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Letter: Letters to the Editor-Conflict Not So One-Sided

To the Editor:

In "Dodging Rockets from Gaza" (Arlington Connection, Nov. 27), George Meek describes his "fact-finding" trip to Israel/Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders. While there, he volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement. What he conveniently leaves out is that these two groups, with intentionally neutral sounding names, are notorious Palestinian supporters and provokers of Israel. This article exemplifies that. His conclusion to no one's surprise: the "underlying cause of violence in the Holy Land" is due to Israel.

Truth is, in the West Bank, it is the other way around from how Mr. Meeks describes. Jewish neighborhoods need to be surrounded by fences and watchtowers for protection — they are not needed by the Palestinian towns. The Jews must build fences around their communities to keep out Palestinian terrorists. Just last year, a Palestinian terrorist broke into the Jewish town of Itamar and murdered Mr. and Mrs. Fogel and three of their six children, the youngest being an infant of three months old.

Mr. Meeks also conveniently leaves out why there is a need for him to be "dodging rockets from Gaza." Ever since Israel left Gaza in a bold move for peace, instead of building a nation there, the Palestinians launched thousands of rockets and mortars targeting Israeli civilians in densely populated cities including Tel Aviv. This has gone on for years.

As far as finger pointing on whose fault the current conflict should fall on, it doesn't really help in solving the problem. One thing though must be changed: The Hamas charter explicitly states that their goal is the destruction of Israel. It says it in many different ways. The Palestinians must give up this pervasive attempt to decimate Israel. Israel has said on many occasions that they are willing to sit down and negotiate with the Palestinians with no pre-conditions for a two-state solution. The Palestinians currently refuse to sit down as they demand pre-conditions be met. For the hopes of both sides, the Palestinians must choose for a better future and sit down and negotiate an end to all this suffering.

Michael Berenhaus

Potomac, Md.