Blaming the victims is the worn-out tactic Charles Krauthammer used in his April 2 opinion piece. The “foolishness” of Yasser Arafat, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to accept Israel’s “generous” offer of peace is easily explained by Israel’s 630 obstacles and checkpoints, which prevent Palestinians from reaching hospitals and jobs when speed is essential.
Countless women in labor and babies have died at the checkpoints. The same is true of heart attack victims. Why is this? They did not have the proper permits to get to Jerusalem.
The 24-foot separation barrier that surrounds Bethlehem, Ramallah and other Palestinian cities often prevents farmers from caring for their fruit and olive trees. This is their livelihood. Children must walk in front of settlement boundaries and are frequently pelted with stones or threatened with rifles. Palestinians are farmers, yet the distribution of water is 80 percent for Israel and 20 percent for Palestine.
Our travels to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza between 1992 and 2006 gave us a vivid picture of the horrors of occupation. Now is the perfect time to insist on peace with justice for all – Israelis and Palestinians. True peace requires that leaders from both Israel and Palestine negotiate as equal partners in forging an agreement so that no one will control all borders of land, sea or sky.
Thank you President Barack Obama for opening the door to peace.