“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”

— David Ben Gurion

Podiatrist Gil Shapiro, evidently a friend of Israel, despairs of there ever being an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, in his Star guest opinion (“Israeli-Palestinian peace is unachievable, so it’s time to reassess,” Jan. 28). He fears the worst and counsels the Israelis to fold up their tents and move.

Where? He does not tell us.

It is sad when friends of Israel lose confidence in its continued existence. After all, it has only been 60 years since its creation. Are not there enough demonizations and delegitimizations?

Remember 1948, when five Arab armies descended on the thin strip of land that the United Nations had carved out to be a Jewish state? The Arabs’ goal was complete extermination of the settlers. How these assaults were resisted and the fact that a state was formed was a modern miracle.

But now some believe this Arab war of extermination was nothing more than oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis.

Subsequently, there has been no attempt by the Arab countries to reintegrate those living in the refugee camps into their own nations. What the Arab states did was retaliate against the 800,000 Jews who lived peacefully among them by forcing them to leave their homes.

Thank goodness Israel was there to take them in and give them shelter.

What Shapiro is really saying is that the Palestinians will never change their attitude toward Israel. It is Al Nakba, the disaster. The only way to restore Arab honor is to destroy Israel.

Somehow, while all this hatred is being bred and passed down to generations in the schools and refugee camps, the Israelis have been making advances in science, medicine, biotechnology, water purification and solar heating. The desert is blooming. A modern nation is being created.

The answer to Israel’s enemies is not to hide or run away. At last the state has the capability to protect its citizens. If someone shoots at you, you can shoot back. It is not Sparta. It is a citizen army. This is a far better solution than just being massacred.

It is true that it is hard to see how this will end satisfactorily for everyone, but you just have to believe there was a purpose in the founding of Israel and it can benefit the whole Middle East.

Alan Levenson, a retired attorney now living in Tucson, is a former president of the Jewish Federation in Portland, Maine. Contact him at Ajlsaddlebrooke@aol.com