Letter: Palestinian rights must be supported

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Editor of the Reformer:

I read Martin Cohn's article about his interpretation of facts about Israel and Palestine. What stood out and upset me was his statement made twice, "There was no mention of Palestine." There is more to this statement than just about countries splitting up land. There is a pervasive sentiment in our American Jewish culture as well as in Israel that Palestinians "are not a real people." They say, "The Palestinians are not a real people. They are just Arabs from other places who settled in the Land of Israel over the years, without any cohesive national identity. There never was a Palestinian state and efforts to create one now are unjustified." Golda Meir suggested this in the 1960s. Palestinians long before had created their own identity (as we Americans here have created our own identity since many of us came from other lands). For decades there has been an effort among extremists in Israel to delegitimize the Palestinian people and their rights, which is to destroy their identity. It actually makes no difference what Israel thinks or anyone for that matter. Palestinians have deep ties and history to the land and sea. The reality that they exist must be supported. Now that there is Facebook, it is easy to connect with live world coverage. Seeing live videos of teenagers and journalists being killed by snipers during Gazas demonstrations, as Israelis on the other side of the border cheer and laugh, is despicable. One dear friend in Gaza can't sleep as Israel terrifies Palestinians with their loud surveillance planes daily. Children are traumatized.

To delegitimize Palestinian rights comes in all forms of despicable acts. A dear friend from Gaza, who lives in Washington now, has to send money to her family. Her family olive farm, which once thrived and had been in their family for centuries, was destroyed by Jewish settlers. The settlers left one tree as their statement. There are endless stories like that, where Palestinians are forced from their homes to give to Jewish settlers that our now current government supports.

Palestinians are human beings and they deserve our humanity toward them. I support Bernie Sanders' possible trip to Gaza, to see first hand the terrible existence Palestinians are living in. In my home I have a menorah (a Jewish candle holder to celebrate Hanukkah) well over a century and one half old, which says on the back, "Made in Palestine- Jerusalem."

Margaret Robbins

Putney, May 12


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