Jewish Settlement - or Resettlement - West of the Jordan River
The editorial ``Resettlement in Israel,'' Oct. 16, recommends that the US government guarantee loans for new housing for Soviet Jews who emigrate to Israel, if it is not ``channeled into construction of new Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank of the Jordan.'' Money is fungible, and money used in an approved project would simply release funds for nonapproved projects. If Israel wants to aid Soviet immigrants, they should move the housing which has already been built illegally in the occupied territories into Israel proper.
The editorial concludes with the naive hope ``that Israel itself would have qualms about placing many of its new citizens in the dicey environment of the West Bank.'' We should not forget or forgive a government which smuggles nuclear materials and refuses to sign a nonproliferation treaty, kills American sailors in a torpedo attack on the USS Liberty, defies resolutions of the United Nations, invades and occupies a portion of Lebanon, and annexes territory from Syria and the international city of Jerusalem.
Israel should not receive US aid, military or economic. Soviet Jews should be treated as all other would-be immigrants to the US, and not given special quotas. L.R. Loschen Portales, N.M., Former State Department Exchange Professor, American University of Beirut
``New Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank of the Jordan,'' is not just ``a matter of faith'' or a ``roadblock to progress in the region.'' The issue is resettlement, not ``settlement.'' In 1922, the British chopped off more that 70 percent of the 3,300-year-old ``Jewish Homeland'' in a vain attempt to obtain peace from the Arabs. This ``Jewish Homeland'' is recognized by the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Faisal-Weizman agreement of 1919, League of Nations recognition of 1920, and a US joint congressional resolution of 1922.
The 10 percent of Palestine west of the Jordan river, which the Arabs now want for another Arab promise of peace, is the heartland of the ``Jewish Homeland.''
Israeli resettlement to correct the unfair imbalance in favor of the Arabs there is vital to the security of those borders.
Insecurity in Israel by an artificial ban on resettlement sends the wrong signal to the Arabs, who have yet to accept a sovereign presence of Christians in Lebanon and Jews in Israel. Leonard Horwin, Beverly Hills, Calif.
This editorial seems to claim that because the US government, under Jewish and Israeli pressure, demanded free Jewish emigration from the USSR, it has now an obligation to finance Jewish settlement in Israel. Naturally, these new immigrants will be settled, in violation of the UN resolution and US advice, in the West Bank. Israel will offer no ``iron-clad'' assurances. Walter M. Drzewieniecki, Kenmore, N.Y.