WHY ISRAEL MUST LEAVE WEST BANK

 

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I am looking at a picture of my three year old grand daughter. Her twinkling eyes are warning me that any time she will jump on my tummy knocking me out of consciousness. A cheeky little thing! I love her so much that any minute I live away from her is a pain. Why should she have to live in Toronto and I in Lethbridge. I love her so much that I am ready to give my life for hers. Her name is Hana. Her parents chose the name because it is both Hebrew and Japanese. It means flower in Japanese, a very common girl’s name in Japan.

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I don’t exactly know what it means in Hebrew. Her doctor Dad is a Jewish-Canadian and artist Mom, my daughter, of course, is a Japanese-Canadian. My spine freezes whenever I think of the fate of Jewish people only six decades ago. My lovely Hana would have been herded to the gas chamber for being a half-Jewish. Rise of anti-Semitism brings me a chill, no matter how remote such likelihood. But you never know. Genocide and ethnic cleansing still happen. Persecution of Jewish people by Christians lasted nearly two thousand years. I totally understand why the Jews in the world think the existence of the State of Israel, so important for their sense of well-being. I believe that Israel must exists as a Jewish state.

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Should Israel must exists, it will not be able to live with enemies on all frontiers for ever. Secure future of any state lies in a friendly relationship with neighboring states. This is why I believe that Israel must leave the West Bank and East Jerusalem as soon as possible. In order to create those settlements, Israel made the lives of Palestinians extremely difficult. Oppression begets violence, and violence begets further oppression. Thus a downward spiral of violence accelerates.

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Israeli pull out of Gaza and from four settlements in northern West Bank is a good thing, if it is a start. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is taking a big gamble. However, I am afraid that it may be too late too little. But it must succeed. It is the only way for the State of Israel to start walking toward the direction of survival. And it must, for the sake of the Jewry of the world, even for the sake of my grand daughter, little Hana.

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Tad Mitsui, Retired United Church Minister
1264 8th Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 1R1
403) 328 6230

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