Every critic of Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians must (apparently) be reminded of several basic facts.
First, a historical fact: Israel did not start the war. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine between Israelis and Arabs. Israel accepted the Partition Plan and announced its intention to live within its borders, in peace with its Arab neighbors. Those same Arab neighbors rejected the plan, declared war, and vowed to wipe Israel off the map and sweep the Jews into the sea. The borders have changed with every Arab failed attempt to accomplish this, but the aims of both parties have remained the same.
Second, another historical fact: Israel has voluntarily withdrawn from territory occupied by its armies, sometimes unilaterally, several times in the past (Lebanon in 2000, Gaza in 2005). In almost every case, the territory has then been used as a base for attacks on Israel, resulting in the murder of Jewish civilians.
Now, some current facts.
First, Israel is prepared to meet with the Palestinian Authority anywhere, at any time, without pre-conditions, to discuss peace. This offer is frequently repeated by Israel, and consistently rejected by the Palestinians. (See most recent offer here.)
Second, Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own. In contrast, Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist within ANY borders. Here is the Palestinians’ most “moderate” leader, Mahmoud Abbas:
“They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state,” Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.”
If Israel’s critics wish to be taken seriously, they need to admit these facts and explain how these problems can be addressed by Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories. If not, they stand exposed as anti-Semites demanding that Israel commit national suicide.