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Newton D. Bowdan: Should Israel give back land it won? No.

To the editor:

The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its activists assume that it is illegal for Israel to occupy some of the lands of the five nations that have repeatedly made aggressive war on it, one of the presuppositions that “justified” the firing of an actress who advertised for an Israeli company based in the West Bank.

This company, SodaStream, is supposed to have been oppressing the Palestinian people by employing 500 of them. The backers of BDS accept the claim of the defeated invaders that they are entitled to Jerusalem and the West Bank (but they would settle for all Israel) as part of a future Palestinian state. But they never had such a state.

They had Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and they were left high and dry on the shores of their defeat. It is important to realize that defeated aggressors have no rights to the lands of the victorious defenders, viz: Germany and Japan. Unfortunately (perhaps) victorious aggressors, viz: America, in its wars against the Native Americans, get to keep their land. At least Israel was defending itself. Should we, as an aggressor against the American Indians, give them back their land? Then why should Israel, as a victorious defender, do so? Thus the reasoning of BDS don’t cut it.

Newton D. Bowdan

South Hadley

Related

Mary H. Hall: Israel should pursue conciliatory approach toward Palestinians

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To the editor: A letter-writer argued Feb. 6 that Israel should as much cede land to Palestinians as the United States should return land to Native Americans. The U.S. ought to give back land that it obtained by many unjust means, whether or not it will do so. The writer also casts Israel as a defender against Arab aggression. Palestinians …

Legacy Comments2

I made alot of money on Sodastream too, and not just the carbon producing fracking and oil pipeline stocks recently recommended. I bought that stock (SODA) a few years ago and sold it after it went up about 50%. it went up much higher recently when there was talk that Coca-Cola was going to buy them (which never happened). I knew at the time that they employed people in the West Bank from their annual company report but it didn't bother me. My feeling is that if people need a job they know better than me if they have moral problems working for that company. (PS. also made some good change from the Greek crisis last year when I scooped in and bought some Coca Cola bottling in Greece (symbol CCH). Right now I'm into ARCO (arcos dorados) - the largest McDonalds franchisee outside of the US. Gotta love it!

While what you wrote is historically more or less accurate, it isn't entirely relevant to the situation here. The big reason Israel should consider seriously negotiating 'giving back' at least some of the land is that the issue is never going to go away or settle if they don't. Unlike the crushed Germans and Japanese, the Palestinians are never going to lie down and accept no return of land. So, if Israel at some point wants peace they'll have to negotiate, historical parallels or not. Also, re: Native Americans, it's quite likely that if disease hadn't eliminated 90% or more of them, and Europeans murdered a significant part of the remainder, they would still retain their land, or at a minimum they would have been fighting, and possibly still be fighting, just as vigorously as the Palestinians to retain or regain their land. This isn't therefore a particularly comparable parallel. Native Americans are simply not here in sufficient numbers to contest the issue, as the Palestinians are.

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