Reader's view: Mideast solution remains a goal far out of sight
For many years, elected representatives and diplomats from the United States and from many other countries have intervened in the conflict involving Israel, the Palestinians and many countries of the Middle East. The people of Israel claim their ...
For many years, elected representatives and diplomats from the United States and from many other countries have intervened in the conflict involving Israel, the Palestinians and many countries of the Middle East. The people of Israel claim their country has a right to exist. Those on the other side assert they have no intention of backing down on their claim to land taken from them when Israel was created as a new independent state in 1947.
During the time I worked in Jordan on the privatization of state-owned industries, I came in contact with Palestinians whose families were forced into refugee camps in Jordan at the time Israel was established. The third generation of Palestinian refugees is now living in those camps, in squalor by our standards.
Palestinians fail to understand why the U.S. and countries of Western Europe didn't -- and continue to not -- respect the rights they had as the owners of private property. They ask why we don't respect their side of the argument. We set up an impossible situation by forcing Palestinians off land they had owned for centuries. We must ask ourselves how we'd react if a foreign government were to take property from us in the same way. At least when our property is confiscated, we get paid for it.
We have to wonder if the problem is solvable. It's unlikely we'll ever try to force the people of Israel to vacate the land on which present-day Israel was established. We can only hope that in time our experts, together with those representing Israel and the Palestinians, will come up with an agreement that will compensate the Palestinians for loss of their property and for having to live as refugees for decades. Despite the best efforts of many, that goal remains far out of sight.
Earl J. Currie
North Oaks, Minn.
The writer is a former Duluthian.