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UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis

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Allison Deger on March 15, 2017 27 Comments

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Virginia Tilley

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A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report that found the country guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people. 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid,”[PDF]. ESCWA is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.  

The findings of the report are non-binding and reflect contributions from professor of political science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Virginia Tilley and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk. It concluded UN organs should sanction Israel and coordinate with civil society groups in boycott campaigns. Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

“[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

While neither Jews or Palestinians are racial groups, the report stated, the apartheid standard was met because ESCWA found a “racial character” to the policies of the Israeli government enacted toward both Jews and Palestinians. This is expressed inside of Israel through separate categories for a citizen’s “nationality” (Jewish or Arab) and in the occupied territories by the absence of citizenship for Palestinians. 

Israel was said to have divided Palestinians into different spheres of governance, each with fewer rights than Jewish-Israelis. Sub-sections of the report outline Palestinians citizens of Israel, West Bank and Gaza residents, Jerusalem residents, and external refugees, all of whom have unequal rights in comparison to Jewish-Israeli citizens.

“Strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime,” ESCWA said. Individual treatment to each group may not meet the apartheid definition, when taken together the report said, it does.

The UN body regarded Israel as producing “one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring dominion over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category.”

Apartheid inside of Israel

Palestinian citizens of Israel total 1.7 million, and while they have voting rights, the report found several quasi-governmental agencies carried out “demographic engineering” in the name of the state to privilege Jewish citizens over Palestinians. Chiefly, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization were both described as exclusively resettling Jewish immigrants and using state land for Jewish-only housing, while at the same time Israel denied the return of Palestinian refugees, and on a smaller scale, denied citizenships to spouses of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian heritage.

The report further found Palestinians have no legal tools for dismantling the racialized hierarchies enshrined to those agencies, due to a 1958 law (functionally part of Israel’s constitution) that calls for a “Jewish character” of the country.

“Palestinian parties can campaign only for minor reforms and better municipal budgets. They are legally prohibited from challenging the racial regime itself,” the report said.

‘Full apartheid’ already in West Bank

While Palestinians citizens of Israel were noted to hold the same political rights as their Jewish-counterparts, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to harsh Israeli military code and hold no political rights in Israel.

Because some 300,000 Israeli settlers also live inside of the West Bank and are governed by separate rules than Palestinians the UN group said: “the dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime.”

“The territory is administered in a manner that fully meets the definition of apartheid under the Apartheid Convention: except for the provision on genocide, every illustrative ‘inhuman act’ listed in the Convention is routinely and systematically practiced by Israel in the West Bank.”

The issue of how the areas under the full security and civil control of the Palestinian Authority fit into the picture was also raised. These urban enclaves in the West Bank were likened to “Bantustans” in South Africa during the apartheid-era and regarded as further evidence of the definition of apartheid.

Bantustans, defined as “separate reserves and ghettoes for the members of the racial groups or groups,” are strictly banned under international law, said the study. Virginia Tilley, the author of this section of the report, added to Mondoweiss that the late Ariel Sharon, who is credited for the idea of Palestinian self-government zones, “closely examined the functioning of the Bantustans in South Africa during his multiple trips there. I think no reasonable doubt can be sustained that this design for a permanently non-sovereign Palestinian ‘state’ was the true aim and so the set-up was intentional and by design and not merely effect.”

Regarding Palestinians who hold Jerusalem resident permits, Israel was charged with “discrimination in access to education, health care, employment, residency and building rights. They also suffer from expulsions and home demolitions, which serve the Israeli policy of ‘demographic balance’ in favour of Jewish residents.”

The report made a specific reference to a 1996 “center of life” law, which it said was a legal mechanism to expel 11,000 Palestinians from the city between the time the law passed and 2014, because their “center of life” was deemed not to be Jerusalem. 

ESCWA claimed Israel first began implementing apartheid abuses during its early years of statehood when 800,000 Palestinians were made refugees during the 1947-49 war. Israel then prevented their return, while at the same time passing legislation to allow any person of Jewish heritage to become a citizen.

