 1,000 innocent Israelis. These victims were people doing things such as eating at restaurants, socializing in bars and riding on buses. Their murderers targeted them regardless of age and gender. The perpetrators carried out their murderous acts because they had been indoctrinated from an early age to hate Jews and to reject the existence of the state of Israel. If Dika doesn’t believe that this is terror, then there is something significantly wrong with him and his organization, assuming that there wasn’t already.
Dika absurdly asserts that terrorism is a result of Israeli occupation. Israel launches operations against terrorists because they pose a threat that shows no sign of cessation. In addition, it is absurd to allege that a progressive democratic state such as Israel would just maliciously oppress an innocent civilian population. And people forget about all of the terror attacks that are thankfully thwarted. Yet in Dika’s view, it is probably a shame that these attempts bore no fruit and destroyed more Israeli lives. Israel needs to defend itself, and unfortunately many Palestinians who have nothing to do with terrorist activity end up suffering because of this. It is an absolute shame that SAFE openly advocates terrorist attacks that kill innocents and ruin prospects of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The definition of terrorism critical to a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict
To the Daily:
In response to a letter written by Chaim A. Schramm (Terrorism, not Israel, is the roadblock to Mideast peace, 11/16/04), I would, as a reasonable member of the University, the Muslim community, the Palestinian community and the Arab community, like to agree that terrorism is the roadblock to peace in Palestine. However, unlike Schramm, I do not define “terrorism” as an occupied people fighting for freedom. The resistance against Apartheid in South Africa wasn’t “terrorism” nor was the resistance to the British occupation in India. I do not condone the death of innocent civilians on either side, which is what terrorism truly is.
In agreement with Schramm, I say that terrorism must end. This means that the wall being built around and in the West Bank, the inhumane conditions in the Gaza Strip, the construction of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, the mass destruction of Palestinian homes and land, the massacre of innocent Palestinians, in addition to the suicide bombings, must end. It is not, by any means, fair to say that an entire population living under occupation and in constant fear should become completely passive and allow for the genocide of their people before “peace” can be achieved.
I would also like to draw attention to the fact that there is resistance to the occupation on both sides of the wall. Nonviolent resistance movements have been started by both Palestinians and Israelis, protesting the occupation, such as Women in Black and the International Solidarity Movement. The question I would like to pose to the community now is “Why is it that we feed into the belief that ‘terrorism’ is the act of an olive-skinned man with black hair and brown eyes who happens to pray five times a day and not that of an oppressive government?” I agree with Tarek Dika in saying that the Palestinians must resist the occupation (Unified Palestinian leadership critical to Mideast peace, 11/15/2004), because it is this terrorism that is the roadblock to peace.
Rama A. Salhi
Advertising insert, people who read it stupid
To the Daily:
I opened the paper today (11/16/04) to find a small glossy insert, and it made me realize how horrible a life some people must live. It blows my mind that someone would actually write a newspaper about a TV show, and a bad one at that. It also blows my mind that people spend the time to read it. How absolutely stupid can people get. Seriously, get a life, and some friends, and stop wasting my time. I really hope I never see that in the Daily again, because I will probably have to burn it. Stop wasting my time.