Selective History Weakens Professor's Case Against Israel [on Nina Tannenwald]
Prof. Nina Tannenwald ("The issue is the occupation, stupid," Commentary, July 15) blames Israel for Palestinian violence while failing to acknowledge any Palestinian agency. In so doing, she ignores the massive incitement by Palestinian Authority politicians, religious leaders and terrorist groups. She is also indifferent to the three occasions in the last 16 years when Palestinian leaders rejected Israeli proposals to make peace.
In 2000, Yasser Arafat rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer for independence on 95 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, with land swaps. Instead, Arafat launched a five-year terror war in which Palestinian terrorists murdered almost 1,100 Israelis in hundreds of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings. In 2005, Israel withdrew all settlements from Gaza, only to be rewarded with Hamas taking over and launching thousands of rockets into Israeli towns and cities.
In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians independence, only to be rebuffed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Then in 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu froze all settlement construction for 10 months to persuade Abbas to reenter peace talks. Again Abbas balked.
Egregiously, Professor Tannenwald's description of Hebron as a "Palestinian city" ignores the town's 3,000-year status as Judaism's second holiest city. Hebron had a thriving indigenous Jewish community until 1929, when Palestinian Arabs massacred 60 Jews and ethnically cleansed the survivors.
Professor Tannenwald's parroting of an ultra-nationalist Palestinian narrative utterly fails to shed any light on the immensely complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That she instructs the next generation on this and other international issues ought to be deeply concerning.
The writer is executive director of StandWithUs Rhode Island.
Related Topics: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), Brown University
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