Palestinians Need to Reform Within, Set Down Weapons

Counterpoint: The Problem Resides with Those Who Hold Power

Josh May attends the Boalt Hall School of Law. Respond at [email protected].

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Will Youmans says "Israel's occupation of the West bank and Gaza predates and causes Palestinian reactions. Israel did not take over the territories as a response to Palestinian actions." The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, however, three years before Israel won the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 War.

What, exactly, were they trying to liberate from Israel? It is clear many Palestinians wanted (and still want) to expel every last Jew from Israel. Also, it is slightly dishonest to say Israel did not take over the territories as a result of Palestinian actions. Granted, it was armies from other Arab countries that attacked Israel in 1967, but the Palestinians were cheering loudly on the sidelines.

I don't believe Israelis or Jews are racist toward Palestinians. The great majority now recognize Palestinians have a legitimate claim to their own country in the West Bank and Gaza. You would be hard-pressed to find a single Israeli or Jew who would not concede this. I do think you would find many in the Palestinian/Muslim/Arab world who believe Israel should not exist, however.

I'm happy the Palestinians have neither the weapons or the backing to attack Israel with greater force. The thing Palestinians need to understand is that they will only get a state and a peace agreement when they PUT DOWN their weapons.

Also, I believe the Palestinians have a government-a government that allows and encourages terrorism and violence against Israelis. If you would have people think that suicide bombings and other terrorist acts by Palestinians occur despite the best efforts of the Palestinian Authority, then you are simply wrong. The Palestinian Authority has been roundly criticized for allowing such terror to continue, for releasing terrorists on a routine basis from prison, and more. Much of the terrorism comes from Yasser Arafat's own Fatah group!

When will the Palestinians and their supporters start to pressure for change from within so that Israel can have a legitimate partner with which to make peace?


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