Letters to the editor
Tom Hopkins of Vail can crunch numbers as much as he intends (Letters, Vail Daily, Sept. 2) to “prove” that “Israel really does sit on Palestinian land.” It’s futile.Mr. Hopkins, there’s a momentum to human affairs and nation-building, and the movement is not usually pretty. Other Mideast states were carved out of Mesopotamia and the Ottoman Empire after WWI when Britain and France relinquished their mandates; there was considerable bloodshed before and after. In the late 17th century, when Oliver Cromwell’s forces prevailed in Northern Ireland, he gave his favorite English generals fertile land there; they became absentee owners and, for better or worse, Great Britain still contains Northern Ireland. More history? The United States, to use Hopkins’ word, “sits” in vast areas on French, Mexican and Indian lands, mostly obtained by war. In the mid-19th century, it was called “manifest destiny” and it was explosive. Shall we return all those lands?Israel exists. And it fought three defensive wars against its hostile neighbors, bent on grabbing the sliver of land that the U.N., by almost unanimous vote in 1948, determined should be used to form a Jewish state. This vote was preceded after WWI by the Balfour Declaration and after WWII with worldwide recognition that “sabras” (long-term Jewish residents) and the survivors of the Holocaust needed a homeland.Whether the Palestinians who fled were told to leave-temporarily- by the invading Arab armies, or were induced to leave by the defending Israelis is a moot question. The fact is that thousands of Palestinians chose to remain, and 57 years later, approximately 1 million live in Israel with equal rights. (There are few, if any, Jews living in Arab countries from which they were forced to emigrate.)Yes, Israel exists. Despite the continual destruction wrought by suicide bombers, it’s a country that fights to survive. It brought bloom to the desert and now it has become a wired society, having joined successfully the 21st century. Despite millions given to and pocketed by Arafat and his cronies, corruption reigns and terror is rewarded. Nothing productive has evolved – only hatred and violence. Even now, there’s no conciliation; Hamas and its military spokesman, Mohammad Dief, vow that there will be no peace until the Jews are driven into the sea.Hopkins’ statistics serve no purpose except to justify more hostility. His thesis would allow the “right of return” to millions of Palestinians, which would result in the destruction of Israel and another holocaust. Thelma and Herb Rubinstein Edwards A good manI am upset.I realize there are a lot of people in this town with aspirations, ambitions and personal agendas. I lived here for 25 years, so it’s no news to me, and surely not all of those are negatives, but when used sophomorically to attack someone’s personal integrity, I take issue, especially if that someone is a personal friend of mine.You don’t have to like Peter Runyon or agree with him, but he is a kind, intelligent man with tons of integrity. He cares and thinks he can make a difference in Eagle County. He is not a follower. He has a fine mind of his own and surely he and I don’t agree on everything in life, but we were next door neighbors and friends still. Even though we have moved away, he visits us in Mexico and now in Naples, Fla. He’s been all over the world and knows a lot as a result. He is not interested in climbing politically, so please get real. Give him a chance and stop insulting his integrity.My best to all the good people of the Valley.Marie JamesVail, Colorado
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