Israel has a right to exist

This is a republication of an original article written by Avi Mayer in the Diamondback on Monday, November 6, 2006.

In his response to my letter Monday, Hicham Yaktin calls for the imposition of a one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It is unfortunate that Yaktin would deny the Palestinians their right to self-determination and control over their own collective destiny. It is equally unfortunate that Yaktin would see in Israel’s demise an “equitable” solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In the words of the late Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state is axiomatic and unreserved. It has been affirmed and reaffirmed by every legitimate forum of world opinion and by all governments and nations of conscience since the early 20th century. It is supported by the law of nations, by the inherent rights of independent peoples and by the Jewish people’s physical and spiritual connection to the Land of Israel for more than two millennia.

Greater minds than Yaktin’s and mine considered the matter of a single bi-national state well before the decision was made to partition the land in 1947. Then came the bloodshed that started with the Jerusalem pogroms of 1920 and continues to this day.

One need look no further than war-torn Lebanon and former Yugoslavia to see what happens when two nations are forced to share a contested land. It is indeed odd and perhaps troubling that a Lebanese national such as Yaktin would seek to impose the horrific reality of bloody civil war on his neighbors to the south.

Yaktin shrouds his true intentions with appealing references to “secularism” and “justice,” but the essence of his words is ugly indeed and it is identical in every way to the Iranian president’s vile calls for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

Just as we Americans are entitled to live in our own country and just as Frenchmen are entitled to theirs, so too are Jews and Palestinians entitled to lands of their own. It is a terrible shame that Yaktin would deny both groups that for which they have so painfully yearned for so many years.

About the Author

Avi Mayer Senior Government and politics and Jewish studies.