YOUR OCT. 29 editorial “Israel must end provocative digs’’ implies that if Israel refrains from undertaking projects opposed by the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab world in general, the chances of a successful Arab-Israeli peace process will be enhanced. Recent history suggests otherwise.
Opportunities for peace have repeatedly been lost as a result of Arab insistence on maximal and unrealistic demands. Yasser Arafat refused Israeli concessions far greater than those of the current government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Current archaeological excavations are basically a continuation of decades of historical excavations in the Land of Israel that have been a source of great pride and significance to the Jewish people. The Jewish people’s link to the Land of Israel spans thousands of years, and while the Arab world may not like it, history is history and cannot be changed or eradicated.
Just as Arab citizens of Israel live in many parts of that country, Israeli Jews should also be able to live in their ancient homeland, which includes the eastern section of Jerusalem. Your editorial would have been more accurately titled “Israeli archaeological digs confirming legitimacy of Jewish historic claims to the Land of Israel draw Arab condemnation.’’