The report comes just days after the latest warning bell was sounded by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who told the Jerusalem Post Israel would embark on an “apartheid system” if it did not reach a peace deal soon with the Palestinians. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had been arguing a similar point for several years about the waning time before Israel becomes an “apartheid” regime; although his successor Rex Tillerson stated in his Senate confirmation hearing that the Israelis and Palestinians have time to make a deal (“Sometimes you just need to skip a generation to get rid of all the baggage of the past,” he said).

The reigning view in the U.S. and Europe is that if Israel were to annex the occupied Palestinians territory and take full control, unbridled apartheid would flourish. But the UN report jumps the timeline world leaders have used, and says so explicitly at the top of the dossier: ESCWA reviewed the situation between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as a whole, as if it were all, already, a single state.

Israel has fiercely rejected the apartheid charge, in this report and previously, although it seemingly did not take this report as a seriously as others.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon directed Mondoweiss to his Twitter feed: “#UN #ESCWA has issued today a ” Der Stürmer”like report, NOT endorsed by @UNSG . Friendly advice- dont read it without anti nausea pills….,” he said today, referencing the Nazi propaganda outlet, Der Stürmer.

In 2010 Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs more clearly outlined its position on why it is not an apartheid state:

While the status of Arab-Israelis in Israel is still open to much improvement, a great deal has already been accomplished towards reaching the goal of absolute equality. Unlike under apartheid, Arab Israelis can vote, live where they want, receive excellent medical care and practice whatever profession they choose. One only has to look at the rise of Arab-Israelis in the public sphere to realize the advances Arab Israelis have made: they can be found on the Supreme Court, in the Knesset (parliament), in ambassadorial positions, as senior officers in the police and army, as mayors, as deputy-speakers of the Knesset and even as government ministers and deputy ministers. Prominent Arab Israelis can be found in almost every sphere of Israeli life, including in the medical fields, media and playing on Israel’s national soccer team.

One of the ideals on which Israel was founded was that of equality. Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that the State of Israel ‘will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.’”

Some human rights groups have shied away from labeling Israel as practicing “apartheid” when describing mistreatment of Palestinians. Although that is more or less the contention of a 2010 report by Human Rights Watch, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The human rights group only looked at areas Israel occupies and did not address Palestinian citizens of Israel. 

Adalah, the leading human rights group that advocates on behalf of Palestinian citizens of Israel also has yet to use the word “apartheid” to formally describe their situation. But on its website, the group says Palestinians are “unequal” to Jewish-Israelis and lists 50 “Discriminatory Laws in Israel” that codify separate treatment between Jewish and Arab citizens, ranging from regulations about income tax to land-use codes. 

 

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- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/03/agency-apartheid-organization/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=17f5d34b97-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-17f5d34b97-398530129&mc_cid=17f5d34b97&mc_eid=72524b97a5#sthash.CAn9t7sK.dpuf

Israel’s Threat Scenario: “One-State Solution” for Israel – Palestine, Proposed Annexation of Over 60 % of West Bank

              Israel's Threat Scenario: "One-State Solution" for Israel - Palestine, Proposed Annexation of Over 60 % of West Bank

 Israel’s economy minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing party “The Jewish    Home”, published an article in the New York Times in which he buried the concept of a “two-  state solution” as a way out of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Bennett does not belong to the  radical Zionist fringe. Although he is an advocate of extremist colonial Zionist ideas, he is  considered to be the successor of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. In his Op-ED, Bennett has made a mockery of the policy of the last 20 years, which was connected to the Oslo Accords and the two-state solution. His words won’t bear fruit right now, but they might be in the future.

The threat scenario, which Bennett forecasts for Israel, seems to be the consequence of the behavior of Israel as an occupying power: the strangulation of the Palestinian people for the last 47 years, the 18 year-long occupation of Southern Lebanon, the arbitrary bombardments of its neighboring countries, and the killing of thousands of Palestinian people. If Israel would pull out of the occupied West Bank, not only Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport and its Stock Exchange but also the old-City of Jerusalem could come under rocket attacks, writes Bennett.

