More AFR letters on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Neither side wants a two-state solution

There were some good points in Alexander Downer’s “Feckless West can’t keep falling for Hamas propaganda” (May 29) but he has paid little attention to Israel’s ruling elite and their still current approach. In essence, like Hamas and Iran, they have no intention of having a two-state solution.
Israel, from the 1930s, never had any intention of sharing Palestine with the Palestinians.

A good starting point is David Ben-Gurion’s statement in 1937: “We must expel Arabs and take their place “…If we are compelled to use force….Our force will enable us to do so”.

After WW2 Palestine was ‘never a land without a people for a people without a land. It was a land with the indigenous Palestinian people already living there with a small number of Jews and had done so for thousands of years. Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, also said in 1948: “The Jewish state now being offered to us is not the Zionist objective. […] But it can serve as a decisive stage along the path to greater Zionist implementation. It will consolidate in Palestine, within the shortest possible time, the real Jewish force, which will lead us to our historic goal”. In a discussion in the Jewish Agency he said that he wanted a Jewish-Arab agreement “on the assumption that after we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine”.

Secondly The Jewish settlements in the West bank have as their aim the erosion of the two-state solution ensuring that no contiguous Palestine state remains to be handed back.

The only hope now is for a huge UN force to force Israel back to the pre-1967 borders as suggested by Ben-Gurion and UN Resolution 242, and then lock up both negotiation teams in a room, feed them bread and water only to be released when they come to a permanent settlement on solving the Nakba. After the withdrawal to the pre-1967 war borders an alternative is to hand the issue of compensation, land disputes, to The International Court of Justice, to adjudicate. Their decisions are to be enforced by the UN.

A horrible alternative is to see the PLO / Israeli ‘moderates’ elbowed out by the hard right and religious nutters and the PLO cause taken over by the barbaric IS and the Palestinians being sold out again by their own corrupt PLO leadership and surrounding Arab governments who only pay lip service to the Palestinian cause.

Marcus L’Estrange, St Kilda West, Vic

Downer should be ashamed

Amazing that Alexander Downer so effortlessly lauds Israel. After all, Israel is a serial ignorer of UN Resolutions, the International Court of Justice, and 4th Geneva Convention. I do not understand why our former foreign minister thinks the Palestinians should just accept living under the orders of a foreign army. Supporting the occupation is nothing to be proud of. Mr Downer should be ashamed of himself.

The article mentions the word border several times. In truth there is no border. He should ask Benjamin Netanyahu to draw a map of Israel. He might be surprised. As for the argument about Jewish significant contributions to science and scholarship, yes but so what ? Does it justify killing and subjugating others?

John Salisbury, East Malvern, Vic

Hamas, PA must come to table

Alexander Downer is absolutely right that the motion attacking Israel at the UNHCR, which Australia rightly opposed, would not help the peace process. Furthermore, such motions are actually destructive.
Hamas only continues these tactics, correctly described by Downer as stunts, because they work. Similarly, the Palestinian Authority leadership refuses to constructively negotiate, as Downer described, because they feel under no pressure to do so.

If the international community really wants to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians, it should do the following: It should stop condemning Israel for defending itself; it should make it clear to the PA and Hamas that they are expected to cease their hostility, intransigence and to negotiate in good faith where there will be rewards for doing so but consequences if they don’t.

Robbie Gore, Brighton East, Vic

[The above letters appeared in the Australian Financial Review.]