Hed Lines: Israeli expatriate in Golden Valley pessimistic about peace process

I wrote a story this week for the weekly Golden Valley Enterprise, our sister publication, about an Israeli expatriate being pessimistic about the outcome of the latest diplomatic move, the "road map" for peace in the Middle East.

Irv Lubin said he is pessimistic about the process because leaders from both sides are listening to the extremists.

He said he does not have any respect for the Palestinian leaders, and has little confidence in the Israeli leadership.

Lubin said he favors a solution that calls for the Israelis to withdraw from the West and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured along with the Old City of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights of Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967.

He referred to the territories as "Palestine." He believes Jerusalem should become an international city.

The Bush Administration wants to create a Palestinian state by 2005 in the West Bank and Gaza under the road map plan launched June 4.

Lubin believes the Israeli government should not compensate Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza who are forced to leave under a peace settlement.

By the same token, he said Israel should not offer compensation to Palestinians uprooted during Israel's war of independence in 1948.

That Lubin is outspoken and has strong views on how to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict is hardly unusual.

More than 20 years ago, a Polish-born immigrant from Israel told me: Talk to two Israelis, and you will hear three different opinions.

And many people in the United States and abroad who are outside of diplomatic circles have proposed solutions or tried to play the role as peacemakers.

Lubin, the son of immigrants, was born in San Francisco in 1943, and left with his parents and older sister two days later for Palestine, then part of the British Mandate.

The Lubin family lived in a military outpost in the Negev Desert.

He said he had a traumatic childhood and still has nightmares, even though his family returned to San Francisco as long ago as 1957 or 1958.

He said he kept a diary in Hebrew beginning at the age of 5 or 6.

"I don't want to remember anymore," he told me.

"We were bombed.

We were shot at."

He said the violence led his family to return to the United States.

He said he has never been back to Israel, but retains dual American/Israeli citizenship, adding, "I will never give it up."

He is a member of the small Israeli expatriate community in the Kingman area.

They include people who are "sabras" (born in Israel) and others whose families emigrated from the former Soviet Union.

Kingman also is home to a small Palestinian community.

Like the Jews expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70, the Palestinians experienced their own Diaspora (Greek for "dispersal") following the creation of the state of Israel.

Many have settled in the United States.

While many Palestinians live in major cities, I also have found them in small towns such as Lake Elsinore and El Centro in California and Kingman in this state.

I would be willing to talk to them to hear their side of the story.

Meanwhile, you can read what Lubin has to say by picking up a free copy of the Golden Valley Enterprise or reading it online on our Web site, www.kingmandailyminer.com.

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A county government department head recently rebuffed me when I tried to enter his office.

"Get out of here," he said.

"We are about to have an argument."

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Reporters occasionally misquote people, but newsmakers sometimes say the wrong thing without any help from us.

This happened during a luncheon Monday of the Kingman Republican Women in the Elks Lodge.

Club president Charlotte Wells, a deputy civil county attorney and former Superior Court judge, announced that Suellen Stewart would give the "second vice president's resort." She meant to say "report."

As Stewart approached, Wells said, "You are a resort."

Faithful readers, I have nothing further to report today.

Ken Hedler is the county government and politics reporter for the Miner.