April 10, 2013

Another View: Columnist unfairly painted Palestinians as the bad guys

By Robert Schaible

Charles Krauthammer ("Obama unmasks Abbas by reducing settlement issue to an 'excuse,' " March 29) chooses a Palestinian mother's sad pride in her suicide-bombing sons, along with misinformation and distortion, to present Palestinians as debased haters of Jews.

One could more easily present Jews as debased haters of Palestinians by pointing to former Israeli prime ministers guilty, by any reasonable standard, of war crimes: Menachem Begin at the Deir Yassin massacre (1948) and Ariel Sharon at Sabra and Shatila (1982). But such broad-brush racism is better left for ideologues.

Krauthammer is silent on the decades of massacres, population expulsions, home demolitions, land and water theft and family evictions under occupation that once led to such horrible actions as suicide bombing.

Krauthammer envisions Israel as a peace-seeker dealing with recalcitrant Arabs. The truth?

Arch-Zionist Israeli historian Benny Morris has conceded that Israel's leaders lied for decades about Arabs' sincere interest in peace.

Henry Siegman, former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America, calls Israel's interest in peace "a fiction that has served primarily to provide cover for its systematic confiscation of Palestinian land."

Abbas reasonably demands that Israel halt settlement expansion before peace talks resume. Like Siegman, he knows Israel has negotiated in bad faith via its continuing theft of the very land Palestinians need for the state the process pretends to be about.

The earlier settlement "freeze" Krauthammer mentions was a phony freeze at best, which Abbas astutely saw for what it was.

The myths that Krauthammer puffs into life do not serve the cause of a just peace desired by many decent people on both sides of the conflict.

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