To The Daily Sun,
I am responding to the outcry that the recent U.N. resolution regarding settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is unfair and one-sided. There are many Americans who really don't understand what settlements are.
The settlements are built on confiscated Palestinian land where there were homes, schools and farms. Palestinians have lived there for a few thousand years. Palestinians were among the first Christians. People are not compensated for land that is taken for cities where only non-Arab Israelis are allowed to live. They are accessed by roads on which no Palestinians are allowed to drive. These roads are also built on land confiscated from Palestinians with no compensation. How would we feel if we were forced out of Laconia and Gilford? How would we feel if everything was bulldozed and a city of concrete apartment buildings, stores, museums, swimming pools and restaurants was built on the ruins?
The settlements are built in violation of international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, which was actually signed by Israel. This agreement states that it is illegal to build on and move into land that has been conquered. How can the Israeli government say they want to negotiate borders while continuing to confiscate land?
Since I was last in Israel and the Occupied West Bank, Israel has continued to displace even more Palestinians from their land, and the U.S. still pretends we can help bring about peace while arming Israel.
However, I also see hope because the discourse around Palestine in the U.S. is changing. The movement for Palestinian rights is again seen as part of other struggles for justice. People of conscience worldwide are taking action in solidarity with the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.
I am hopeful that many more people will join with organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Human Rights to stand for justice for the people of Palestine.
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