Published in The Florida Times-Union January 23, 2008
American media coverage of the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians invariably turns violent events upside down to portray the Israelis as the victims, when in actuality the Israelis are the brutal aggressors and always have been.Here's the other side of the story: In 1948, under United Nations authority, European Jews took 77 percent of Palestine and pushed out most of the Palestinians who had lived there since ancient times.Some 400 Palestinian villages [actually 530 towns and villages] were destroyed, thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed and 750,000 Palestinians fled to safety in neighboring countries.They were never allowed to return to their homes, and thousands [actually hundreds of thousands] still live in refugee camps. That's how Israel came into being as a state.The 1967 Six-Day War was a war of conquest by Israel, for the purpose of expanding Israel's territory. The result was Israeli occupation of the remaining 23 percent of Palestine. Israel also took territories from other neighboring states. Even now, it is building Israeli settlements in most of these areas (with American dollars, incidentally).The Arabs say there will be no peace until Israel returns these private properties to their rightful owners [International Law is also clear on this need]. During peace talks, Israel has repeatedly promised to do so (for international consumption only), but the Israelis don't mean it and don't intend to return anything they are not forced to return. The Israeli government has long engaged in systematic destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes, farms, orchards, stores, schools, mosques and factories [and Churches]. It has [intentionally] killed and maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians, including women and children. The Palestinians fight back the way helpless people have always fought back against an overpowering, rapacious enemy - with terrorism [not true, they fought back with nonviolent resistance 99% of the time and violent resistance both terrorism and Internationally recognized violent resistance in 1% of the time].The suicide bombings would end tomorrow, if Israel would withdraw from the occupied territories and stop its brutal treatment of the Palestinians.The U.S. government backs Israel to the hilt in everything it does.That, and that alone, is the cause of the terrorist threat to America.
BENTON L. BRADBERRY