From: Ismail Zayid
To: Guardian Weekly
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 5:04 PM
Subject: Israel's good intentions ?!!

July 6,2003
The Editor
Guardian Weekly.
Dear Editor:
The charges, made in David Quentzel' letter {"Trust Israel good intentions" June 26} against Suzanne Goldenberg's reports, are baseless and defy factual history. The Palestinians are the victims of a systematic Zionist programme of ethnic cleansing and dispossession formulated by all Zionist leaders, from Theodor Herzl to Ariel Sharon. This policy of ethnic cleansing was largely effected in early 1948, with the eviction of 350,000 refugees and the occupation of scores of cities and towns, like Jaffa and Acre, that were allotted to the Arab state in UN Resolution #181, before a single Arab soldier entered Palestine on May 15,1948.
In June 1967 Israel initiated its planned war of aggression against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, resulting in the illegal occupation of Arab territories that include to this day the Palestinian territories of the West Bank,including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights. This illegal occupation has been allowed to stand for 36 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. The claim by Israel's apologists that the June 1967 war was a pre-emptive war against threats from President Nasser are demolished by Israel's leaders' own testimony. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's chief of staff at the time stated: " I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." {Le Monde. Feb.28,1968}. Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister at the time, stated, when he was prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College. on Aug.8,1982, : " In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." [The New York Times. Aug. 21,1982}. Perhaps, it is time that Mr. Quentzel and other Israeli apologists heed Mr, Begin's advice and practice some honesty on this score. This war of aggression by Israel was only one of many. Those include Israel's war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, in collusion with Britain and France, as well its wars of aggression against Lebanon in 1978 and 1982. We are still waiting for the penalties and financial compensation paid by the aggressor, as Mr. Quentzel suggests.
The Palestinians, under illegal occupation for the last 36 years, have been the victims of the most oppressive occupation, the practices of which include extra-judicial assassination, detention without charge or trial, torture, daily humiliation,demolition of thousands of their homes and expropriation of their land for the creation of illegal Jewish settlements. These oppressive acts are all in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,  and are,as defined by international law, war crimes.The Barak charade at Camp David,in July 2000, that Mr. Quentzel refers to as " an extraordinary package offered by Israel;" defies all logic. The Palestinians are not calling for any generosity from Israel. They are calling for complete  termination of this illegal occupation and Israeli compliance with international law and UN resolutions.
How long must Israel be allowed to remain above international law ?
Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, M.D.