Dear Ms. Continho,
First, I must apologize to you, Ms. Continho, for not recognizing that you belonged to the better gender. I should have noticed this from your language, sorry about that…
To the point: the majority of Palestinians elected Hamas (in the Gaza Strip only!), not because the majority of Palestinians have become so fanatically religious or anti-peace (although the Israeli government is giving them all the reasons to be so), but – because Hamas, in addition to being a terrorist organization, is also a welfare organization and jobs provider. This is much like the Shas party of Israel, which is an ultra-orthodox, anti-democratic political party (they don’t allow women in their roster; they are being led by an orthodox Rabbi strictly according to the Jewish Halachic rules – or so they say, I wish that it was even partially true; etc.); their supporters are not necessarily religious at all (they are what we call “traditionalists”), but they still elected this party, for providing long education days with hot meals to their children, and jobs to the parents.
In short, electing Hamas doesn’t make the Palestinian public any less innocent, compared to the Israeli public which elected this evil and dishonest government.
As to your point, that Hamas are using innocent people as “human shields”: this is much like the Jewish settlers, who put their women and children’s lives at risk, by living in towns and villages provocatively built inside and far out in Palestinian territory. Not to mention, that the IDF (the Israeli military) is “cowardly using” (as you said about Hamas) local residents, uninvolved in combat, as human shields during search missions. This procedure was eventually banned by Israeli Supreme Court, but has been used nonetheless occasionally.
As for your (own) interpretation to the Declaration of San Remo: well it is, in my humble opinion, completely wrong. Here’s why: the November 2, 1917 declaration (known as “the Balfour Declaration”), upon which San Remo’s was based, called for “a national home for the Jewish people”, and as you rightly mentioned, must not “prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”. If you are so meticulous in reading the civil and religious rights as not pertaining to “national aspirations”, then you must be just as meticulous as to acknowledge, that a “national home” does not necessarily mean an independent state! Because, although the Israeli government has long ago acknowledged the right of the Palestinian minority for self-government, it has always done its best to deprive them form giving this a political implementation, but rather fulfil this be some kind of “autonomy”, whatever that means. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a Jewish State in the land of Israel; I have fought for it, and I brought my boys up to do the same. But if the 1917 declaration does not imply a state for the Palestinians, then honesty obliges that it does not imply a Jewish state, just as well. Not to mention, that the end goal, “to protect the civil and religious rights” as you said, has never been fully achieved – as an official government committee (the Or Committee, 2000) has clearly stated.
Fast forwarding to 1947: the UN resolution, taught in Jewish school as “calling for the establishment of a Jewish State”, actually called for establishing two states, Jewish and Palestinian, the last part omitted from the curriculum for some reason.
But I will give you that (something that the Right-wingers fail to do to us on the Left), that there could be an interpretation to the legal issue, which is different than mine. My point it simple: the legal situation is not what really matters (and this is what I meant by saying “irrelevant” in my post). Because, even if the Palestinians do not have the right for their own state, from the international law point of view – then what do we do with them? If we don’t give them full civil rights (which you actually agreed to do, and that includes the right to vote – which would lead to a Muslim Prime Minister pretty soon, and, in many people’s view – the end of the Zionist project) – if we don’t give them that and hold them as second-class residents, then Israel cannot be truly regarded as a democratic state. We can’t expel them, we can’t hold them occupied – so what do we do? The only answers I have heard so far from fellows in the Right are – Israel Trust in God almighty, or that we should just wait for them to learn to accept us and the wonderful life we generously give them here, or that they will just go away.
Regarding Apartheid: No, Ms. Continho, about 2 million Palestinians are NOT allowed to vote for the Israeli government. Can’t you see that you defeat your own argument? – You claim that the Palestinians do not deserve their own state, yet at the same time you exclude them from the Israeli public, when you claim that in Israel, everybody has the right to vote! So it’s either you are against a Palestinian State, which renders all Palestinians under Israeli control lack the basic right to control their own fate, or – you claim that voting is free for all in Israel, by which the occupied territories are excluded from Israel.
And regarding sexual relations – it is not illegal to have inter-race relationship; but almost anybody who will try to date somebody from the different religion will soon find out that it’s nearly impossible. For this, by the way, I blame both sides and not only the Jews.
For your knowledge, I do acknowledge “the fact that the Palestinians murder civilians”, and I don’t “refuse to criticize them for that poor approach”. In fact, in most Arab countries, thousands of people have been murdered and abused by their own people, and I attribute this to the poor moral standards in effect in those countries, especially in Syria but also some in Palestine. This by the way has nothing to do with Islam, but with the nasty and cruel regimes in those countries in modern times. In short, those who did it are primitive criminals, justifying their crimes by a distorted and inhuman interpretation of the Islam, a phenomenon which, I must say, is very common in the modern era in many Muslim societies. But this can’t justify killing civilians by individual Jews (like Dr. Baruch Goldstein, who is considered a martyr by a great part of the fundamental Jewish right wing), but also by the Israeli military!
I don’t know how you came to put this thought in my head and words in my keyboard, that I did not criticize the Arab side. This is either a remarkable demonstration of mind-reading (albeit totally wrong), or – a demagogic argument, very typical, I must say, to the right wing rhetoric.
To claim that “the international law says that this disputed piece of land belongs to the Jewish People, period” is nothing more than reducing the argument to a level that nobody can argue, because you, the knows-all, have put a period at the end of your sentence. If you had enough intellectual honesty, you would admit that this is just your own interpretation, which I do respect, but is just as good as the opposite one.
If you conclude by your interpretation to Ismail Haniah, that “the Palestinians do not want peace and they will never recognize the Jewish State” then you show another remarkable ability of predicting the future; and in seriousness – a not-so-remarkable manner by which you comprehend the situation, if you think that Haniah represents the majority of Palestinians.
With all due respect,