Disputed facts, figures
M. A. Sullivan, who responded in the August/03 issue (“Go Figure” e-letter sidebar) to my letter regarding Robert Pape’s work on suicide bombers (“More on suicide terrorism,” June/03), ought to get his facts and figures straight. Sullivan claims that Barak offered Arafat 80 percent of 22 percent of 100 percent of the land that originally belonged to the Palestinians. Sorry. The land never belonged to the Palestinians.
In fact, in 1922 Great Britain unilaterally severed what is now Jordan from the original Mandate Palestine that was to become the “Jewish national home.” In 1947 the UN further partitioned the land west of the Jordan River into a Jewish and an Arab state (before the term Palestinian was applied to the Arabs who lived there). The Arabs, joined by neighboring Arab states, waged war against the new State of Israel and lost all the land within the so-called Green Line. The so-called West Bank and Gaza were controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively, but they never created an independent Arab state in those areas. The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was never recognized by the nations of the world, except for Great Britain and Pakistan. It never belonged to the local Arabs.
In 1967 Israel defeated its Arab neighbors, who again tried to destroy Israel, and occupied the West Bank and Gaza (the biblical Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). According to international law, the land reverted to its mandate status. Again, it never belonged to the local Arabs, now called Palestinians.
Unfortunately, many otherwise educated and intelligent people have little patience for, or knowledge of, history.
Milton H.Polin, AM’53