Just about all of this hate and killing could be ended if the people committed to living peacefully with each other. Currently, Hamas is dedicated to wiping Israel off the map; it is an existential threat. With millions of Jews living there, that is unlikely to succeed and just draws out this terrible situation. “From the river to the sea” also seeks to end Israel’s existence as the homeland for the Jewish people. Again, unlikely to succeed and just draws out the misery. With the current environment of hate and a corrupt Palestinian Authority government, ending the occupation by Israel in the West Bank would likely lead to Hamas ruling in the West Bank. Consider Israel left Lebanon and ended up with Hezbollah, left Gaza and disastrously for the Gazans and Israelis ended up with Hamas there. A very bleak picture and all the sympathy for victims will not change anything. We need mindset change, a drive for living together in peace with respect.  And there are several organizations in Israel pushing for this.

Along with this, Israel needs to end its push to take over the entire West Bank and end its efforts to either drive out the Palestinians or make them second class citizens.

Israel has shown that living together is not only possible but can be enormously better than the current situation; about 20% of Israel’s population has been and continues to be Arab, and this has held for about 75 years! 

Let us focus on preventing this misery from going on, because unless fundamental mindset changes are made it will. Get rid of the instigators, work for living together in peace and with respect. Stop the slogans, the accusations. Get together to know each other and the desire to raise families in peace.

Edward Diener ’61
Vienna, Va.