Israeli students from Ariel University pose for photographs as they hang an Israeli flag on Mount Kabir, near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh, on May 12. (David Vaaknin/For The Washington Post)

Regarding the June 4 Outlook special section, “The 50-years war”:

In 1967, I was just beginning to understand Israel’s history after visiting with my older son after his bar mitzvah to see his grandfather and other relatives. When Israel was surrounded by large Arab nations preparing to wipe out all Jews and others in Israel, even from the 1948 armistice lines (not “borders”), my wife and I in Pittsburgh, and some of my graduate students, feared for the loss of their families.

Israel did not attack an innocent Palestinian nation. Jordan possessed the West Bank and could have made it a Palestinian nation but instead, and despite pleas from Israel, was preparing an attack from the east with other nations preparing to attack from other directions.

The difficulties of Palestinians getting through checkpoints should be understood particularly at this time when the stabbing of innocents is occurring in other nations, not only in Israel. If Israel had in 1967 made the entire West Bank a part of Israel, as it was in our Jewish and Christian Bibles, these Palestinians would be much better off, like the Arab citizens of Israel are. They also would not be in a territory where its leaders preach death to the infidels and award large donations to the families of young people who kill.

Allen Brodsky, Ocean Pines, Md.

I commend The Post for the special section “The 50-years war,” with thoughtful articles about the situation in the occupied West Bank as we reach the 50th anniversary of the June 1967 war. I am glad that the newspaper made the effort to examine in depth two of the central realities of these past 50 years: the marginalization and denigration of the Palestinians under occupation, and the growing “normalcy” of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. The articles included the anomalies and ironies of occupation, providing the human dimension that often is obscured in political reporting. The articles also reminded us that all parties have become “enablers” of the status quo, no matter how they may phrase their arguments. It may be that the future will continue to resemble the present, no matter how devastating that would be to peace.

John P. Richardson, Arlington