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Letters | Israel’s modern tragedy

Domination of another people is no longer acceptable

Palestinians try to protect themselves from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces, during a protest near Kufr Diek , West Bank, against expansion of a Jewish settlement Alei Zahav, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

Nasser Ishtayeh/AP

Palestinians tried to protect themselves from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during a protest against expansion of a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

THANKS TO H.D.S. Greenway for evoking Israel’s tragedy in his Jan. 3 op-ed. The first step to the country’s much-deserved peace and security is to forgo excuses, denial, and euphemisms, since the domination of another people is no longer acceptable — period.

Israel did once need a defensive army in the West Bank. But then it placed a half million settlers in the only slice of old Palestine left for a Palestinian state. This has made two states — one Israeli and one Palestinian — less achievable.

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But Israelis are justifiably frightened. And fright often makes us act irrationally against our interests. Arabs and Jews did not create this conflict. Europe did, through colonialism, anti-Semitism culminating to the Holocaust, and refusal to let Jews escape to anywhere except Palestine.

None of us will let ourselves get taunted into “saving ourselves’’ or into giving up what is harmful to us and others. Israel’s domination of the Palestinians harms both itself and the Palestinians. But Israel deserves to be soberly addressed, as Greenway does, and heartened and encouraged, instead of insulted, as some do, into revoking its domination. The Palestinians also have suffered oppression and tragedy for years. Israel’s liberation of them would let them liberate themselves.

James Adler

Cambridge

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