Dear Mr. President, I write to you as a proud citizen of Israel. Having read the news reports regarding your proposals for a two-state solution along the 1967 lines, please allow me to freshen your memory.In 1967 Israel was viciously attacked by its neighboring Arab countries including the Palestinians. We lost many young lives in the defense of our country. And we recaptured holy Jerusalem from the Jordanian forces who had captured the eastern part of the city in 1948 and held it for 19 years.
We reunited east and west Jerusalem and declared it to be our eternal capital as it was centuries earlier during the reign of King David. We rebuilt the city and permitted the Palestinians who were residing in the eastern part of Jerusalem to remain and to live freely under the rules of the Israeli government. While yet today all Palestinian Arabs are free to travel in our country while we, the Jewish people, are forbidden to pray at the Temple Mount, site of our holy Temple which King Solomon had built two thousand years ago.
The Temple Mount is our holiest place while it is the third holiest place for Muslims after Mecca and Medina. The Mount is controlled by the Muslim Waqf and the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. While Muslims are free to visit and to worship there, it is 100 % forbidden to Jews under severe penalties and often by physical attacks. Mr. President, I have no idea what you intend to propose regarding a two state solution to the problem of the Palestinians. Yes. They deserve a state of their own but not at our expense. Historically, when the British Mandate partitioned 73% of biblical Palestine and gave it to King Abdullah I of Jordan, it left only 27% of biblical Israel to the Jews.
In essence, Mr. President. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the real Palestine and should be the national state of all the Palestinian people. A second part of your plan is to include the return of Palestinian Arabs who fled from their homes in 1948 when our State of Israel was established as an independent Jewish nation. There can never be a return of the refugees who sought shelter in Arab refugee camps where they have been badly mistreated. But the blame must be upon the Arab states, mainly Jordan, which received them but never granted them citizenship.
In essence, Mr. President, there will be no return by us to the 1967 lines. They do not exist for us. Jerusalem is ours and will never be divided again. Palestinian refugees must be given citizenship in the Arab countries where they live. There will never be a so called “right of return”. Therefore, Mr. President, you must understand our historical rights since biblical days. As a good Catholic you are familiar with the stories and history as recorded in the Old Testament. While past president Trump had his faults he was without any doubt Israel’s best American friend.
I hope that you, likewise, will be a true friend to the Jewish people in its ancient homeland. You will always be a very welcome guest in Israel and in Jerusalem especially. May God bless you and keep you well and safe. Shalom. Peace be upon you and upon us.
With much sincerity,
Esor Ben-Sorek, Ph.D.
A proud citizen of Israel.