Alleged friends

Shoshana Wineburg’s impassioned plea for “transparency” regarding BDS and other issues germane to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in her open letter to Ari Shavit (June 13) begs an obvious question: Short of unconditional surrender to Mahmoud Abbas and his kleptocratic Palestinian Authority, when might we expect some transparency on the part of Ms. Wineburg and her coterie of insatiable critics vis à vis their intentions toward Israel?
For what she has given us is yet another warmed-over serving of the half-truths and fables she and her ilk, past and present, have been circulating since Israel made the unforgivable mistake of winning a 1967 war thrust upon it by an Egyptian-Syrian cabal, a war openly aimed at Israel’s destruction.
Is there “suffering” and poverty among the Palestinians? Without doubt. But it is hardly as a result of the Jews or Israel having disdained their plight. Israel has provided the jobs that put food on the tables of thousands of Palestinian families who cross the Green Line daily to work in construction, manufacturing and the retail trades.
Ms. Wineburg laments the Palestinians’ lack of a “home.” There are already two Palestinian states: Jordan, illegally gouged by the British mandatory power out of the land set aside for a Jewish national home, and Gaza, from which Israel unilaterally withdrew in 2005. Hashemite Jordan has a 70 percent Palestinian majority. Gush Katif, from which 10,000 Jews were expelled, was being readied as a rocket-launching site by its new Hamas tenants as soon as the last Jewish bus left.
Despite all this, three Israeli governments were prepared to vacate 80-97 percent of Judea and Samaria for a third Palestinian state in exchange for peace and recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. There were no takers. Mr. Abbas and Mr. Arafat before him made it quite clear, in word and deed, that the only Palestinian state they would accept is one that would have made Israel’s existence an historic footnote.
Israel will have to carry on without her niggardly blessings. There are limits to what alleged friends think they can demand of friends and still be regarded as friends.

William Mehlman

Efrat, Israel