Dear Editor:

I often wonder how this country has become so divided and at odds with each other and after reading Letters 8/14/14 – Terrorism; it became clear, people in this country are so misinformed and do not have a clue as to what the facts are. Let me give this scrivener an education (although probably won’t do any good).

The Jewish people have roots to the Kingdom of Israel since 1200 BCE (Before the Common Era). In 1844, Jews constituted the largest population group in Jerusalem and by 1890 an absolute majority in the city. On May 14, 1948, the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine led by the future prime minister David Ben-Gurion, declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Since 1948, Israel has been involved in a series of major military conflicts, including the 1956 Suez Crisis, 1967 Six-Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1982 Lebanon War and 2006 Lebanon War, as well as a nearly constant series of other conflicts, among them the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Israel is completely surrounded by countries that seek its destruction.

In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories (West Bank and Gaza) politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority. Israel disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005. The HAMAS takeover of Gaza in 2007 divided the Palestinian territories politically, with Abbas’ Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority.

HAMAS is well organized and well-funded; founded in 1987 with its roots being set in the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the National Counterterrorism Center, “The group’s charter calls for establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel and rejects all agreements made between the PLO and Israel.” HAMAS has dug and built miles of tunnels in both Gaza and Israel to conduct terrorist activity. They continually use civilians including children as human shields as well as launching rockets from homes and mosques and use any negotiated cease fire as an opportunity to regroup and reload. Since 2001, more than 15,200 rockets and mortars, an average of over three rocket attacks every single day, have targeted Israel; thousands of civilians have been killed or injured by suicide bombings. I guess we all have our own definition of a terrorist.

D. Klinkenborg

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.