In support of his reasoning he adduces three examples: The Oslo Agreement and the pull-out from some West bank cities under Yitzhak Rabin, the head-over-head-withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000 by the Barak government, and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Ariel Sharon. According to Bennett, all ended up in more terror attacks against Israel.

As a favor for the Palestinians, he proposes the annexation of over 61 per cent of the West Bank (Area C in which only 6 percent of the Palestinians live), and on the top of it, he proposes to grant to them citizenship rights in Israel. However, this “gift” does not mean a thing, as Israeli Palestinians know. After 66 years, they are still treated as second class citizens in Israel. Observing how the Zionist majority treated Azmi Bishara and treats Hanin Zoabi, a former and a current member of the Israeli Knesset, should be a warning signal for the proposed “new” Palestinian “citizens” in Israel.

In the last couple of years, Palestinian and anti-Zionist Israeli and Jewish activists all over the world have been calling for a “one-State solution” in order to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. They picked up old bi-national ideas discussed during the British Mandate period that lasted until 1948. At the 12th Zionist Congress of 1921, the representative of a “spiritual” version of Zionism, the German philosopher Martin Buber, proposed a resolution that urged Jews to reject “the methods of nationalistic domination, under which they themselves have long suffered”, and to reject any desire “to suppress another people or to dominate them”, since in Palestine “there is room both for us and its present inhabitants”. The resolution further asked for “a just alliance with the Arab peoples” in order to turn the future “dwelling-place into a community that will flourish economically and culturally, and whose progress would bring each of these peoples unhampered independent development”. The difference between Buber’s proposed resolution and the finally accepted one by the Zionist Congress seemed, at first sighed, minor, but Buber did not condition agreement with Arabs on acceptance of the Balfour Declaration. That official Zionist position was a non-starter. No Arab official could have accepted the Declaration because it privileged the Jewish minority in Palestine over the Arab majority. With the establishment of the State of Israel these reasonable voices fell silent. At the end, political Zionism prevailed and became Israel’s dominant ideology.

Predominantly, radical Zionists dominate public opinion not only in Israel but also in the USA and increasingly in Germany. The strength of the forces behind Bennett and the Netanyahu government is demonstrated by the casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and media mogul Haim Saban. Both belong to the so-called Zionist mainstream. And their political ideas are chilling. If the “Two -State Solution” fails, it would make Israel an “Apartheid-State.” For Adelson this would not represent a problem: “So Israel won’t be a democratic state, so what?” At least, Haim Saban wants to secure “the future of a democratic Israel”. For Adelson, these ideas would be “committing demographic suicide”. Saban offered a charming alternative to President Obama’s negotiation efforts to reach a fair agreement with Iran. He “would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches”. And Netanyahu would perhaps left “screwed”.

For the Palestinian leadership, time appears to run out. President Mahmoud Abbas has to spend all his skills to push for the recognition of Palestine within the EU. He must finally make a motion to the United Nations to admit the State of Palestine as a member, despite the warning of the US that it would hurt the peace process that has been moribund for the last 20 years. The political haggling had been intended to lull the West and to deceive the public about Israel’s expansionist goals.

Bennett’s article and the reprehensible views of leading Zionist billionaires in the US, not to forget Netanyahu’s political obsession with Iran, should be a wake-up call for Western politicians and diplomats. To save their two-state solution, they have to recognize the State of Palestine right now. If they fail again, as they have been doing during the last 20 years, the one-state solution will be the only alternative. The one-state solution in the offing has nothing to do with a bi-national state or a state for all its citizens. It would be a one-state solution based on discrimination, an Israeli version of apartheid.

