SIR – Joshua Rowe’s letter last week made the absurd claims that Israel had been formed on empty land and is a reluctant occupier of Palestinian land.
Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians from a 1.9 million population were made refugees beyond the borders of the state. Zionist forces had taken more than 78% of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.
Though some of the movement’s pioneers initially supported a Jewish state in places such as Uganda and Argentina, they eventually called for building a state in Palestine. Rowe claims there was no Palestine and he wishes to also disappear Palestinians, however, he should refer to the Balfour Declaration which founded the state and whose decree was taken up by the League of Nations, as follows:
‘His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’
Unfortunately, Israel never has respected the civil and religious right of non-Jews and has been in expansionist colonial mode ever since with dispossession of Palestinian lands and homes ever since. While those dispossessed Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) are refused the right of return, Israel continues to recruit Jews from all over the world, and with no Middle East connection, to come and illegally settle on more and more stolen Palestinian land.
The sniper killing of unarmed Gaza protesters, who only want what is rightfully theirs, together with press, medics and children, has brought Israel to a new low in demonstrating that their military rules of engagement and general morality are non-existent.
Two Israeli government ministers called for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the Deputy Speaker and the Justice Minister, so Rowe should understand that Palestinians are under constant Israeli threat.