On the op-ed page of the Feb. 7 Eagle Leonard Quart writes: "There is no denying that profound civil and human rights problems have been caused by the presence of settlements and by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank." Our American forefathers established "settlements" (Plymouth, Ma.) in the lands of Native Americans. Israelis are now living in communities they have re-established in their historic homeland.

Settlements cannot be made in your own native land. The true name of the West Bank is Judea and Samaria. Israel is in control of its own land that happens to have a significant Arab population. This land is not "occupied" by Israel -- at best it can be considered "disputed" territory. From 1948 until 1967 the so-called West Bank was truly occupied by Jordan as per the armistice lines of the Israeli War of Independence. During those 19 years the Arab residents of the West Bank took no actions to create a separate state.

Mr. Quart goes on to say (quoting from "A balanced look at promised land"): "the ethnic cleansing of 50,000 to 70,000 Palestinians from the predominantly Arab towns of Lydda and Ramle during the 1948 War of Independence..." Mr. Quart fails to mention that about 700,000 Jews were forced to leave their Arab countries (Syria, Iraq and others) as a result of that war. Many settled in Israel and were quickly absorbed, while Arab refugees languished in refugee camps as bargaining chips, now into a third generation.


Advertisement

Mr. Quart continues to be a political lemming by referring to Arabs in 1948 as Palestinians. In 1948 the Palestinians were Jews. They had the Palestine Post, the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, the Palestine Brigade in the British Army, etc.

Eagle readers can get a clearer picture of current Middle East disagreements by reading "Myths and Facts" by Mitchell Bard.

MARTIN SILVER

Lenox