 

حل الدولة الواحدة كما يقترحه بينيت: نسخة إسرائيل من الفصل العنصري

http://حل الدولة الواحدة كما يقترحه بينيت: نسخة إسرائيل من الفصل العنصري

لودفيك فاتزال — (ذا بالستاين كرونيكل) 12/11/2014

 ترجمة: عبد الرحمن الحسيني

نشر وزير الإقتصاد الإسرائيلي، نفتالي بينيت، الذي يتزعم الحزب اليميني "البيت اليهودي" مقالاً في صحيفة نيويورك تايمز، والذي دفن من خلاله مفهوم "حل الدولتين" كطريقة للخروج من الصراع الإسرائيلي العربي.
 ولا ينتمي بينيت لفئة الصهيونية الراديكالية. وبالرغم من أنه منافح عن أثر أفكار الصهيونية الاستعمارية تطرفاً، فإنه يعد الخليفة المرتقب لرئيس الوزراء بنيامين نتنياهو.
 وفي مقاله الرئيسي المذكور، سخر من السياسة التي تم انتهاجها على مدار العشرين عاماً الماضية، والتي كانت متصلة باتفاقيات أوسلو وحل الدولتين. ومع أن كلماته لا تحمل أي ثمار في الوقت الراهن، فإنها ربما تفعل ذلك مستقبلاً.
يبدو أن سيناريو التهديد الذي يستشرفه بينيت لإسرائيل هو من تداعيات سلوكيات إسرائيل كقوة احتلال: خنق الشعب الفلسطيني طيلة الأعوام السبعة والأربعين الماضية، واحتلال جنوب لبنان طوال فترة 18 عاماً، والقصف التعسفي والعشوائي للبلدان المجاورة، وقتل الآلاف من الشعب الفلسطيني.
 ويقول بينيت إنه إذا انسحبت إسرائيل من الضفة الغربية المحتلة، فإنه ليس فقط مطار بن غوريون في تل أبيب وسوق البورصة فيها، وإنما البلدة القديمة من القدس يمكن أن تصبح عرضة لهجمات الصواريخ، ما يكتب بينيت.
من أجل دعم منطقه، يدرج بينيت ثلاثة أمثلة: اتفاقيات أوسلو والإنسحاب من بعض مدن الضفة الغربية في ظل رئاسة إسحق رابين؛ والإنسحاب بعد الانسحاب من جنوب لبنان في العام 2000 في ظل حكومة أيهود باراك، والانسحاب من قطاع غزة في العام 2005 في ظل حكومة أرييل شارون.
 ووفق بينيت، فقد أفضت كل تلك الانسحابات إلى المزيد من الهجمات الإرهابية ضد إسرائيل.
ومن باب المنة على الفلسطينيين، يقترح بينيت ضم أكثر من 61 % من الضفة الغربية (المنطقة "ج" حيث يعيش نحو 6  % فقط من الفلسطينيين)، وفوق كل ذلك، يقترح منحهم حقوق المواطنة في إسرائيل.
 ومع ذلك، فإن هذه "الهبة" لا تعني أي شيء، كما يعرف الفلسطينيون الإسرائيليون (فلسطينيو العام 1948)، إنهم ما يزالون، بعد 66 عاماً، يتلقون معاملة المواطنين من الدرجة الثانية في إسرائيل. ويجب أن تكون الكيفية التي عاملت الغالبية الصهيونية بها النائب السابق في الكنيست الإسرائيلي، عزمي بشارة، والتي تعامل بها النائبة الحالية، حنين الزعبي، إمارة تحذير للمواطنية الفلسطينية الجديدة في إسرائيل.
 في العامين الماضيين، كان الناشطون الفلسطينيون واليهود المعادون للصهيونية في كل أنحاء العالم يدعون لصالح "حل الدولة الواحدة" من أجل حل الصراع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني.
 وقد التقطوا أفكار ثنائية القومية  تم بحثها خلال فترة الانتداب البريطاني والتي استمرت حتى العام 1948.
 وفي المؤتمر الصهيوني الثاني عشر في العام 1921، اقترح ممثل النسخة "الروحانية" للصهيونية، الفيلسوف الألماني مارتن بوبر مشروع قرارا يحث اليهود على رفض "طرق الهيمنة القومية التي كانوا هم أنفسهم قد عانوا منها لأمد طويل"، وإلى رفض أي رغبة في "قمع شعب آخر أو السيطرة عليه"، نظراً لأنه "في فلسطين ثمة متسع لنا ولسكانها الحاليين".
