Q. What do you say to Walter Rodgers, former CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief, who criticises Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians? In the Christian Science Monitor 26 Aug 2009 he asks, “Does any serious observer believe that Israel’s appetite for land, owned and occupied by generations of Palestinians, is going to abate?”
A. Mr. Rodgers presents a distorted argument that goes beyond the settlement issue, to debunk the legitimacy of Jewish rights to the land of Israel. Considering that he spent 5½ years living in Jerusalem, his grasp of history seems weak. He ignores continuous Jewish habitation dating back over 3,000 years while exaggerating Palestinian claims. No independent Arab or Palestinian state has ever existed on the land that is now Israel and the Palestinian territories. In addition, how can he accuse Israel of an uncontrollable “appetite for land” while ignoring Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza?