Letters

Letters

Seeing Palestinian statehood through the lens of separatist movements

Issue has nothing in common with separatist movements

Re “Spain clamors for a ‘two-state solution’ — but not in Catalonia” (Opinion, Oct. 25): Equating the aspirations for self-determination of Catalans, Kurds, and Tibetans with those of Palestinians is not so much like ignoring the distinctions between apples and oranges as it is like ignoring the distinctions between apples and orangutans.

Ethnic and cultural considerations notwithstanding, national states have always vehemently opposed the division of their land and sovereignty, such as is sought by Catalans, Kurds, and Tibetans. In stark contrast, the Palestinians seek to move from having no state to having one, dividing no pre-existing land or sovereignty. That change only occasions the moniker “two-state” in light of the unwelcome involvement of Israel in the affairs of the Palestinian population.

Israel already has a contentious relationship with the Palestinian Authority. There is no reason it could not cope with a contentious relationship with a Palestinian state, except for the fact that then it could no longer incrementally annex with impunity parcels of Palestinian land. Israel’s West Bank policies impose loss and misery on stateless Palestinian people in order that individual Israeli citizens might secure gain and comfort.

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If Israel, or any other country, tried to annex seriatim small parcels of Spain, Iraq, or China to accommodate a growing population, war would break out. The issue of Palestinian statehood has nothing in common with various separatist movements in other countries.

Keith Backman

Bedford

Double standards, difficult options, in pushes for self-determination

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I concur with Jeff Jacoby that Spain, like many countries, has a double standard when it comes to the Middle East (“Spain clamors for a ‘two-state solution’ — but not in Catalonia”). However, there are so many differences in the two situations, especially when it comes to Israel. I am not opposed to a one-state solution, nor do I embrace a two-state solution with a terrorist-friendly government, such as the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, in charge. Neither option will bring peace and stability. We must look for a third option that gives Palestinian Arabs more control of their own lives and Israel the peace and security it deserves.

The Kurds deserve a nation of their own, but Kurdistan encompasses several countries, all opposed to an independent nation for the Kurds. It is hypocritical for the world to insist on Palestinian statehood and ignore the rights of Kurds to manage their own destiny.

One logical reason for this duplicity is that, with the Palestinian cause, Israel can be made out to be the bad guy, but people are unwilling to criticize Turkey and Arab nations when it comes to self-determination for the Kurdish people.

Gil Stein

Aptos, Calif.