 وزيادة على ذلك، طالب مشروع القرار بإقامة "تحالف عادل مع الشعب العربي" من أجل تحويل المستقبل إلى "مكان معيشة في مجتمع سيزدهر اقتصادياً وثقافياً، والذي سيجلب تقدمه لكل من الشعبين تنمية مستقلة لا يعيقها شيء".
بدا الفارق بين مشروع قرار بوبر والمشروع الذي تم قبوله أخيراً من جانب المؤتمر الصهيوني، عند القراءة الأولى، صغيراً.
 لكن بوبر لم يعلق الاتفاق مع العرب على شرط موافقتهم على وعد بلفور، ولم يكن ذلك الموقف الصهيوني الرسمي في البداية ، ولم يستطع أي مسؤول عربي قبول الوعد لأنه انحاز إلى جانب الأقلية اليهودية على حساب الغالبية العربية.
 ومع تأسيس دولة إسرائيل، صمتت هذه الأصوات العقلانية.
 وفي النهاية سادت الصهيونية السياسية وأصبحت أيديولوجية إسرائيل المهيمنة.
تجدر الإشارة إلى أن الصهاينة الراديكاليين يهيمنون بشكل كبير على الرأي العام، ليس فقط في إسرائيل، وإنما أيضاً في الولايات المتحدة، وعلى نحو متزايد في ألمانيا.
 وتتجلى قوة القوى التي تقف خلف بينيت وحكومة نتنياهو في أسطورة الكازينوهات العظيم شيلدون أديلسون وأسطورة الإعلام حاييم سابان، وكلاهما ينتميان لما يدعى الاتجاه الصهيوني السائد.
 وتتميز أفكارهما السياسية بأنها مرعبة.
 وإذا فشل "حل الدولتين"، فإن ذلك سيجعل من إسرائيل "دولة فصل عنصري".
 وبالنسبة لأدلسون، فإن هذا لن يشكل مشكلة بقوله  "وإذن، لن تصبح إسرائيل دولة ديمقراطية، وما الفرق؟" وعلى الأقل يريد حاييم سابان تأمين "مستقبل إسرائيل ديمقراطيا." 
وبالنسبة لأدلسون، فإن هذه الأفكار ستكون بمثابة "ارتكاب انتحار ديمغرافي".
 ومن جهته، عرض سابان بديلاً ساحراً عن جهود المفاوضات التي يبذبها الرئيس أوباما للتوصل إلى اتفاقية نزيهة مع إيران أن يعمد "إلى قصف أضواء النهار الحية لأولاد العاهرات هؤلاء."
 وربما يترك نتنياهو وقد "خاب أمله".
بالنسبة للقيادة الفلسطينية، يبدو أن الوقت ينفد، ويجب على الرئيس محمود عباس أن يستغل كل مهاراته للدفع من أجل الحصول على الاعتراف بفلسطين من جانب الاتحاد الأوروبي.
 ويجب عليه أخيراً أن يقوم بتحرك في الأمم المتحدة من أجل قبول دولة فلسطين كدولة عضو، بالرغم من تحذير الأمم المتحدة من أن ذلك سيضر بعملية السلام التي ما تزال تحتضر طوال السنوات العشرين الماضية.
 وكان القصد من هذا الترنح السياسي تهدئة الغرب، وخداع الرأي العام بخصوص الأهداف التوسعية لإسرائيل.
على أنه يجب أن يكون مقال بينيت، ووجهات النظر التي تستحق اللوم لأصحاب المليارات من الصهاينة البارزين في الولايات المتحدة -من دون إغفال هوس نتنياهو السياسي بإيران- بمثابة دعوة إيقاظ للساسة والدبلوماسيين الغربيين.
 من أجل إنقاذ حلهم القائم على الدولتينن يتوجب عليهم الاعتراف بدولة فلسطين الآن.
 وإذا فشلوا في ذلك مرة أخرى، كما دأبوا على فعله في الأعوام العشرين الماضية، فسيكون حل الدولة الواحدة هو البديل الوحيد. 
وفي الأفق المنظور، ليس لحل الدولة الواحدة أي شيء يتعلق بدولة ثنائية القومية أو بدولة لكل مواطنيها. 
سوف يكون حل دولة واحدة مستنداً إلى التمييز العنصري؛ نسخةً إسرائيليةً من الفصل العنصري.

