Nonie Darwish:

Israel is a beautiful country and a great nation that is thriving despite the sea of hostility that surrounds it. Although it is not perfect, Israel is doing its best to rise to the level of its humanitarian ideals. I know that Israelis want peace desperately and I wish all Arabs could see and understand the humanity of Israel for what it is; a demonstration of faith, courage and goodwill.

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I sometimes wonder why Arabs cannot stand Jews to live in their vast lands, while Jews respect and allow Arabs to live in their tiny country. The Arabs just do not see the hypocrisy...

I am not sure if the Gaza evacuation will bring peace to Israel and prosperity to the people of Gaza. I respect Israel's attempts of goodwill to pursue peace, but Arabs have not reciprocated the same message through their actions...

Will the people of Gaza finally stand up for peace after Israel's evacuation or will they go back to the old days of Fedayeen, jihad and terror? Have they learned the lesson from the decades of turmoil and chaos? Do they even remember how to live in a peaceful, orderly society? If Israel withdraws, the Arabs of Gaza can take this opportunity to finally stand up for peace and end terrorism. Personally, I am not very optimistic, but it is up to the Arabs of Gaza.

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Very few people know that the Palestinian's first 'intifada' was against the Egyptian authorities in Gaza as a result of the oppressive regime of President Nasser of Egypt. Arabs of Gaza rioted against Nasser's jailing of many and using Gaza to attack Israel without the necessary precautions to protect the civilians. Palestinian civilians were the victims as a result of Nasser's ambition.

In the tiny strip of Gaza Palestinians were sandwiched between Israel and the rest of the Arab world who did not allow them to move out and a visa was required to even visit Egypt, the country who ruled over them. The infrastructure and economy in both the West Bank and Gaza were neglected by Arabs who only gave them weapons and rewarded them for terrorism. The Gabalia refugee camp in Gaza that I saw as a child still exists today under the same name and conditions since 1948. Palestinians have been simply exploited and sacrificed as the front line of Arab Jihad. They were prevented from assimilating or accepting Israel and were offered no place else to go. I do not see Palestinians line up for work on the borders of Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. But I see them line up for work in Israel. They need the work which is only offered to them from the very country they are terrorizing.

The Arab world has hurt Palestinians enough and created a culture of terror that cannot even remember what normal society is. It is time for Palestinians to wise up and understand that Israel could be a partner and not an enemy. Yassir Arafat was more loyal to Arab dictators who financed him than to the welfare of his own people. It is time for them to decide on their fate and stop being the sacrificial lamb of the oil-rich Arab world.

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