West Bank isn't part of non-existent Palestine

To the editor:

An Oct. 15 AP article "Israeli rights group urges UN to end occupation" quotes the left wing NGO B'Tselem: "Take decisive action now to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory." The West Bank is NOT Palestinian territory. There has never been a country of Palestine there or anywhere.

The West Bank is Judea and Sumeria and a physical part of the ancient land of Israel and a recent part of the British Mandate, which ended in 1948. Prior to that, the West Bank was called Southern Syria and was part of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years.

During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence the West Bank was occupied by Jordan. In the defensive war of 1967, Israel again took control of the West Bank. During the 19-year Jordanian occupation, the Arabs living there never tried to establish a new state.

Yasser Arafat cleverly gave the Arab residents of the West Bank the name "Palestinian" in 1968-69 to strengthen his stance against Israel. There has never been a separate nation of Palestine. Palestinians, by culture, religion, language and ethnicity are an integral part of the great Arab Nation.

At best, the West Bank can be considered "disputed territory" and its future to be discussed by Israelis and Arabs.

Martin Silver, Lenox