Israel and the Two-State Solution

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/opinion/israel-and-the-two-state-solution.html?_r=0

Re “For Israel, two-state is no solution” (Opinion, Nov. 5): Naftali Bennett states two underlying reasons that Israel cannot give up control of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority: security from Palestinian terrorism and security from extremism throughout the Middle East.

But the author does not discuss how his four-point plan will quell Palestinian violence or other regional threats. If anything, his plan for open roads in the West Bank, full citizenship and freedom of movement for Palestinians in Area C, and a larger Israeli civilian presence in West Bank industrial zones would inflame the security predicament he describes. A crucial element must have been omitted from his proposal.

Perhaps Mr. Bennett left out this piece because it is, in fact, the same failing solution Israel has been using for 47 years: military occupation and territorial dispossession of the Palestinian people. The solution to that problem is the same, too: the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel, with security provisions guaranteed by the international community.

Nathan Hersh, New York

The writer is the managing director of Partners for Progressive Israel.

Israel’s genuine security needs cannot be met by imposing so-called solutions on its neighbors. Mr. Bennett’s scheme would introduce but another instance of failed unilateralism. And it would totally undermine the Palestinian Authority, which under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and the tutelage of the United States has cooperated effectively with Israel on security matters until now.

Ralph Seliger, New York

Mr. Bennett argues that the security of Israel from attacks by Hamas and the emergence of the Islamic State negates the goal of a Palestinian state. As a 74-year-old man of Jewish background from a Holocaust family, I find his position abhorrent and misleading. The security argument raised against a two-state solution is old and weak. One can easily imagine a demilitarized Palestinian state whose security is guaranteed by the international community as a United Nations protectorate. That would both eliminate the Hamas threat as well as the need for the brutal Israeli occupation that has clearly become a sham for resettlement and eventual incorporation of Palestine.

Paul M. Wortman, East Setauket, N.Y.

One can infer from Mr. Bennett’s statements that bilateral negotiations toward an agreement for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine have no chance of succeeding, and that the only way to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank is for a third-party security force, such as NATO, to intervene militarily there, provided the Palestinian Authority disavows creation of a Palestinian army of its own. Such an independent force would ensure Israel’s security and ensure the territorial integrity of the Palestinian state.

Peter Homans, New York

The writer evades the only just and sustainable solution: one democratic state for all between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Proceeding with this idea, Israel-Palestine could, like South Africa, begin the long road toward reconciliation. Any other solution is undemocratic and only invites more violence. History is on the side of Palestinians and Israelis eventually becoming full, fellow citizens of one country.

Justine McCabe, New Milford, Conn.

Is this really the thinking of a high-level Israeli politician? Where is the empathy for those who are oppressed, for those who live in fear, or for those who have lost loved ones in the fighting? Shame on Mr. Bennett for dehumanizing the people — both Israeli and Palestinian — so greatly affected by this conflict.

Jonathan Wolf, New York

While I do not agree with Mr. Bennett’s domestic agenda in Israel, I endorse his conclusion that this is not the time for a two-state solution. He argues forcibly and correctly that any Palestinian state created under current circumstances would constitute a threat to the security and internal safety of the state of Israel.

Israel was violently opposed by a variety of Arab States and Islamic activists and state entities from the day it was recognized by the United Nations in 1947. It has fought several defensive wars to achieve security. Why would it agree at this time or in the foreseeable future to the establishment next door of a government that has been unable to prevent violent attacks from its territory into Israel while failing to achieve unity and progress within its own borders?

We need look no further than the inability of the organized nations of the world to contain the irresponsible, provocative and aggressive behavior of Russia and its president against Ukraine. Does Israel not have the right under these circumstances to oppose statehood for a governmental entity that from its inception has a history not just of incompetence but overt armed aggression by one of its governing partners?

Manfred Ohrenstein, New York

The writer is vice chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

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