Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gaza's what-ifs

Re: Ms. Peavey's Op-Ed piece "What If?" What if in 1948 the nine Arab countries hadn't told their brethren to abandon the new state while they attempted to annihilate the Jews in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Seven hundred thousand Arabs left the new state while 500,000 of the 800,000 Jews expelled from the Arab countries went to Israel.

  What if those Arab countries that declared war on the new state had given real refuge to the hundreds of thousands who abandoned their land waiting for victory over Israel?

  What if those refugees had been allowed to work outside the camps in which they were confined and integrated them into those countries?

  What if the refugees had been allowed to become citizens of these Arab countries?

  What if those refugees were not treated like pariahs by their own Arab brothers?

What if the Arab countries had supplied significant economic and humanitarian aid through Egypt and the border it shares with Gaza?

  What if they had done something other than sit and wait for Israel to be destroyed, dependent upon U.N. and other handouts, for 60 years?

  What if their only technology advance in 50 years weren't just the rockets they fire into Israel?

And what if Hamas did not say, "We are still ready and capable of firing more rockets. We are developing the range of our rockets and the enemy will face more, and our rockets will hit new targets, God willing."

  What if, what if, what if?

Bernard Friedlander


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