I recently read Julia Good Fox’s article on Palestine [“Palestine: Stop the re-creation of ‘Indian Country’ in the Holy Land,” Vol. 28, Iss.33]. I must state my humble disagreement over the comparison of the Palestinian people to our most honored ancestors. The State of Israel was created after years of agonizing sometimes violent negotiations over British-mandated Palestine territories, with the hope that Jews could truly have a place of refuge in the event of the notorious pogroms that sprang up in many countries around the world which were either sponsored by or openly condoned by the governments of the world.
The Holocaust was the last straw; the total cost of life in the greatest mass murder in all of Europe is still to this day being counted. Many in the world thought they better look the other way, knowing that the only true way for a Jew to no longer face such a threat was to create a country for Jews to have the right to exist and what better than a land that belonged to their ancestors.
The fact of the matter is that the Palestinians have chosen their path and are now realizing its consequences. Israel’s actions may not be the best way, but one cannot by any means say that what happens to Palestine is what happened to our people. The Palestinians may have lived on that land for some thousand years, but before that was Palestine it was Israel and Judaea homeland, and of the Jewish people who were forcibly removed by the Roman Caesar. Both have as much a right to live there as the other, but when one side declares not one square foot of Palestine shall be populated by an Israeli then one has to respond.
Our people did not deserve what happened to us, but we are still carving out our society through peace. It is not perfect, but it is in our hands. The Palestinians still demand the path of death, their future is in their hands, and their consequences are their own.
– Joseph Esquivel