To the Editor:
This will be my last submission on the Israeli/Palestinian issue as it was never my intention to start another religious war but Mr. Slimm’s very dogmatic views do deserve a response. The Hebrew Bible tells us that the land of Canaan, or land of Israel, was promised by God to the descendants of Abraham’s youngest son, Isaac. The Qur’an states that the land of Canaan was promised to all descendants of Abraham, including his elder son, Ishmael, from whom the Arabs claim descent. Neither Slimm nor I can say with any authority which belief may or may not be correct.
The points I expressed in my letter (“Canada appears pro-Israeli after observer status granted to Palestine”) were based on personal observation and experience. I have worked in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Israel for varying periods of time and have made three visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank. I believe that I have a reasonably well-balanced view of what is going on in that part of the world. I have seen the day-to-day suffering of the Palestinian people and feel a deep sympathy for them, with the constant stopping, questioning and searching by Israel police while so-called Jewish settlers strut by, many of them with an automatic weapon slung over their shoulder.
The relentless illegal expansion and construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank has made an independent Palestinian state an impossible dream in my view and I feel certain that Israel has no intention of ever allowing one to exist. This slow but steady expansion and the hopeless living conditions result a steady flow of Palestinian refugees and ethnic cleansing is the end result. Does this make Israel a hardline nation? I will let you decide that question.
People with dogmatic, uncompromising religious beliefs will never solve the Israeli/Palestinian problems because, in fact, they are the problem.