Dr. David Newman, writing in the New York Times on May 21, “How the Settlements Grew”, gives credence to the myths concerning Israel’s Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Dr. Newman mistakenly states that these communities have been placed in “the densely populated Palestinian upland areas”, without mentioning that only one Israeli Jewish Settlement lies inside a densely populated Palestinian Arab area – the Jewish community in Hebron, which is constructed on Jewish owned property inside Hebron.
While correctly reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin that expanded Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, Katif and the Golan, Dr. Newman neglects to mention that Begin established another principle, which was that no Israeli community would displace any Arab village.
Begin’s policy was different from Israeli policy that followed the 1948 war, when Arab villages such as Bir Is Seiba were overran by the Israeli army and replaced with the city of Beer Sheva, where Dr. Newman lives and teaches today.
Dr. Newman neglects to mention that Beer Sheva is defined as an “illegal Israeli settlement” on all maps issued by the Palestinian Authority. It would be instructive to know if Dr. Newman would be prepared to forfeit his home in Beer Sheva for peace.
Dr. Newman neglects to mention that the PLO and the PA have never called on Israel to remove Israeli settlements on areas taken during the 1967 war in exchange for a peace treaty, as Egypt did in during its negotiations with Israel, 1977-1982.
The position of the PLO and the PA is consistent, demanding that Israel relinquish all areas acquired in 1967 AND in 1948, under the premise, promise and illusion of the “right of return”, as the PLO and PA understand it.